Nothing like rubbing elbows with H-Town's biggest celebs and nothing like being in the elite fraternity of subjects for the My Houston 2.0 image campaign — which CultureMap first broke the news of back on Dec. 19 — launched by the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Just ask the well-placed crowd that gathered at the Original OKRA Charity Saloon in celebration of the city's biggest-ever ad campaign. If rapper Bun B wasn't your cup of tea then surely Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin would ring your chimes. Or you could talk turkey with fashion designer Chloe Dao, aerosol artist GONZO247, chef Bryan Caswell and Houston Ballet's Nao Kusuzaki.
These and others in the party mix were subjects of the ad campaign photographed by Julie Soefer and styled by Maggi Poorman. The big cheese images will appear in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, running mid-February through May.
GHCVB president Greg Ortale toasted marketing VP Holly Clapham-Rosenow and her team for their success in bringing the campaign to fruition.
In a party mood, the local headliners that were photographed for the campaign sipped on Mike Criss' specialty cocktails and grazed through offerings from Underbelly, Paulie's, Oxheart and Pass and Provisions. Among the Houston stars were Valerie Cassel Oliver, Lucinda Loya, Bobby Heugel, Irma Galvan, Paul Petronella and Barbara Davis.
H-Town cheerleaders raising their glasses included Jonathon Glus, Laura Spanjian, Jim Nelson, Dr. Robert Robbins, Dean Gladden, Robert Sakowitz, Mark Sullivan, Jason Reeves and Kristy Bradshaw.