Taking place amid the hustle and bustle of parties surrounding the 2024 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the Fifteen Percent Pledge Gala – with its black designer dress code and black tie – attracted one of the most beautifully assembled crowds of the entire week -end filled with celebration.
Hosted for the first time in Los Angeles and hosted by Robin Thede, the gala raised funds for the nonprofit Fifteen Percent Pledge, founded by Brother Vellies creator Aurora James, which calls on retailers to dedicate 15% of shelf space to Black-owned products. brands.
First Lady Jill Biden made a surprise appearance at the event, which was held on the Paramount Studios lot. She touted her husband’s administration’s accomplishments in helping minority-owned small businesses (including doubling the amount of government loans to black-owned small businesses) and praised James for founding the Fifteen Percent Pledge following the murder. of George Floyd in 2020.
“Today, the number of Black business owners is growing at the fastest rate in 30 years. … When Aurora started this effort, she recognized that maybe people would think it was too big, or too blunt, maybe people would think it was outrageous. This evening, we agree, yes, it’s big; yes, it’s direct; yes, it is even difficult, but we also have to show him something else, that yes, it is possible,” Biden said.
Later, Tracee Ellis Ross – the founder of curly and natural hair care brand Pattern Beauty – took the stage to accept the Trailblazer Award, joking that her Fear of God faux fur coat was part of the trend current “mafia wife” fashion, adding that The coat may not have been the best choice for comfort. “I made a fashion choice tonight,” Ross said. “I am also a 51 year old woman…