Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, wearing a simple black hoodie with the Queen City crown logo on it, surprised social media on Wednesday with an unexpected modeling gig.
Lyles – always stylish with a pearl necklace and earrings, plus pants – struck a confident pose in a tweet from 704 Shop, billed as Charlotte’s original lifestyle and ostentatious brand.
“Swaaggggg,” 704 Shop tweeted, garnering over 140 likes.
The mayor was asked last week to promote the city’s partnership with 704 Shop, city spokesman Jeremy Mills told the Observer on Wednesday. More information on the partnership will be released on Thursday.
Lyles was not paid to model the store’s new merchandise, Mills said. 704 Shop is in the South End at 1616 Camden Road.
The tweet garnered enthusiastic praise from residents and perhaps more importantly, the mayor’s daughter.
“If you think it’s now my mom’s photo in my contacts, you’re 100% right,” Aisha Alexander-Young tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “If you think this is circulating in every group chat on my phone, you are also 100% right.”
One Twitter user wrote that she was “screaming !!” Another user said he needed “a remix of his airport recording with that sweatshirt”.
In a retweet, a Twitter user quoted Lyles as a joke: “I didn’t choose the life of a mayor, the life of a mayor chose me.
“DOPE,” said another Twitter user.
Not everyone felt so amused by the mayor’s photo, including Larry Shaheen, a local lawyer and Republican consultant. “What we learned from this image: 1. @CLTMayor is running for election”, Shaheen tweeted, prompting Lyles’s reluctance to run for re-election this winter. “2. She’s worried about a primary on her left.
Ryan Pitkin, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Queen City Nerve, posted a ‘how it started’ vs ‘how it goes’ meme, featuring some current and former city leaders dabbing .
The mayor and social networks
Perhaps it was a much-needed moment of levity for Charlotte, coming just a week after Lyles’ city-wide mask tenure went into effect in response to rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
But the mayor also rose to social media stardom earlier this year, as city council members argued over the controversial 2040 Global Plan, a land use document guiding growth and development in Charlotte.
A screenshot of Lyles – her hand pressed to her forehead, as she slumped down on a chair apparently exhausted – at a meeting in May went semi-viral, at least for Charlotte’s Twitter. Papers littered his desk, along with a few bottles of tea.
Lyles didn’t put on a hoodie at this council meeting, but she was wearing pearls.