Ford By Design x Vashtie x Jhene Aiko
Last week, Ford by Design brought Downtown's Sweetheart Vashtie and LA's girl crush Jhene Aiko to the Bay.
In literally a matter of hours, True was flipped from your favorite streetwear store to empty as hell to event venue.
I walked in not knowing what to expect. These things often go one of two ways - smackin' or stuffy...
And this was very much the former.
I hop off of a dirty bus in an outfit I thought about for WAY too long because I respect myself too much to be photographed next to Vashtie or Jhene in anything less than my best effort.
It's late and Haight is different at night. The street kids are bolder now, this is usually their time. The bars are now teeming with people. The tourists are mostly gone, the towering tour buses are nowhere to be found.
From Masonic you can see lights coming from True, a shiny beacon of life among the darkness that falls when it gets a little colder, when the days get shorter, and the wind a bit crisper.
In front, there's a tall blue photo backdrop and a security guard and a beautiful woman holding a clipboard in her hand.
Ford pulled no punches.
I get my wristband and walk in. The homies are here. All of the homies are here.
There are sliders to my left and a huge TV monitor to my right. I grab a slider and watch a montage of photos taken outside.
Technology is crazy.
A few steps deeper into the store and you can't help but notice the *open* bar, an open bar furnished with beer and wine and cocktails named after Ford's latest cars.
Fusion Breeze, please.
Resident True DJ, and all around Cool Ass Person, DJ Supreme is on the 1s and 2s near the store's back door, tucked where the hats and fitting room would normally be.
A few minutes later and Vashtie is on.
She carries an aura of success with her and though afterwards she's as nice and cordial as can be, you can tell she's a seasoned veteran... and she knows it.
Vashtie finishes up after her homage to the Bay - a series of Too Short and E-40 songs.
The music is off but the crowd provides a constant buzz of conversation and laughter.
Enough of those Fusion Breezes will do that.
Jhene's band gets ready as she sips on a tall cup of coffee. Her lipstick is along the rim and, for a second, you remember she gets tired like the rest of us.
She grabs the mic and her voice is soft and soothing like your mom playing soft jazz on a Saturday morning while she makes your favorite breakfast.
Still, Jhene's voice demands your attention, anything else would be disrespect.
Those in attendance start to inch closer to her, to get a better glimpse, to feel the music. She talks into the mic.
These are the types of shows I love. They're more......... Intimate.
She sings a collection of her most popular songs. Her set feels short but the good ones always do. They leave you asking for more.
She says her goodbyes and poses for pictures with anyone who asks for one.
The party is over now but the good will lingers. The clean up begins and Haight Street is given back to the street kids for the rest of the night.
But, just for a moment, Ford drove the street, the block, further into "the" culture, showed us a thing or two.