Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thomasina "Goo Goo" Atkins talks fashion, celebrity styling and Stars and Strikes

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 5:03 PM

Celebrity stylist Thomasina "Goo Goo" Atkins. - PHOTO BY K. SMITH
  • Photo by K. Smith
  • Celebrity stylist Thomasina "Goo Goo" Atkins.

Celebrity stylist Thomasina Atkins — better known as “Goo Goo” to her 639,000 Instagram fans — is in New Orleans this Essence Festival weekend to co-host the Stars & Strikes Celebrity Day Soiree and Bowling Bash 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1 at Fulton Alley (600 Fulton St., 504-208-5593; She’s sharing hosting duties with former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister, but Atkins can hold her own at the star-studded event. Her client list includes the likes of Grammy-winning gospel and R&B duo Mary Mary and actors and influencers such as Morris Chestnut and Laila Ali.

Proceeds from the event benefit Le Sanctuary Book Club, a nonprofit organization that offers monthly book club meetings for women and girls ages 12 to 14 to encourage literacy. Throughout the year, the organization also conducts book and coat drives and participates in several local charitable events. Annually, Le Sanctuary grants a textbook scholarship to a young lady graduating from high school and entering her first year of undergraduate studies at a Louisiana college or university. The Stars & Strikes event benefits that scholarship fund.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Atkins’ career now takes her all over the world. Gambit caught up with her somewhere between Israel and Detroit to chat about her 15 years in the industry, summer style trends and getting her bowl on at one of the many fabulous day parties flanking this year’s Essence Festival.

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Makeup artist Tiffany Ervin shares summer beauty secrets

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Celebrity makeup artist Tiffany Ervin. - PHOTO COURTESY SALLY BEAUTY
  • Photo courtesy Sally Beauty
  • Celebrity makeup artist Tiffany Ervin.

Tiffany Ervin is the founder and lead makeup artist for Makeup Royalty in Atlanta, Georgia, a city enjoying popularity as a film production mecca. Currently, there are as many as 50 productions working in and around the city, and Ervin is providing makeup artistry for as many of them as she can, including media for networks such as BET, Bravo and VH1. Check out her Instagram (@makeuproyalty101) to follow her Essence Festival adventures as she joins us here in New Orleans for the Fourth of July weekend. Gambit caught up with the makeup maven between gigs to talk (beauty) shop.

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Monica Stevens of MoKnowsHair and summer hair

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Monica Stevens of, Sally Beauty brand ambassador and curly girl champion. - PHOTO COURTESY SALLY BEAUTY
  • Photo courtesy Sally Beauty
  • Monica Stevens of, Sally Beauty brand ambassador and curly girl champion.

Known on social media platforms by the handle “MoKnowsHair” and from her eponymous website (, Monica Stevens is a licensed cosmetologist specializing in curly and natural hair styles. She’s in New Orleans this weekend for Essence Festival as a stylist and texture expert at the Sally Beauty pop-up salon and lounge. She took a few minutes off from being fabulous to talk to Gambit about rocking ringlets and summer hair trends.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Don't want your Ivanka Trump clothes? One art collective has a solution (and revolution) for that

Posted By on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM


Before her controversial ascendance to the White House, presidential daughter Ivanka Trump was best-known for her fashion line. The label sold unremarkable business apparel, shoes and jewelry marketed toward professional women, mostly at familiar suburban retailers like Nordstrom, Burlington Coat Factory and Sears.

But in the turbulent months up to and following the presidential election, some of the gold-leaf sheen has worn off of the Trump brand, and a number of women have found themselves less willing to sport Ivanka's signature apparel.

For those hoping to divest themselves of, say, a closet full of Ivanka-branded sheath dresses, one art collective has a solution. The Rational Dress Society (RDS)  is soliciting donations of Ivanka Trump apparel for its "Make America Rational Again" project. Donations are accepted locally at Pelican Bomb Gallery X through July.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Haspel's Laurie Haspel Aronson talks seersucker, tradition and innovation

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The Haspel factory as it once stood on the corner of Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HASPEL
  • Photo courtesy of Haspel
  • The Haspel factory as it once stood on the corner of Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue.

In 1909, Joseph Haspel Sr. opened Haspel, a textile factory specializing in lightweight men’s suits. Haspel — known colloquially as “the Factory” by neighbors and workers — was located at the intersection of Broad St. and St. Bernard Ave. until production moved to Tylertown, Mississippi, where it stayed until the brand was bought out by the Palm Beach Company in the late 1970s.

Joseph Haspel saw a niche in the market for manufacturing suits that could withstand the heat and the humidity of the New Orleans summertime — suits for working men of all color collars. He once famously went for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, fully clothed in one of his suits to demonstrate its ability to withstand moisture. Reportedly, he hung the suit up to dry, and threw it back on for an evening engagement. The suit retained its silhouette, and Haspel was on the fashion map.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THINX founder Miki Agrawal removed from NOEW women's summit lineup

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:42 PM


The Idea Village, one of the organizing groups behind New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), has released a statement regarding the cancellation of THINX founder Miki Agrawal's appearance at a women's summit at the conference.

Agrawal originally was scheduled to give a "fireside chat" at the summit, which highlights issues women face in the workplace. The high-profile founder of THINX, which makes underwear designed to disrupt the lucrative menstrual pad and tampon market, was known for her colorful interviews and quirky (some might say eccentric) behavior.

But this week, news broke of sexual harassment allegations against Agrawal from a former employee — a serious charge for anyone, but especially for a figurehead who espouses feminist ideals and women's empowerment. The allegations follow a flurry of criticism from current and former employees about poor working conditions for the company's women, including inadequate maternity leave, a toxic office culture and low pay.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Gambit TV: CUE turns 10

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson stops into WWL-TV to talk CUE magazine's big 10th anniversary issue, on newsstands now.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

New Orleans Fashion Week events March 18-24

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM

Confetti poppers marked the end of Lisa Iacono's 2014 Dreamcar Collection runway show. - PHOTO BY GEOVANNI VELASQUEZ (WWW.BLACKANDGEAUXLD.COM)
  • Photo by Geovanni Velasquez (
  • Confetti poppers marked the end of Lisa Iacono's 2014 Dreamcar Collection runway show.

New Orleans Fashion Week (NOFW) takes the city by the stilettos March 18-24, with a full slate of events for fashion lovers of all ages and genders. NOFW brings together budding and established designers from all over the country, with a focus on homegrown talent from the Gulf South, and provides a chic setting for networking, mentoring and — of course — shopping. The group's mission is "to foster and support economic growth by raising attention to the talents of southern designers, beauty professionals, photographers and models," and the dream is realized this month with a parade of fashion shows, demonstrations, pop-up boutiques and panels.

Red carpet events and runway shows are March 22-24 at the Civic Theater, with Luxe Marketplace pop-up stores at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 as well, and shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $35 for upper-level general admission to $300 for a 3-day VIP pass, and are available here. The fashion fun doesn't stop there though — here's some info about attendant events.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Gambit TV: Glam updates to basic fashions

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:57 PM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson drops by WWL-TV to share behind-the-scenes insight from CUE magazine's latest fashion shoot (on newsstands now).

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Gras "Give a Pair, Get a Pair" shoe drive at Arnaud's benefits Eden House human trafficking survivors

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 11:56 AM


Traditionally, the Friday before Mardi Gras (or Friday Gras) is a day for families and friends to get together for a (very) long lunch. Locals make reservations at classic French Quarter dining spots months in advance. Restaurant tables become a sort of base camp — patrons can step outside to visit the lunacy of Bourbon and Canal streets as revelers get throttled up for the wildest weekend on the Crescent City calendar, and then duck back in to the relative safety of a decadent lunch and cocktails.

On Friday, Feb. 24, Katy Casbarian of Arnaud’s Restaurant hopes to pass on the invigoration of Friday Gras to others who need it. Casbarian has teamed up with fellow business owners Allison and Julie Hoffman of Native Polish and Evie Poitevent of Feet First to present their inaugural “Give a Pair, Get a Pair” event. Ladies attending Friday Gras lunch at Arnaud’s are asked to bring a pair of gently used women’s shoes, which will be collected for a donation to Eden House, a nonprofit that provides long-term housing and care for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

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