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Monday, October 15, 2012

Hawks Need Help with Jersey Sales

Atlanta Starts NBA Season with New Design, Old Look By A. Scott Walton The Larry O’Brien trophy is one thing every NBA player wants to clutch at least once. In his career But aside from the League MVP honor, there’s just one other top award pro ballers long for. Who winds up as the season’s most popular jersey-seller?
It’s an interesting question to ponder going into the 2012-13 NBA season: especially in Atlanta. If the league-approved souvenir shops at Phillips Arena stock Jeremy Lin’s replica jerseys when the Hawks host the Houston Rockets to open the season, the rookie sensation for last year’s version of the New York Knicks could outsell Josh Smith’s. The crazy thing about the quest for NBA marketing dominance is that it really doesn’t matter where fans live anymore to win the popularity contest. Kobe Bryant surely wasn’t numero uno in sales last year on the backs of L.A.’s already saturated market. And Lin’s jersey sales weren’t second due only on New York-rooted “Lin-santity”. Given last season’s media hysteria over Lin’s big bite out of New York’s attention span, the Hawks leading scorer and rebounder could get lost in the quake of credit cards swiping in favor of an opponent. If anything works in J-Smooth’s jersey sales favor during the feeding frenzy that accompanies every new season, it ‘s that only four of the teams the Hawks face in their first 10 games have higher marketability quotients.
According to one Yahoo business-tracking service – Atlanta ranks slightly on the downside of the league’s 30 teams. The Business Insider reports that Atlanta ranks 16 on the scale of teams deemed “Rising”, “Falling” or “Staying the Same”. The reigning championship Heat franchise sits atop the list, while the Charlotte Bobcats flounder at the very bottom. In all, nine eastern conference teams are ranked as more than the hawks. Though they shed a playmaker (Joe Johnson) and a sharpshooter (Kirk Heinrich) in the offseason, the Hawks still enter training camp appearing stable under the new stewardship of General Manager Danny Ferry. Put on a proverbial fair playing field in the memorabilia shops across the league, the Hawks hatch their season as marketing underdogs against only four teams. And inklings on an image makeover – with a new jersey style that resembles a mash-up looks Atlanta wore in the 1990s – may attract avid collectors. Smith, for his part, has filmed an endorsement for Adidas where he emotes his willingness to carry the Hawks on his wingspan (wearing a version of last’s years stoic white-on-white ensemble). So maybe there’s hope Smith _ motivated by contract year scrutiny _ can aspire to popularity akin by some measure to Lin-sanity after all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Atlantans Rave Over AnnakaMarie Label Debut

Made-to-order Collection Impresses Crowd at Commerce Club
By A. Scott Walton

Atlanta, GA _ AnnakaMarie, the made-to-measure clothing line for career women of discerning tastes, debuted to great acclaim Wednesday at the Commerce Club.


After staging their runway presentation of spring/summer styles, the label’s co-creators – Regina Mixon Bates and Cleah Murray – received a standing ovation from the 200 guests gathered.



One attendee – “Real Housewives of Atlanta” scene-stealer Dwight Eubanks – summed up the AnnakaMarie collection as “an overall look that’s crisp and precise.”
“You saw ‘pretty’ combined with ‘power’,” Eubanks added. “There’s definitely a market for that.”



Distinctive features of the AnnakaMarie styles previewed included: blouses with impeccably pleated sleeves, jeweled French cuffs and elongated collars; pants with waistlines as high as the models’ navels and flared cuffs at least two inches deep; and whimsical variations on vested suit silhouettes.


Anchoring the collection was a seersucker suit with short pants, “power” padded shoulders and a brushed gold gladiator belt. All the outfits were accessorized dramatically with custom jewelry Atlanta-based crafter Cerese Dolman.

After the show, local fashion stylist Juliette Johnson observed enthusiastically: “AnnakaMarie speaks to the female executive who’s looking to rise above the rest. Granted, she needs a strong personal sense of style to wear it. But that’s what power-dressing is all about.”
Prices for AnnakaMarie’s made-to-measure apparel ranges from $150-$450 and most garments are made from fabrics selected by Bates (a former model) and Murray (a couture bridal designer) on their semi-annual trips to China.



“I approached this collection with the thought, ‘What would Giorgio Armani do?’,” said Murray. “I wanted the look to be feminine, but strongly infused with masculinity.”
Added Bates: “To me, it’s all about the finest quality and timeless elegance. A business woman needs clothes that transition from the boardroom to the ballroom. And I think this collection captures that.”


To learn more about AnnakaMarie, or to schedule a fitting: call 888-660-6672, visit www.annakamarie.com, or e-mail Style@annakamarie.com.
To view exclusive images by JimiFlix Photography, visit: http://www.facebook.com/AnnakaMarie

(Photographed below: AnnakaMarie co-creaters Cleah Murray and Regina Mixon Bates)

Monday, March 26, 2012

AnnakaMarie Label Brightens Up the "Bored" Room


Atlanta, GA _ The AnnakaMarie clothing line which debuts Wednesday (March 28, ‘12) at the Commerce Club is just what the doctor ordered for career women who’ve waited patiently for looks that tastefully blend “flair” with “formality”.
The label’s co-creators _ Regina Mixon Bates and Cleah Murray _ are launching the line with an evening (6-8 p.m.) trunk show. Guests will not only enjoy the event’s 40th Floor view of Atlanta’s skyline, but also rub elbows with models flaunting the line’s fine fabrics and tailoring techniques.
This is a “soft” opening for AnnakaMarie, showcasing a limited selection of hot weather looks in anticipation of the labels full roll-out for a wider audience this fall.


Bates, a power house in the field of private medical management, brings her experience as a top model who experienced “challenges” finding business attire to fit her towering frame to the project.
Murray has built a stellar career custom-designing wardrobes and wedding gowns for a powerhouse list of clients including former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, R&B star Perri “Pebbles” Reid and TV sensation CeeCee Michaels.
Together, they’re delivering an array of styles that are “chic, fashion-forward and appropriate” for women who mean business.


For more information about the AnnakaMarie clothing line, visit: www.annakamarie.com, send an email to style@annakamarie.com or call 888-660-6672.
TRUNK SHOW: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 6-8 P.M.
THE COMMERCE CLUB, 191 PEACHTREE STREET, N.E., ATLANTA, 30303
RSVP LINE: 404-586-9729


ONSITE DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE WITH PURCHASE.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"Live From Loews": Hot Vibes, Cool Crowd


ATLANTA PERKS UP DURING 'MILLER TIME'
By A. Scott Walton
Why do the phrases “happy hour” and “Miller Time” seem so synonymous lately?
Well, it’s not due to the blue-collar brand of beer. Chalk it up to the pin-stripe and sweater dress crowds flocking to the “Live From Loews” events staged regularly by the midday lottery diva and tireless event promoter Rene Miller.
Last night’s free concert in the posh Midtown hotel’s lobby bar was a prime example of how seamlessly Loews guests and locals in the 30-and-up age range meld together for a feast of sights and sound.
(Click HERE to view the event's JimiFlix photo gallery.)
For the past year “Live From Loews” shows have occurred every first Thursday of the month; headliners have included Jeff Lorber, Kirk Whalum, Alex Bugnon and Maysa.
Last night, trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and his seven-man band wowed the crowd with a 90-minute set of smooth jazz interpretations from his forthcoming CD, “Bone Appetit”, and then raised the roof with a raucous “second line” brass and drums free-for-all.
Starting this January 19 (8 p.m.-midnight) “Live From Loews” will begin staging more intimate acoustic sets every third Thursday. The introductory artist for this new series will be the soulful crooner Anthony David.
For more information, visit renemiller.com, or connect with her on Facebook.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Atlanta Men Tie One On at Davio's


WELL-DRESSED GENTS CELEBRATE BOW TIES
By A. Scott Walton

Who knew that so many Atlanta men favor wearing bow ties?

Moreover, who knew so many Atlanta men can successfully knot one?

On top of all that, who knew the food at Davio’s (Phipps Plaza) was so scrumptious and the service was so hospitable?

If every “Bow Tie Wednesday” at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is like the one staged last night, yours truly (pictured with Atlanta master tailor Miguel Wilson) will definitely be back for another helping.

Roughly 100 gents showed up to take in the atmosphere and flaunt their neckwear flair.

(Click here to view the JimiFlix photo gallery.)

The event, hosted by the Jay Austin company, presented the opportunity to purchase novelty bow ties (LSU, UGA, Georgia Tech prints, for example) as well as classic solids in silk and suede in the $50 price range.

The Davio’s delicacies were free and the (adult) beverages were reasonably priced.

The eye-candy - fellas should note – was plentiful, and the ladies in attendance were willing, ready and able to adjust ties at every turn.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Prada Digs Into New Atlanta Domain

By A. Scott Walton
Contrary to uninformed opinion, Prada's newest signature boutique is indeed scheduled to open before year's end at Lenox Square Mall.
Read on for details about the brand's appeal, and why British regulators are appalled by Prada's latest ad campaign...*

http://www.examiner.com/style-in-atlanta/prada-plants-roots-atlanta

*Originally published by Examiner.com

Sunday, October 16, 2011

String Music Stirs King Memorial Dedication

Israeli Violin Sensation Re-Fuels "The Dream" at Memorial Dedication

By A. Scott Walton
Meet Miri Ben-Ari; if you haven't already.

Anyone left on the planet who's not yet acquainted with Ben-Ari's unique blend of classical violin, hip-hop and jazz likely will be after her performance Sunday at the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington,D.C.
A personal favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama's, Ben-Ari won "Best Rap Song" Grammy Award for co-writing Kanye West's smash 2005 hit, "Jesus Walks".
The song Ben-Ari's best known for was inspired by a line from the slain civil rights leader's "I Have a Dream" speech. The spell-binding piece is entitled, "Symphony of Brotherhood"rose as high as No. 2 on Billboard's "Hip Hop" charts in 2007.
At the King Memorial dedication, she debuted an original composition called "Black Tone" that was inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycotts instigated by Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat. The acclaimed spoken word artist, Poem-Cees, provided vocal accompaniment.
"I've been a part of many major show, from playing Radio City Music Hall to performing at the Super Dome," Ben-Ari said in an exclusive interview. "But this time, it's historical. We'll all be there paying respect to an incomparable man. So I want to help make sure it's an experience we remember for a very long time."
She performed "Black Tone" an hour before President Barack Obama delivered his dedication speech.
The all-star roster of artists Ben-Ari's collaborated with in her relatively short career - after years of study under the iconic violinist Isaac Stern - includes: Wynton Marsalis, Patti Labelle, Janet Jackson, Jay Z and John Legend.
Besides being a violin virtuoso, she's somewhat of a visual artist whose body language resonates onstage.
"When I was recording with Wycleaf Jean, he said it's like the violin becomes an extension of me," Ben-Ari recalled. "And Kanye paid me the highest compliment by calling me the Miles Davis of our time.
"I just go into a zone and lose myself. It's me, the audience and the music."
She performed "Symphony of Brotherhood" at the White House at Mrs. Obama's special request earlier this year.
"I've done a lot in my career, but playing at the dedication will definitely be a major milestone for me," she said. "I came to the U.S. from a small town in Israel to pursue the American Dream. This is the land of possibilities and now I see they're real."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Author Cheryl Tan Roars into Decatur Book Fest

Fashion writer-turned-foodie to address "A Tiger in the Kitchen" fans
By A. Scott Walton

Book lovers with adventurous food tastes should beat a hasty path to the Decatur Book Festival on September 3 (5:30-6:15 p.m.) to meet and greet Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, author of the intriguing cookbook/memoire, "A Tiger in the Kitchen" (Hyperion, $15).
For years, Tan and I worked shoulder to shoulder as Fashion Week correspondents for competing news services. From personal experience, I can confidently call her a "spicy" personality.
Her wit, worldly viewpoints, sense of humor and openness to adventure are all fully exposed in a book that tracks her reconnection to her Singaporean roots through the culinary skills her family's matriarchs have honed for decades.

Culinary literature rave that "A Tiger in the Kitchen" "(contains)haunting flavors of childhood meals", "teaches us that food is the tie that binds", and reminds us that "meals define who we are".
Tan will stage a reading and discussion of her “Memoir of Food and Family” at the First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary Stage, (308 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030). Click here for directions and details.
Her appearance will truly be something to savor.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Breaking Up: Good for Business?

Divorce Doesn't Spell End of Power Couple's Influence

By A. Scott Walton

J. Lo and Marc Anthony must have a joint bank account as part of their pre-nuptial agreement.
What else would explain indications that they’re forging ahead with two new business ventures – as a couple – even though they announced last week that their marriage is kaput.
Not only is the pair preparing to launch a twin set of signature apparel collections for Kohl’s department stores this fall, but they’re also reportedly in the process of filming a reality TV series called “Q’Viva: The Chosen” that could require them to spend months together touring Latin America.
Imagine Tiger and Elin attempting that.
Then again, this could be a potential boon for Marc and J. Lo’s separate and conjoined careers. Until he re-marries to another bombshell, Mr. Anthony can certainly benefit from a boost to his stature as an entertainer. And Ms. Lopez certainly won’t be sitting as a judge on “American Idol” indefinitely.
Heck, the couple isn’t even ruling out the launch of a kidswear line inspired by their three-year-old twins.
The party line at Kohl’s is that “the Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands have always been positioned as two separate, distinct collections.” And when asked for observations about how a reality show can proceed under such circumstances, United Entertainment Group CEO Jarrod Moses told the New York Post: “The word on the street is that it's business as usual and they're shooting together ... As unfortunate as divorce is, when it comes to business, J. Lo and Marc look to a higher power: cash."
Can you blame them?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spanish Harlem Revives Atlanta Nightlife

Latin-themed lounge delivers great food, cool drinks, hot music and warm service


By A. Scott Walton

There is a rose at Spanish Harlem.
A rose in semi-sheer black leggings, neon sneakers and a skin-tight red t-shirt at Spanish Harlem.
She waits tables. She pours drinks and takes reservations. She cheerfully and meticulously cleans the picture windows that look across the street toward the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
She politely laughs off questions about why so many ambulances and fire trucks pass by Spanish Harlem, in downtown Atlanta, with their sirens blaring.
“Well, we are right around the corner from Grady Hospital,” the rose shrugs. “It’s just EMS doing their job.”
The rose’s name is “Victoria”. And her presence is emblematic of all that’s good about Spanish Harlem, one of our favorite new spots to dine, drink and relax.
By all indications, she’s just happy to be there.
So were we.
After an initial late-night visit for spicey food and sparkling adult beverages, the Be My Guest crew (check out co-host, Hadi!) recently returned to Spanish Harlem to gain more incite from owner Carlos Ramirez about what attracts patrons to the spot tucked away so unassumingly that one needs a reliable GPS to find it.
Watch the video for a glimpse at what Spanish Harlem is all about.
After all: you must savor any rose; wherever it happens to sprout. Agreed?