Thursday, September 4, 2008
So when I got wind of his performance to support ThisDay, the Nigerian newspaper (and subsequent freedom movement behind it’s inception) I jumped at the opportunity to go.
Completely blinded by his legendary hotness and the ties to my journalist obsession – Africa – I failed to notice the other headliners that would also be performing.
Of course running late, I missed my opportunity to interview National St. Hottie (2007), which was to both our benefit (way bad hair day and caffeine overdose.) I did get to interview Chris Ayres, the famed Nigerian jewelry designer, known in the biz as the king of bling. As one of the invited designers he would feature among his pieces a dress worth $200,000. Each piece in his runway show had its own security guard.
When describing the market for his pieces he noted, “Jewelry doesn’t have to be an accessory; celebrities are getting jewelry then asking to build their clothing around the pieces.”
When asked about the prevalence of blood diamonds, a particularly hot button issue out of the continent, he said he was trying to change the industry. As a strong advocate for social responsibility, he visited Africa no less than 12 times last year. He said Americans forget that people depend on diamonds for their livelihood. Not all African diamonds are blood diamonds, so rather than boycott, ask good questions when purchasing.”