A Socialite is Born in Brooklyn

It all started with a simple photograph project.  For several years I had been promising my lovely Grandmother that I would organize the hundreds and hundreds and thousands of photos that she’d collected over the past 8 decades.  The albums that housed the pictures were ratty and old; the pix were spilling out and many of them were just thrown in without a real purpose. There was no method to the madness!

So finally during my vacation this past Christmas (my Grandmother lives in Mississippi, my fav place on the planet.) I got busy.  I had NO idea what I was getting myself into.  My Grandmother had way more pictures than I could have imagined!  Photos were, in the immortal words of R. Kelly, “coming out of the Woolworth!”  She had boxes of them! I was working 12-hour days into the wee hours of the morning to complete the task.  It seemed like I would never finish. But after four long days and over 60 hours, I finally crossed the finish line!  The result was eight full photo albums of glorious history. (There is still a box left, but I will get to those…one day).

My Grandmother the Foxy Socialite

As I started looking through the books to admire my handy work, I had an “aha” moment.  I realized that my Grandmother and her Sex and the City clique were super hot; they were real socialites. When they stepped out on the town (which was all the time) they always looked like a page straight outta Vogue.   “Goodness,” I thought to myself, “my generation in comparison…we are bums and boring.  No class!”

I called my dear BFF Alicia to share this epiphany.   She co-signed my sentiments, “We are bums! “ We decided that we would do something about it.  We would play dress-up and hit the streets as much as possible.  The only catch is Alicia is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and I’m in New York.  So we agreed to take pictures of our individual experiences and share them.

But as I kept thinking about it, I decided that I wanted to take it a step further.   Once I returned to New York City, things would be different.  I was going to start living the life of a “socialite.”  I would transform into a fashionista and attend every gala, film premiere, fashion show, launch party, book signing, charity function and art opening that I could sashay into, and document the experience! But I didn’t want to set out on this fabulous mission alone. So I reached out to my single NYC friends, Nadia Vassell, a Celebrity Hairstylist who boasts Chrisette Michele and One Life to Live starlet Tika Sumpter as clients; Michelle Stoddart, Director of Tourism for Queens, NY and Stacey Holman, award-winning Director and Producer (Freedom Riders, Dressed Like Kings).  They were all on board.

Lady in Red

This project began to take on a whole new life (that usually happens with me).  How in the world could we be fabulous and take our own photos? Socialites don’t do that.  So I put an ad on Craigslist seeking up and coming photographers who were willing to accompany us to these events and snap away.  I received some great responses and the photographers were set.

But then Nadia says, “What about a stylist and designers?  If we’re going to have our pictures taken we MUST look good!”  Ah, she was right.  So I turned to Craigslist once again for aspiring stylists and emerging designers. Again, I received some good responses. I LOVE CL!

My Aunt Ann & Grandma

The entire team has been cemented, so I’m ready to roll! This blog will focus on my year of living the life of a socialite; who I’m wearing, where I’m going and the many wonderful people I encounter along the way.  Never wanting anything to be just about me, I will showcase emerging artists of fashion, art, photography, film and music.  It is my sincere desire for my sojourn to lead to an opened door for many.

I invite you to take this journey with me; click on the “Sign me up!” button in the upper right hand side.  If you have some extraordinary events that you think I should attend, drop me a line. Together, we can paint the town and be radically fabulous!

Aunt Ann, Uncle Timmy & Grandmother Take Manhattan

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “A Socialite is Born in Brooklyn

  1. What an awesome idea! As you transform into this socialite fashionista, I’ll be able to learn some tips of the trade. I cannot wait for more posts from your blog. I love the pictures of your grandmother. Phi Beta Sigma ball? I caught that in the background of the first pix.

    This is going to be an amazing ride!!!

  2. Keita

    LOVING IT!

    Your grandmother is/was a fabulous woman after my own heart 🙂 The photos of her and her entourage speak volumes. Her legs were amazing! Wow!

    I’m looking forward to more fabulousness…New Year, New You! ‘Adorb!’ 🙂

  3. Deka

    those photos are amazing! great way to be inspired!

  4. aus

    i don’t think they’re ready for you and the crew! your grams would be proud…now go show ’em what you got!! looking forward to reading about the adventures.

  5. Rachel

    Love it!!!! So excited to watch you blossom on this journey.

  6. LaVonda

    Fantastic! The photos are amazing and I so applaud you stepping out on a vision. Fun! Fun! Fun!

    LaVonda

  7. Marjorie

    Your grandma is Gorge! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us…

  8. You guys are cool. Thanks for the comments. My Grandmother will get a kick out of her newfound “celebrity.” lol!

  9. Pingback: The Debut « The Socialite Design

  10. Benja

    Tracee this is fab. When you do any events in Harlem and you need a photographer call me. I am trying my hand at it. You are making your grams/fam/friends/and other’s proud and you are just beginning. Take Wings my friend.

  11. What a wonderful idea. I try and get dressed up and hit a new restaurant or hotel bar at least once a month. We live in the most glamorous city in the world, why not rock it! Can’t wait to read more. Hopefully we can do something together. This fits perfectly with Noir A-Go Go. See you soon!

  12. Pingback: The Radically Fabulous My PeepStakes « The Socialite Design

  13. Ur cousin Janice (Irma P.)

    Well cousin u made me pull out the Webster. Didn’t know the word “ameliorate” existed. Now I have a new word for 2 day thanks 2 u.

    Please pardon me 4 using net spelling, just trying 2 stay up on things.

    Anyway, I’m so proud to call u my cousin. Folk round here so socially ignorant it’s a challenge to keep from screaming sometimes when I want to have a conversation relating to something other than the usual-babies, money (or lack thereof), and/or stupid, cheating or just plan lazy husbands, boyfriends, grown children, etc. It’s not their fault, and I do love my family dearly, but I’m just saying.

    So, I think the next time I find myself zoning out I’ll just close my eyes and think of you up there in the Big Apple being the “fabulous” u that u r, while making every desperate attempt to live vicariously through you. That is if I can successfully silence the deafening sound of boredom.
    Shine on sister, shine on!

    Fondly,
    Janice (Chicago)

  14. Ur cousin Janice (Irma P.)

    By the by, Mom loved the pics of her gorgeous aunt.
    Great job. Please post more.

    Janice

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