I’m a 39-year-old mother of two young children. Lord knows I have no business strutting my (jiggly) ass down a runway in a swimsuit, but that all changed when Miami Modern Luxury magazine asked me to walk in their 5th annual SPLASHION fashion show — the premiere event which kicks off Swim Week. Um, this is me acting a fool at the show…
I said, “Yes,” to the gig (even though I was nervous AF about it) because I was totally on board with the idea that this year, SPLASHION wouldn’t feature just skinny, spray-tanned models, but Miami-based social media rockstars and Snapchat sensations, too, like fashion blogger Ria Michelle…
The concept was the intrepid idea of Miami Modern Luxury magazine’s Stacey Russell who says, “About a month back, I started to cast models for the swimwear show and thought, well, nothing. Because I was really f%^&ing bored of what our Swim Week had become.”
She adds, “So, I tapped into what I knew was beautiful: My friends, who are also some of Miami’s — and the country’s — top bloggers, social media mavens, models, moms, journalists, hosts, creatives and maybe even an actual celeb or two.”
So Miami’s top digital influencers — Yes Julz, Pascal Kouwenhoven, Carolina Lindo, Ginger Harris, Ria Michelle, Leon Nieuwoudt, Evelyn Torres, Kelly Saks and myself obliged and werked that catwalk like Giselle Bundchen would — minus the zillion dollar paycheck, obvi. Adding to the night’s booty-shaking bedlam were Two Live Crew’s Uncle Luke who brought the swagger and singer Kent Jones who sang his infectious song, “Don’t Mind.”
As for this mom/influencer, well, she learned a thing or two about herself. So here, ladies and gents, are 4 fantastic things that happened backstage at SPLASHION 2016:
1. Contrary to his Raunchy Lyrics (Think “Pop That P*ssy”), Uncle Luke is a Really, Really, Really Sweet Dude
Kelly, Ria, and I (as evidenced above, natch) got to hang out with the King Booty Music backstage where I harassed him for 32 selfies and he obliged. Every. Single. Time. He’s really jolly and has penchant for Peroni, beer, too.
2. Miami is Cranking Out Real Talent à la Kent Jones
Watch yo’ back, DJ Khaled, did you all know Kent is local 305-till-I-die boy? His jam, “Don’t Mind,” is currently #9 on the BillBoards Hot 100 Chart. Konnichiwa to that!
3. Models Really Eat
No lie…I spotted a few stick-thin real-life model hit the Papa Johh pizza boxes so hard prior to hitting the runway. #ShockAndAwe
4. Haters Gonna Hate, But Bloggers and Social Media Ninjas Have Legit Clout
I often overhear, “Blogging is a joke,” or “Digital Influencers have zero real influence.” But after asking to walk down a runway on behalf of a national magazine because of my strong social media presence, well, we proved the naysayers wrong. Take that, salty cynics! Look at us now. Even Uncle Luke loves a blogger or two…