The Tanqueray Trunk Show..
Was the first of its kind that I personally have experienced.. conceived from the mind of marketing and brand guru Coltrane from Team Ephiphany. The tour focused on 6 cities: NYC, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Houston. The purpose was quit simple “For brands to be accountable to their consumers and give back, not just by giving product, but the most valuable thing they can give…Knowledge.” says Coltrane.
Amongst Chicago’s fly and fashionable, the free liquor from Tanqueray, and great music. The purpose for the evening was very clear. Once the panel started Coltrane set the stage in the room, “this is a time to gain, and if you are talking during this time or the person next to you is talking then you are not receiving.”
The panel dropped so much knowledge..
A room full of entrepreneurs, and our team was trapped in amazement with the free knowledge and inspiration we were receiving. Ronnie Fieg (founder of KITH) spoke of his very humble beginnings. From having an office right next to the toilet just a few years ago, to having over 40 employees in a short amount of time. His gem quote of the night was “You can’t buy passion…Talent isn’t just found in designing, it’s also in a persons work ethic.”
Next up was the behind the scenes man of the Grand Hustle empire Mr. Jason Jeter. Not only has he been T.I. business partner for years, but he also manages the hottest female music talent right now Iggy Azelia. To add to his resume let’s throw in a high-end street wear line “Strivers Row“. My roots with Jason go back to our early Atlanta industry days. We have been in the same room many times and it was an honor to receive his knowledge as well. Jason brought a different prospective to business, one that many will find hard to embrace. He spoke of competition being viewed wrong he said “There is no competition, we are all out here to win, and we should support each other”.
Maxwell Osborne (Public School, Black Apple), gave off a very humbled stature. It seemed like he was so grateful to be in the moment and to be actually living his dream. He spoke of doing things with people on the stage and working for years, and the growth of Public School and the recent awards they had won. It is always refreshing to see those who appeared to have made it still love their craft.
What..complimentary Tanqueray…Dope Panel..and free gear!!
You could tell early that Coltrane was setting the stage for a big surprise. Many people in Chicago thought it was Common performing later. In Atlanta our team felt it was Ryan Leslie performing as well. Well both teams were very wrong. At the end of the panel Coltrane announced that the card you received with the brands on it when you walked in the door, was actually a free product offering from the brand you were given. It was funny to watch people scramble to find their cards, this goes to show you that everything Team Ephiphany does has a purpose. Even though we were there covering as press, who doesn’t want a free quality giveaway we dropped our cameras and jumped in line. Thanks Jason and Team Ephiphany for the $250 Strivers Row distressed denim, much appreciated.
I will always call him Common Sense, but this hip-hop icon and Chicago born native has grown into something bigger than a name. Common is his name, and this Oscar-winning artist continues to keep growing. Once he took the stage you could tell he felt at home. His words were very targeted towards the present situation in Chicago. The change that is needed not just mentally, physically but economically. Common said “You know I am an entrepreneur being an artist myself. I know it can be hard it is very hard for me, but we have to keep pushing.” Then it was right to business and the usually stiff trendsetter crowd moved to the songs of their Prince of Chicago.
Photography: Charles Andre Thomas