Gabrielle Union, June Ambrose, Marsha Ambrosius, Viola Davis, Iman & More Attend The Essence Upfront

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African-American lifestyle, fashion and beauty publication Essence magazine hosted their first ever UPFRONT in NYC. Actress Gabrielle Union, celebrity stylist June Ambrose, singer Marsha Ambrosius, iconic supermodel Iman, and actress Viola Davis were in attendance. The event included a special performance by Marsha Ambrosisus. She performed a medley of her hits including “Yes” and “Butterflies“. Fashion activist Bethann Hardison, Essence’s Editor-At-Large Mikka Taylor and Patrice Yursik were also present.

According to The YBF, “During the UPFRONT, the magazine revealed one of the major features of the 20th anniversary of Essence Fest is “The Vault” which will look back on previous years of the festivals with photo galleries, video clips, reader submitter photos, celebrity memories and more in a special anniversary section on It will also include original talent and line-up posters, concert photos, and interviews. The Vault will also be a feature on the revamped Essence Fest app.”


Celebrity stylist June Ambrose


Essence’s Editor-InCheif Vanessa K. Bush and actress Viola Davis


Essence’s President Michelle Ebanks and Gabrielle Union


Marsha Ambrosius 

upfront2 Fashion Editor Celia Smith, June Ambrose and Essence Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor

Photos Credit: Michael Rowe | Essence Diego Corredor | Picture Group

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.