Source: Kai Byrd

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of people made their way to New Orleans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Essence Festival. Trell Thomas, founder of Black Excellence Brunch, made sure to be part of the festivities in a major way. On Sunday, July 7th, Black Excellence Brunch, powered by L’Oreal, hosted a private brunch at The Cannery, a premier luxury venue in the heart of the Crescent City. The event’s theme was Black hair, Equity and Black beauty which meshed perfectly with the all white attire.

With over 150 guests in attendance, the Black Excellence Brunch kicked off in the most New Orleans way. Thomas led a second line dance featuring a local New Orleans line dancing band and two vibrant dancers in gold satin uniforms. The festivities continued with a one-hour cocktail reception, displaying models wearing wine skirts and large human-sized Black Excellence boxes. The boxes were adorned with sponsor logos and were actually encased with real models. Guests were able to mix and mingle before the dining area, which was elegantly draped in fuchsia and purple décor and a vibrant stage set for two, was unveiled. Attendees enjoyed sophisticated southern cuisine that included shrimp and grits, bacon, and specialty drinks, adding to the luxurious atmosphere.

Following the unveiling and guests being seated, they were treated to a hair show. The beautiful melanated models showcased intricate hairstyles, further highlighting the theme of the event, orchestrated by the L’Oreal Group and Salon Centric.

Notable attendees included Jotaka Eaddy, Liliahn Majeed, Raheem Devaughn, Claire Sulmers, Amber Raspberry, Taja Simpson, Laila Pruitt, Sydney Mitchell, Erica Culpepper and That Chick Angel. Angela Rye was presented with the Truth Seeker Award, Maude Okrah Hunter was named the Beauty Icon Award recipient and Marsai Martin was honored with the Cultural Icon Award. Black Excellence Brunch founder Trell Thomas, also gave special recognition to Carol’s Daughter founder, Lisa Price.

The phenomenal event celebrated Black culture and gave flowers to Black people in hair, make up and the beauty space. Check out some photos from the brunch below!