Inside, DJs spin classic funk, freestyle and West Coast hip-hop; out front, homegirls, donning large gold hoops, winged eyeliner and Nike Cortez sneakers take group shots in front of a lowrider — this is Scam & Jam, one of the illest throwback parties in Los Angeles.
Each month, its founders — owners of lifestyle brand Bella Doña Lala Romero and Natalia Durazo and head of weekly lowrider event Los Angeles Cruise Night James Solano — transport guests to the late 1990s and early 2000s.
At the time, the folk behind the event were just high school cats throwing parties in homes and warehouses.
While they create a cultural space for Latinx locals to reminisce about the good times, the creators also remember the hard moments, like not having the bread to go to prom.
Now, the founders are using the nostalgic turn-up to house a donation drive for prom dresses for low-income youth throughout the city.
#RightNowatAPCH: Volunteers are sorting and organizing all of the beautiful donations that have come in for our upcoming Cinderella & Prince Charming Project, taking place tomorrow and Saturday at APCH! We're so #thankful for our amazing volunteer groups from Corpus Christi School Pacific Palisades, Herbalife, South Pasadena High School's Prom Perfect, Marymount High School, Daniel's Jewelers, The Archer School for Girls and Bank of the West! #TeamworkMakestheDreamWork #CinderellaandPrinceCharmingProject
Scam & Jam has teamed up with A Place Called Home, a South Central nonprofit that provides young people with educational programs, counseling and mentorship, to collect gowns for the organization’s Cinderella & Prince Charming Project, which provides teens with formal attire for prom, senior photos and graduation.
“Scam & Jam is supported by our community, and many of us can relate and empathize to the struggles of prom expenses and are now in a position to donate and help,” Romero told Fierce. “Making an easy central drop-off location just helps streamline the donation process since folks are coming out anyways.”
The next party is March 17, and the team will be collecting new and dry-cleaned, gently used formal dresses, shoes, jewelry, evening bags and shawls, with a preference for plus-size items.
They will continue to gather donations until early April, in time to get the formalwear to A Place Called Home for their two-day Cinderella & Prince Charming Project event. There, more than a thousand young people will pick up their free gowns and suits as well as receive some socializing pointers.
“I personally attend the event and help style the girls,” said Romero, who, along with her business partner Durazo, has helped with the drive for several years. “Without this program, many students would not be able to attend prom, so we are in a blessed position with our platforms to rally support.”
If you’re in LA, drop off your clean, gently used prom, homecoming or graduation dress to Scam & Jam at the Regent Theater on March 17 and then enjoy your fave old-school tunes in an unapologetically Latina girl-power party.