Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jamelia for Tony&Guy Model.Me

One good thing about being with the in-laws over the holidays in Central Massachusetts is that there is not much to except read magazines and eat cookies*. While perusing British ELLE, I came across this ad for Toni&Guy's Model.Me line of hair care products represented by top models Erin O'Conner, Helena Christensen and pop singer Jamelia. Each woman has a range of products catering to specific hair needs.

I don't know much about Jamelia aside from the fact that some people call her the British Beyonce and that her song "Superstar" was my jam for about two weeks several years ago. I have nothing against the woman but two things stick out here.

First, why isn't a actual model in Jamelia's place? And second, why are the only Black women we see in "mainstream" haircare ads usually sporting industrial weaves? Now, I know that a good weave requires a lot of care but seriously, what is up with this? It's like the companies are saying, "See! We haven't left you poor black women out of our campaign! You too can have healthy manageable hair, provided that you are wearing someone else's." It just seems silly to me.

I'm also bugged that everyone in the media seems to think that singers and rappers are always the go-to girls for ad campaigns and films when there are plenty of actual black models and actresses waiting in the wings. I admire any woman who can make a career in either of these industries without succumbing to bitterness or the allure of too much fried food.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to wish everyone a pleasant and peaceful holiday. Right now I am in the middle of nowhere in Massachusetts with next to no Internet access so I won't be updating until the New Year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

15 Years of M.A.C Viva Glam Spokesmodels

From left: RuPaul, Debbie Harry, Lisa Marie Presley, Shirley Manson, Pamela Anderson, Susan Rodriguez, Missy Elliot, Eve, Dita Von Teese, and Christina Aguilera.

I realize the maybe Mary J. Blige was too busy promoting her new CD to make the shoot but where is Lil' Kim? I know she wasn't busy.

1969 - Black Models Grace Fashion Magazine Covers for the 1st Time

(L to R)

Jane Hoffman - Cosmo - June, 1969
Daphne Maxwell - Glamour - October, 1969*
Elizabeth of Toro - Harper's Bazaar - November, 1969
Jolie Jones - Madamoiselle - March, 1969

It's funny how much things change and how much they stay the same. I wonder what kind of future I would have imagined had I been coming of age in the late 1960s.

* Katiti Kironde was technically the first black wman to appear on the cover in August, 1968 but she was a college student and not a model.

Harper's Bazaar - Donyale Luna

Harper's Bazaar was the first US fashion magazine to feature the image of a Black woman on its cover in January 1965. The woman Donyale Luna, who was described as having "the tall strength and pride movement of a Masai warrior."

When she came onto the scene in the mid 1960's she was Fashion writer Bill Cunningham wrote:

The white model dominated fashion world is confronted by the first ethereal African queen image. Her body moves like a panther, her arms, the wings of an exotic bird, the long neck suggests a black trumpet swan...It is the birth of a new fashion era.

Although filled with the usual "exotic other" stereotypes, at the time this was mighty high praise for the model to receive in mainstream press. She would go onto to become the first model of African descent to appear on the cover of British Vogue.

It's unfortunate that the "new era" that Luna ushered forth didn't produce a long lasting career for the model herself as she was unable to escape her own personal demons.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Glamour Magazine Chats w/ Bethann Hardison

In the 1960s, Bethann Hardison was the first black girl working the showroom in the garment district.

A chance encounter with designer Willie Smith launched her modeling career and a few short years later she became one of the pioneering Black models walking the runways of New York and Paris.

Her career in fashion didn't end when she stepped off the runway. Hardison founded Bethann Management in 1984 and was a charter member of The Black Girls Coalition, an organization determined to change the status quo in the fashion industry. In the article below, she talks briefly with Glamour Magazine about modeling agency biases.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Alek Wek for MAC Cosmetics STYLISTICS line

The cultivated new cool of 21st century hepcats. When it comes to style, design and hip, they're in the know...Culture's rarest and richest pearls. Smooth. Diamond-sharp. Supercool. There's glamour in the je ne sais quoi. Limited edition.

Hell gorgeous. I'm going to have to check out this holiday collection next time I go downtown. As flawless as she looks in this photo, I kind of wish it wasn't in black and white so that I could see the colors they used on her face. In addition to the usual shadows, brushes, lipcolor and powders, the collection also includes a perfume in a beautifully designed glass vial. Prices range from $20 (lipglass) to $75 (beaded clutch.) Ca-ching!

Monday, November 26, 2007

KLS vs Macy's

NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Macy's is suing Big Phat founder Kimora Lee Simmons for allegedly overcharging the department store for her line of beauty products.

Simmons declined to comment on accusations she spiked the price of her products and then refused to reimburse Macy's for the extra cost, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Simmons signed an agreement in September 2006 to provide Macy's with her beauty line, said the lawsuit filed last week in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Clearly Kimora was acting under the principals of Laws #1 and #8 from the "Work & Power" section of her lifestyle book Fabulosity:

Law #4: "Throw Away the Manual (or in this case the contract) and Find Your Own Way into Business"

Law #8: "Don't Let Other People Cash in on Your Game"

Bored wealthy housewives, unskilled children of famous people and mediocre pop stars create overpriced product lines all the time, why shouldn't Kimora get in on that action? After all times are tough right now and the tens of millions she probably got in her divorce settlement is not going to last forever people! I mean Macy's carries Coach bags and if that isn't some overpriced ish right there then I don't know what is. If Kimora wants Baby Phat to be an aspiration line then why shouldn't she aspire for more profits?

Now that The Man wants his money back Kimora should probably focus on this selection (taken from Law #6 section) to get out of this mess:

Law #6: "Activate your incredible female power to deal with adversity"

And if that doesn't work, maybe she could throw a couple dozen cases of Golden Goddess their way and call it even.

Blast from the Past: Beverly Johnson, Louise Vyent & Iman (1989) for Revlon

Source: Soulstyle/Omifan

What About Bob?

I swore off the hair relaxers when I graduated from college almost 15 years ago and never looked back but I am seriously loving the bob cut. Although I can't really see myself diving head first back into a vat o' creamy crack but I might have to invest in a good wig so I can rock this look when the mood hits me.

2007 Make Fetch Happen "Best Dressed" List

I love year end roundups of just about everything so I thought I make one here to celebrate the Best Dressed Women of 2007. The highly scientific method I used for tabulating the list is proprietary but I must say the competition was tough this year with so many beautiful ladies working it on the red carpet. Pics and categories to follow:

Best Dressed List

Overall - Thandie Newton - The British lovely rarely missteps on the red carpet
Designer - Rachel Roy - Her clothing line might still be in the red but Roy always looks flawless
CEO - Mellody Hobson of Ariel Capital Management
Glamazon - Kimora Lee Simmons- No other woman does over-the-top fabulosity like KLS
On the Campaign Trail - Michelle Obama - Smart and stylish
Best Dress While Doing Community Service - Naomi Campbell - Love her
Best Dressed Pregnant Woman - Halle Berry - It's like she doesn't know what sweatpants are
Best Dress Post-Baby - Katie Holmes - She may be married to a lunatic but her look is always classic
Best Dressed Celebrity Wife - Keisha Whitaker- Brings new meaning to the term "Better Half"
Best Dressed TV Actress - Rashida Jones - Glamorous girl next door
IT Girl - (tie) Kerry Washington and Paula Patton
Singer - Kelis - Might just be the coolest woman in the world
Biggest Improvement - Serena Williams - All of our prayers answered at last
Socialite - Genevieve Jones - Knows how to make an entrance
Brick House - Jill Scott - Always dresses to flatter her great figure
Casual Chic - Joy Bryant - Proves that one doesn't always need to be glam to make an impact
20something - Jurnee Smollett - All grown up and lovely as ever
30something - Jada Pinkett Smith
40something - Vanessa L Williams

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Andre J. aka "Gaymonn"

"Most people are conditioned to think of a black man looking a certain way. They only think of the ethnic man in XXX jeans and Timberlands, and here Andre J. comes along with a pair of hot shorts and a caftan or maybe flip-flops or cowboy boots or a high, high heel.”

The New York Times shed some light recently on just how the mysterious Andre J. wound up on the cover of French Vogue alongside Carolyn Murphy. Apparently, a routine sandwich run lead to an impromtu meeting with celebrated stylist Joe McKenna who was so taken with Andre's "amazing" ensemble (a green caftan and golden gladiator sandals topped with a Nina Simonesque white turban) that Mr. McKenna told famed photographer Bruce Webber that he simply must shoot the diva. Webber agreed resulting in November 2007 cover which turned quite a few heads.

It's safe to say that readers of French Vogue aren't accustom to seeing non-white models on the cover of their fashion tome so the inclusion of a lanky black man in ankle boots and a cocktail ring probably caused many a frenzied clutching of pearls.

I was torn in my own personal reaction. One the one hand, I was a little peeved. It is a well documented fact that the fashion industry is extremely biased against models of color, preferring to feature the same white faces month after month over choosing models as diverse as the collections they celebrate every season. My gut told me that featuring Andre J. with Carolyn amounted to presenting him as a mascot or accessory to the blond supermodel. Nothing completes a look like a gay black BFF, right? Not only will he pull your outfit together but the fashion mammy won't challenge your reign as the top rung on the beauty standard ladder.

Now the angel on my right shoulder had a different take. You see, I have a confession to make. I not-so-secretly love Andre. Up until the NYT article, I didn't know much about him but over the past few year I've seen dozen of photos of him dressed to kill and enjoying the NY party scene.

With that megawatt smile, full beard and those dimples, I just can't hate on him. He makes me happy because I know that it is not always easy being a black person and being gay in our community adds to that stress. The fact that he's out there doing his own thing looking the way he does just impresses me. According to the article he doesn't consider himself a cross-dresser, he's just being himself and I respect that. He's like the gay blaxploitation version of Genevieve Jones and I can dig it.

After all Andre didn't land on French Vogue magazine, it landed on him...and he worked it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oprah's Favorite Things 2007

Yes, it is that time of year again. The time where everyone in the blogosphere bitches about how consumerist Oprah's "Favorite Things" show is while secretly wishing that s/he was one of the lucky audience members who get to go home with all that loot.

The list is up on and I must say that there really isn't much there to covet in my opionion. Sure, I'd take the stuff if it was free but I wouldn't be happy about paying taxes on some of those gift bag items. For example:

Rachel Pally Swing Turtleneck and Sailor Pants. Retail value $335 ( tax $29.48*)

My G-d this is hideous. The woman who wears these two pieces together has clearly given up on life. This is the kind of outfit that my drunk auntie would buy at two in the morning from QVC.

Ugg Tall Crochet Boots. Retail value $120 (tax $10.56)

Didn't the people at Uggs make enough money on those awful sheepskin boots? What the hell is this and why would anyone pay over a hundred dollars for something that anyone's granny could make in one sitting?

LG HDTV Refrigerator. Retail value $3,799 (tax $334.13)

Okay. It is cool but remind me, why do I need a TV set on my fridge?

Josh Groban CD. Retail value $16 (tax $1.41)

I'm not a fan but I suppose it could be worse, Oprah could have stuck a copy of The Secret in the gift bag instead. My mother-in-law would probably be thrilled to get this disk.

*Figure based on Seattle retail sales tax

Monday, November 19, 2007

There's Nothing Like a Dame

This info was first posted @ Gawker and is a few weeks old but I thought it was kind of interesting.

Black Models In Advertisements, October 2007:
Marie Claire: 10, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Walgreens (3), Olay (1), Johnson's Soft Lotion (1), Diesel (1), CoverGirl (1), Puma (2), JCPenney (1).
W: 3, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Target (1), L'Oreal (1), Turks & Caicos tourism board (1).
Vogue: 6, 4 of whom are celebrities: Revlon (1), American Express (1), Diesel (1), JCPenney (1), Vaseline (1), Avon (1).
Harper's Bazaar: 2, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Make-A-Wish Foundation (1), CoverGirl (1).
Glamour: 3, none of whom are celebrities : Aquafresh White Trays (1), Liz Clairborne (1), Lee Jeans (1).
Cosmopolitan: 0.
Allure: 8, 4 of whom are celebrities: Diesel (1), Revlon (1), Sephora (1), L'Oreal (1), Revlon (1), Aquafresh White Trays (1), CoverGirl (1), Olay (1),
Lucky: 9, 4 of whom are celebrities: CoverGirl (1), Target (1), American Express (1), MAC Cosmetics (1), Dillard's (1), Puma (2), Sephora (1), Avon (1)
Elle: 13, 3 of whom are celebrities: Target (1), MAC Cosmetics (1), Diesel (1), Puma (2), Benetton (1), Avon Foundation (1), House of Dereon (4), Secret (1), Botox* (1).

Black Models In Fashion Editorial, October 2007:
Marie Claire: 1, starring solo in a 6-page fashion editorial
W: 1, appearing on 1 page of a 20-page fashion editorial
Vogue: 0
Harper's Bazaar: 0
Glamour: 0
Cosmopolitan: 0
Allure: 0
Lucky: 0
Elle: 0

Models Of Color In Advertisements, November 2007:
Lucky: 15, 3 of whom are celebrities: L'Oréal (1) American Express (1), Olay (1), Dillard's (1) Lucky Jeans (3, including an Asian baby and a black kid), Macy's (1), Liz Claiborne (1), Lord & Taylor (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Lucky subscription ad (1), (3).
Elle: 12, 2 of whom are celebrities, 1 of whom is Asian: Liz Claiborne (1), CoverGirl (1), Emporio Armani (1), Puma (1), Lucky Jeans (3), (2), Johnson's (1), Secret (1), Natrelle (1).
Allure: 3, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Revlon (1), Olay (1), Johnson's.
Harper's Bazaar: 7, 2 of whom are celebrities, 2 of whom are Asian: Diesel (1), Gucci (1), Dior (2), CoverGirl (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Gottex (1).
Glamour: 10, 2 of whom are celebrities, 1 of whom is Asian: Ann Taylor (1), Redken (1), Dillard's (1), Olay (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Revlon (1), Liz Claiborne (1), Aquafresh (1), Alli (1), Lee Jeans (1).
Marie Claire: 9, one of whom is a celebrity: CoverGirl (1), Liz Clairborne (1), Lucky Jeans (3), Aquafresh (1), Grand Marnier (1), Levi's (1), Johnson's (1).
Vogue: 14, 5 of whom are celebrities, 2 of whom are Asian: Tommy Hilfiger (1), Movado (1), Dillard's (1), Jaguar (1), Redken (1), Liz Claiborne (1), Grey Goose (2), Revlon (1), Lexus (1), Citi (1), Avon (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Natrelle (1), L'Oréal (1).

Models Of Color In Fashion Editorial, November 2007:
Lucky: 0 (But an Asian "real woman" and 2 black "real women" are used as models.)
Elle: 1 (One black model in an 18 page fashion feature.)
Allure: 1 (Jennifer Lopez is the cover story and feature shoot.)
Harper's Bazaar: 4 (Chanel Iman posed with children dressed as designers; Asian model in accessories shoot; 1 of 10 models in Ralph Lauren story is black; Naomi Campbell has an 8 page solo fashion editorial. As this is the issue celebrating the history of Bazaar, there are several small shots sprinkled throughout mag of Naomi, Diana Ross, Oprah, Maggie Cheung and Rachel Roy which we noted but did not count.)
Glamour: 2 (Mariah Carey, cover model and feature shoot; 1 Sudanese model in "New sweaters, New faces." {There are also 2 black "real people" models, one of whom is plus-sized.})
Marie Claire: 1, Puerto Rican model Kat Fonseca.
Vogue: 0. (In the 20 page CFDA designers story, one small backstage snapshot features a black model. In the Index section, Chanel Iman says she likes Tory Burch flats, but we do not consider either of these to be proof of employing black models for a fashion editorial.)

I am surprised and encouraged that the story is still getting coverage long after the last model from NY Fashion Week walked off the runway. I also find it encouraging that more bold faced names are lending their opinions to the controversy. Even Dame Vivienne Westwood, the grande-dame of British fashion spoke out, describing the industry as racists and calling for quotas in fashion magazine editorials to change the culture of racial discrimination against Black and Asian models. She also added that she planned to use Ajuma Nasenyana in an upcoming campaign, not because she's Black, but because she's beautiful.

Now before anyone chimes in with "now that's progressive!" just think about it, why is it progressive to use a model of color in 2007? Shouldn't that be commonplace by now?

I just don't buy the time honored excuse linking low sales to dark faces on magazine covers. It's untrue and has remained unchallenged for years. Besides, it certainly isn't true for men's magazines. Men's Vogue has featured at least four non-white men on it's cover since it debuted in September and the lowest selling issue featured Tony Blair on the cover.

Why then, is it assumed that white women are so inherently racist that they would pass on buying their favorite fashion magazine because a non-white woman is on it? And if that is true, then why is that kind of ignorance treated with kid gloves?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Black Panthers?

Photographers : René Habermacher & Ioannis Tspoulanis


What would happen if all the Black models got together and decided to never again appear in ads wearing animal prints?

These women are all drop dead gorgeous and I'm not going to lie, the images are striking but haven't we all seen this before a hundred times?

Surely this scenario isn't the only thing that stylist Franck Benhamou could come up with. I've seen his work before, I know that he is very creative.

The final eyeroll came when I read that the of the series is Pantheres Noires.

Source: Livejournal/blackstatuesque

Friday, November 9, 2007

Naomi for Michel Klein

I spotted this ad over at The Fashion Spot. It was shot by Sonia Sieff and might be the most arresting image of Naomi that I've seen in a very long time. "Tic Tac" is name of the black steel watch designed by Klein for Seiko and for now is available at Colette for just under 600 Euros/$858 USD. It reminds me of the black ceramic Chanel watch that I've been lusting over for about a year. At any rate, Naomi sure makes that watch look good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NYC by Perlina @ Target

Target shows no signs of stopping its quest to bring designer goods to the people. Although the resulting collections aren't always stellar (*cough*Hollywould*cough*) I must admit that I am always curious to see what will be hitting the stores.

Perlina is a brand that I always associate with stores like Nordstrom Rack. It seems like there is an unlimited supply of Perlina wallets and handbags at discount retailers. I mean, they make nice quality leather goods but it's not exactly a name that I've seen people shelling out big buck for.

Anyway, Perlina is the latest brand to take on Target's designer challenge and have unveiled a line called NYC that is only available online. I'm not a fan of PVC but some of these are cute enough to warrant closer inspection. Prices range from about $25 to $60.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Keisha Whitaker

From The Oprah Show - Keisha Whitaker's Favorite Things

Slim Jims
Schwepp's Ginger Ale
Hanes T-Shirts (5 pack)
Neiman Marcus Shoe Sales
Le Creuset Cookware (@ Marshall's)
B. Ella Cashmere Socks (@ Marshall's)
Shabby Chic Bedding (@ Target)
Dominique Cohen Jewelry (@ Target)
Altoids Tangerine Sours
Pond's Exfoliating Cucumber Clean Sweep Towels
Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System
Nyakio Products
Banana Republic Trench Coat
Kissable Couture Lip Gloss in "Forest"
Keri Moisturizing Lotion
Garrett's Popcorn
Ritz Crackers
Victoria's Secret Shapers
Victoria's Secret "Secret Embrace" bra

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kai Milla

Kai Milla and her husband, superstar Stevie Wonder, were featured on The Oprah Show yesterday along with Heidi Klum and Seal. The topic was "supercouples" and how they make it work. Heidi and Seal were, of course, adorable together but it was nice to see Kai and Stevie on the show too. I don't really know much about her aside from the fact that she may have surpassed Tracey Reese and Rachel Roy as my favorite designer. Her stuff is so elegant and wearable. She's one of those rare designers that can put on a show and make me covet every item in the collection. Some of these, including the beautiful parsley green chiffon dress were feature on the show. I wonder if any of this is available at my neighborhood Nordstrom. Not that I can afford to buy anything else right now but a girl can dream, can't she?

Sources: Elle and