Jay Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, honored at Dress for Success gala

Photo courtesy of Ilya Savenok/Dress for Success Worldwide
Gloria Carter, left (Photo courtesy of Ilya Savenok/Dress for Success Worldwide)

Hundreds of well-dressed patrons attended the “Give Confidence, Hope & Style” gala, the annual charity event put on by Dress for Success, including “CBS This Morning” co-anchor and editor at large for O, The Oprah Magazine Gayle King; and the CEO and co-founder of the Shawn Carter Foundation and mother of hip-hop artist Jay Z, Gloria Carter, who was an honoree

The event, which was held at the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt New York, began with a cocktail hour featuring an open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres and various priceless items from companies such as BET and HBO in a silent auction.


We spoke exclusively with “Orange Is the New Black” star Selenis Leyva about dressing for success. “If you don’t feel good about how you look then you can’t carry yourself with grace, with power, with assurance. What they’re doing for these women, for this community is absolutely necessary,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Ilya Savenok/Dress for Success Worldwide
Actress Selenis Leyva (Photo courtesy of Ilya Savenok/Dress for Success Worldwide)

We also spoke exclusively with Andi Dorfman, TV personality from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” about the impact dressing for success has on confidence. “When you see somebody who walks into our offices who doesn’t have a lot of money to buy clothes who’s nervous about a job interview and you put them into something amazing and they feel good and look good, the smile that they have when they walk out the door says it all,” she said.


Dinner featured a dual entrée of filet with blue cheese and walnut butter and fig glazed Atlantic salmon with scalloped potatoes, string beans, carrots and peppers. The lineup of speakers during dinner was even more appetizing.

Gayle King opened the program, and the CEO of Dress for Success Joi Gordon also spoke very passionately to the audience. The CEO of Talbots, Lizanne Kindler announced a $1 million gift to Dress for Success. Ten ladies who are Dress for Success Ambassadors took the stage during the evening, but there was one in particular, along with Gloria Carter, who left those in attendance emotional.

Christina Laygo is a Success Ambassador who has overcome molestation as a child, an abusive husband, and incarceration to demonstrate that everyone can have a fresh start. There were tears streaming in the audience as she discussed her abuse, but they became tears of joy when she talked about her success, including recently purchasing her first house.

Photo courtesy of Ilya Savenok/Dress for Success Worldwide
“Bachelorette” star Andi Dorfman (Photo courtesy of Ilya Savenok/Dress for Success Worldwide)

Gloria Carter, a single mother who raised four children while working for the city of New York, was also emotional as she spoke, aided by words from her famous son. “ ’Anything that you set your mind to, you can do,’ and because my love and respect for her was so tremendous, I really believed that,” Jay Z said in a video discussing the impact his mother has on his success. 

“Children need guidance, they need people to tell them which way to go,” Gloria Carter said, before telling a brief story about being on a bus with noisy high school students and intimidated riders. “I just caught the eyes of one young lady and said to her ‘if your mother could see you now,’ ” which quieted the young people.”

We all need to do our part to uplift our brothers and sisters, something that Gloria Carter, the Shawn Carter Foundation, and Dress for Success Worldwide are doing in abundance. For more on Dress for Success, visit them at https://www.dressforsuccess.org/.

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