Tag Archives: tracee loran

A Beautiful Sword

One hot New York summer night I was home minding my own Black bizness on the couch channel-surfing (Yes, I still have cable and a TV) and I came across what appeared to be the middle of a Big Brother episode. I would later learn that it was the 2nd …or maybe 3rd ep of the 24th season. Note: I had never watched the previous 23 seasons.

Boss Grandma & Tracee

My grandmother has been an avid viewer since she was 71 years old (check the math), and I always wondered why. It seemed silly. Then earlier this year I caught the celebrity version with Boss Grandma (that’s how they know her in these Innanet streets) for the first time. “It’s an interesting social experiment,” I thought, “but I ain’t really sold on committing to three or four months of it!”

In fact, I was committed to NOT committing…until I saw this perfectly melanated queen being bullied on national television. That stopped me dead.in.my.tracks!

I didn’t know her name yet. I just knew that everyone in the scene, led by the muscular brotha, was ganging up on her.

Bells | Credit: Dean Edwards

Maybe it was because she reminded me of my goddaughter ‑ whom I affectionally call “Bells” ‑ a tall, graceful, gorgeously chocolate girly girl (the chile loves her some pink and bling!).

Or maybe it was because I knew the history of the treatment of Black women in this country, particularly those of a darker hue.

Or maybe I just hate an unfair fight.

D – All of the above.

Whatever it was I wanted to protect this brown skin girl. I soon learned her name – Taylor – and I committed myself to watching Big Brother 24 so I could help guard my new TV Little Sister.

So, I stayed week after week praying that Taylor would survive being “put on the block.”  Let’s park it there for a hot sec and ruminate on that very loaded phrasing. A phrase that eerily harkens back to what my ancestors experienced — being put on the slave auction block and sold like chattel. Now think about Taylor’s plight. Ugliness, right? But I digress…but do I really?

I had to watch each episode because that was my own way of supporting and protecting Taylor who, like me, was raised as an only child by a single Black mama in an urban Midwest city. I, Chicago. She, Detroit.

I wanted to safeguard my Lil’ Sis at all costs.

THE Taylor Hale | Credit: Taylor’s IG

When Daniel (who is white-presenting) got in Taylor’s face on some straight STOOPID, made-up bulldoodoo — dude had obviously blacked out as he was spitting venom and blowing his hot fone-kay breath unnecessarily so in Taylor’s personal space — I wanted to call my people and pull up! I was gon’ summon up the power of Mike Tyson, Rocky, and Draymond Green, and homey was gon’ catch these hands. Fa real, fa real (for legal reasons I’m obligated to say Daniel was in no real danger).

I was furious. I couldn’t help but think what would have happened if melanated Terrance or Monte had face-checked non-melanated Alyssa or Brittany like Daniel did Taylor. Imagine the narrative. Imagine!

I was totally oblivious to #BigBrotherTwitter until after the season had ended, so I had no idea that there was a community of Taylor Stans out there protecting her, too. Like Taylor, I was completely in the dark (since breaking free from the house Taylor has repeatedly shared how lonely it felt). My sounding board — much to their annoyance — had to be my friends who were NOT BB watchers. My Girls patiently listened as I fumed and ranted on about what “they” were doing to my Lil’ Sis up in that toxic house.

I watched and prayed and watched and prayed some more as Taylor overcame each obstacle. Homegirl was dodging eviction votes like Turner dodged water (Inside joke; ain’t my fault you didn’t watch BB24). Soon instead of merely surviving, she seemed to be thriving. Taylor was all that and literally a bag of chips (again, not my fault that you didn’t watch the season).

When it came time to vote for America’s Favorite Player, I couldn’t get to my phone fast enough. If I could have voted for Taylor 800,000 times I would have (for the record I did NOT). 

On finale night, Boss Grandma and I were 1000% LOCKED IN. I was griped with fear and anticipation. I was so nervous that all the ugly bullying Taylor experienced and sur-thrived would have been for naught. I was scared the bad guys would win.

Taylor Hale | Credit: Taylor’s IG

But then Taylor rose from the seat formerly known as The Block in her gorgeous crystal-encrusted jumpsuit (I mean the girl is a real-life beauty queen) and delivered the most powerful speech I’d heard on any reality TV show and honestly one of the best “fight for your life” speeches ever. Fuh real, fuh real.

I leaped out of my chair. Boss Grandma yelped, “That was good.” We were beaming. And I knew in that exact moment that Taylor Mackenzie Dickens Hale was the winner of Big Brother 24. I knew she snatched the entire bag. I just knew it.

When the inevitable finally happened and Julie Chen Moonves officially declared Taylor the winner of BB24 and America’s Favorite Player, I called those friends who endured my rants and screamed, “SHE WON!” They knew who I was talking about. Toljah, I was committed.

Big Brother 24 Winner Taylor Hale | Credit: Taylor’s IG

A friend later told me that I had missed out on the “Cookout” season. I was sorry that I didn’t get a chance to witness that special Big Brother history. But honestly, watching for the first time this year was too poetic. It was meant for me to see the first Black woman win the original Big Brother during my first time watching the popular program.

“I am not a shield. I am a sword.”

Yes, Little Sis, you are!

Joseph Abdin & Taylor Hale

Post Script: There is a Prince Charming in this fairytale, Joseph Abdin, a beautiful spirit with a kind heart who just happens to be super gorge with a TIGHT body. He’s now my TV Little Cousin (on the other side of the family; come on now, I ain’t about that incestuous life!). My Lil Cuz (who beautifully defied the Arab man trope often egregiously depicted on American TV) was ride or die and did what he could to protect Taylor in the House. While Joseph & Taylor’s story is still being written, I’m happy they’ve found each other. #TeamJaylor

To be continued…


Filed under Radically Fabulous People, Radically Fabulous Stories

Open for Business

Ahh, it’s been a radically fabulous™ year!  Together, we’ve brushed elbows with incredibly cool people, landed a few amazing interviews, attended marvelous events, and just had a smashing time.

As 2011 comes to a close, The Socialite Design is moving into a new and very exciting arena – marketingcopyediting and event coverage/planning. Now admirers of Ms. Tracee Loran’s (that’s me) musings and clever wit (ahem) can have a little taste of it to carry home.  Check out all the spectacular services offered through The Socialite Design for Business, then give me a ring so we can make a little more magic together.  And don’t be selfish; share The Socialite Design for Business with those in your network.

There are more good times on the horizon. Thanks for journeying with me.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and a very prosperous New Year!


Filed under Radically Fabulous Ideas

The Radically Fabulous My PeepStakes

**The contest has ended.  Congrats to Jane Croger! Check out the latest giveaways where you can win a radically fabulous autographed art print or a radically fabulous workout DVD from a celebrity trainer!

Turquoise & Austrian Crystal Earrings

The Radically Fabulous My PeepStakes is sponsored by a remarkable trio of female entrepreneurs – Melody Burns of Kiini Ibura Jewelry, Karen Tappin of Karen’s Body Beautiful and Kym Rodgers of CakeJoy.  Because of these super classy chix one lucky person will win a pair of Kiini Ibura Smooth Turquoise & Austrian crystal earrings (specially designed for this contest); a $25 Karen’s Body Beautiful Gift Certificate*  & a $15  Cake Joy Gift Certificate*.  A prize package worth $125!

Entry is FREE. But in order to qualify you must be a SUBSCRIBER of The Socialite Design. Have no fear; if you’re not a subscriber yet there is still time for you to join the cool kids and enter to win! Contest runs from March 10, 2011 until March 20, 2011.   Subscribing is free and easy.  Just look in the upper right hand corner, type your email address in the designated slot & click “Sign me up!”  Then check your inbox (and spam) for the confirmation email. Once you confirm, you’re in and on your way to exciting adventures and possibly winning a prize package worth $125!

For a chance to win the $125 prize package, you must subscribe and correctly answer all of the following questions by March 20, 2011 (HINT: The answers can be found on The Socialite Design and sponsoring websites by clicking on the underlined key words in each question. It’s the easiest open book test ever!) Use the contact form at the end of this post to transmit the correct answers to me. Persons scoring a Perfect 12 will be entered into a drawing.  Only one person can win! Good luck!

The Radically Fabulous My PeepStakes Pop Quiz

  1. What specific project inspired me to create The Socialite Design?
  2. What was my debut event?
  3. What is my favorite DJ Spinna record?
  4. What is a betel nut beauty?
  5. At what age did MacDella Cooper flee her native Liberia?
  6. Which young  burgeoning star shares my taste in jewelry?
  7. Isaiah Washington recently became a citizen of what country?
  8. Which TWO (2) designers provided my gorgeous L’Africana Night wardrobe (gown & accessories)?
  9. Which celebrity appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show wearing Kiini Ibura Jewelry?
  10. What is the name of the promotion that Karen’s Body Beautiful runs every Friday.
  11. What time does CakeJoy close on Sundays?
  12. What is the date of the next Fort Greene Snap WordPress Websites Class?


*Gift certificates must be redeemed in the store.  If you are an out-of-towner, you’ll just have to take a trip to the East Coast or donate the certificates to a deserving New Yorker.  😉  Earrings will be shipped to the winner’s address; U.S. only.

1) In order to qualify to win you must become a subscriber of The Socialite Design by March 20,2011 at 11:59pm est.

2) Only one entry per person.

3) It’s my game and my rules, so I reserve the right to cancel the contest at any time or extend entry dates. Yep, just like on the playground.

4) If you gave birth to me or are married to the person who gave birth to me or gave birth to the person who gave birth to me, you aren’t eligible to win. Sorry Mom & Grandma, but in the off chance that you happen to win I don’t want any “No fair; that’s yo mama drama!”

5) Contest ends March 20, 2011 at 11:59pm est.

6) The drawing will be conducted by Fort Greene SNAP on or around Tuesday, March 22, 2011.  The winner will be announced on The Socialite Design soon after the name is drawn.  Since you must be a subscriber to claim the prize that means you’ll be notified via email immediately after I post the name of the lucky person!



Nestled in Fort Greene, Brooklyn Kiini Ibura Jewelry is the official sponsor of The Socialite Design.  It has become the go-to boutique for unique, handcrafted accessories.   Designer Melody Burns uses precious and semi-precious stones like Ghanian glass, fresh water pearls, African amber and Austrian crystal to create dazzling one-of-a-kind pieces that can complement a gorgeous Red Carpet gown or glam up a plain white tee.

Melody’s exquisite creations have been featured in several prominent publications like The New York Times, ELLE, and Essence magazines. And have been worn by numerous celebrities such as Ruby Dee, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Camille Cosby, Sanaa Lathan, Whoopi Goldberg and socialites like yours truly!  😉

Saunter down to the 3rd Avenue YWCA to catch Kiini Ibura Jewelry along with 20 radically fabulous designers at the The Diaspora Artmart on March 26 and April 16 from 12 – 7. There will be live entertainment and plenty of hot fashions!


Founded in 2004 by Karen Tappin, Karen’s Body Beautiful is a Brooklyn-based luxury beauty line and spa created to provide the purest, highest quality of all-natural products for the body. The brand boasts an extensive offering of natural, luxuriant, emollient-rich body products created for hair, body, face and bath time.

Comprised of all-natural ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, aloe butter, olive oil and apricot kernel oil, the Karen’s Body Beautiful line is offered in 13 amazing fragrances and provides the very best in all-over body care for women, men and children. Karen’s Body Beautiful promotes the belief that the maintenance and celebration of the body translates to the elevation of the spirit.


CakeJoy is an upscale dessert lounge in Fort Greene Brooklyn that offers a wide variety of exotic cakes and cupcakes using both imported and domestic fruit and liqueurs.

Specialty treats like Mojito Cupcakes, Champagne Cupcakes and Piña Colada Cupcakes and our famous Red Velvet Cheesecake have become fan favorites.  In addition to these blissful desserts, CakeJoy offers Carrot Cake Cheesecake, Brownie Cheesecake, “The Cookie” and bite-size brownies that melt in your mouth.


The Fort Greene SNAP’s mission is to provide low and moderate income residents, in and near Fort Greene, access to gainful employment, further education, and quality health care by offering programs in technology, entrepreneurship and life skills.




Filed under Uncategorized


Isaiah Washington and Tracee Loran

What’s better than a good cause, good food, good music, good fashion and good conversation?  Having it all on the same night! That’s exactly what I experienced Friday evening when I, along with Michelle Stoddart and Nadia Vassell, attended L’Africana™ Night New York Fashion Week Finale Party.  L’Africana™ Night, sponsored by Segal Family Foundation and Greylock Capital Partners, is the brainchild of MacDella Cooper, whom you met last week via my compelling two-part interview. The event was created to showcase African culture, artists, designers, cuisine and musicians while raising funds for the MacDella Cooper Foundation Academy, Liberia’s first free boarding school.

Patrick Brassard, my brilliant photographer for the evening, arrived ahead of me and was already holding court on the Red Carpet. If Patrick is not shooting covers for Vogue soon, something is seriously wrong!

L'Africana Night Creator MacDella Cooper & Tracee Loran

As soon as I stepped foot in the New York Society for Ethical Culture I saw MacDella; we hugged and chatted it up for a second.  I then spotted Isaiah Washington and made a beeline.  Through a friend, the prolific actor and activist had already agreed to an interview with me.  Isaiah was as debonair, cool and intelligent in person as he is on TV. Read more about this “Man From Another Land” here.

After snapping a few red carpet photos and making new friends, I headed upstairs to grab some African cuisine.  Apparently everyone beat me to the dining hall because all of the goodies were practically gone. I did manage to cop two pieces of this extra yummy banana bread from Taste of Africa; I’m still thinking about it.

Fela! Actress Saycon Sengbloh

Isaiah was our Master of Ceremonies for the evening, guiding us through award presentations for honorees Barry Segal, Basila Bokoko and Anna Schilawski as well as performances by many gifted artists like former C + C Music Factory chanteuse Zelma Davis, Fela! Star Saycon Sengbloh (if you haven’t seen Fela! run, run as fast as you can!), Rachel Fine and Liberian Pop singer 2C.

The highlight of the event was the L’Africana™ fashion show. Catwalk Vixens Millen Magese – the first Black female model signed to do a campaign for Ralph Lauren, Georgie Badiel, Danijela Lazarevic, Brianna Michelle, Former America’s Next Top Model contestant Aminat Ayinde, and Former “Face of Africa” Kate Aba Tachie-Menson were just a few of the models who strutted down the runway in stunning fashions by a collective of designers including Farai  SimoyiSelma Berisalic Starfinger, Taylor Forrest, and Korto Momolu, who previewed a snippet of her Fall 2011 Collection.

Tracee Loran & Designer Korto Momolu

You remember Korto?  She was the designer who was robbed of first place on season 5 of Project Runway.  Korto’s PR finale collection was hot and deserving of a victory; her new collection is even hotter! It contains a mix of dramatic, sweeping pieces that will surely command attention for any woman wearing them. I wanted everything! I caught up with the talented Liberian couturier after the show for a little girl talk.

What was your inspiration for this line?

One of the places that we had when I was home – we would go on weekend trips with my family – is this beach. But to get there you’d have to go through all of this bush, had to go and cut down the trees and everything. I was inspired by telling that story. You know, going through all of that darkness then you get to the sand and the water. You have to go through some stuff sometimes to get to paradise. And that’s pretty much my life story; I’m still going through it, but I know its [paradise] there because I’ve seen it.

Kate Aba Tachie-Menson Wearing Korto Momolu

What is your creative process from inception to finished product?

I like buying the fabrics first and sitting there and looking at everything and then start thinking, “How can I tell my story?  When you see the full collection, I’m actually going to show one in Nigeria at the Arise [Magazine] Show, I want you to see that story so when I explain it later you can say “Oh yeah I get it.”  Or you might just see it without it. But how can I show this turmoil, this darkness using the color palettes and use of the shapes to create texture?

How important is it for you to participate in an event like L’Africana™ Night?

It’s almost like you have to. I met MacDella years ago before the school was even [built],

Millen Magese Wearing Korto Momolu

so to be a part of it…And one day when I go and show my daughter and say, “This is what you do…you give back what you can.  It doesn’t mean you have to have thousands of dollars, you can give back your talent, you can give back your time.” And that’s why I’m doing it. It’s definitely important.

What’s your big vision?

To have a legacy.  I don’t want to just always be about clothes. I lend my voice to a lot of charities and they’re all Liberian-based because charity starts at home.  That’s where I’m from. And I see so many people there who would trade places with me in a minute even though I may think that my life is not where I want it to be, but so many people would trade for that. So giving back to them and helping them get the main thing, which is education, helps for me.  But just having one day where I can look back at my legacy and say, “You know what I did fashion but also through my fashion I did that and that and that and helped other people to hopefully pursue their dreams.”

What is the one thing you can’t leave the house without?

My PR hair.  (Laughs) Even if you don’t have make-up, the hair will cover it.


Don’t mess with a Black woman’s hair! 😉 Korto Momolu might not have gotten her just desserts on Project Runway, but she’s surely getting the recognition that she deserves now.

The Godfather of African Fashion

After our conversation, Nadia and I headed to the after party at Nikki Beach.  There I had a chance to meet and converse with a fashion icon, Alphadi, who is known as the “Godfather of African Fashion.”  He’s such a sweet man and his designs are regal!

Tracee Loran: Wardrobe Provided by Raif Atelier (Gown) and Kiini Ibura (Jewels)

Speaking of regal, I felt like an absolute African Queen the entire evening.  Makeup Artist Extraordinaire Sherry Singleton did it again! She had my face glowing radiantly and she even convinced me to step outside of my cosmetic comfort zone. Now that’s real skill cuz I likez what I like. My beautiful floor-length Tie-Dye Mesh Gown was provided by African designer Raif Atelier of Brooklyn; Haby is a sweetheart for tailoring the dress to fit me perfectly!  Melody Burns of Kiini Ibura Jewelry had me sparkling with blue pearl earrings and a dazzling necklace made of Ghanian glass, blue quartz, fresh water pearls and Austrian crystal. Miss Melody also supplied a reversible silk and velvet wrist purse; she is a master craftswoman! To finish my look, I wore a pair of “Blue Suede Shoes.” Elvis would be proud. A Queen needs a chariot, so hugs to Dalton Burke of Queens Care Auto Repair for keeping my vintage Beemer running smoothly allowing me to make it to my events!

Necklace by Melody Burns of Kiini Ibura Jewelry

The evening was all that I expected it to be – meaningful, glitzy and fun! The MacDella Cooper Foundation is a wonderful organization. And the future of Liberia looks a lot brighter because of it. Even though you might have missed L’Africana™ Night, its not too late to help educate the MCF Academy children or any child in need!

If you want to support any of the artists, companies or organizations featured on The Socialite Design, just drop by their websites and tell ’em Tracee Loran sent you!

♥♥ Special thanks to my Gurl Jodi Smith for being a staunch advocate for youth and quality education. Despite the fact that she’s in my Sweet Home Chicago she still supported the MCF cause by sponsoring a ticket purchase so someone else could enjoy the event. Kudos, Jodi!

Until next time…stay radically fabulous!

Georgie Badiel Wearing Korto Momolu

Leila Rahji Wearing Korto Momolu

Aminat Ayinde Wearing Tedd Ion

Bianca Warren Wearing Frank Osodi

Georgie Badiel Wearing Sunhee Hwang

Danijela Lazarevic Wearing Taylor Forrest

Brianna Michelle Wearing L'Africana Collection-African Queen by MacDella Cooper; Styled by Sergio Alain Barrios, Georgie Badiel & Millen Magese

Kaya Wilkins Wearing L'Africana Collection-African Queen by MacDella Cooper: Styled by Sergio Alain Barrios, Georgie Bandiel & Millen Magese

Kate Aba Tachie-Menson Wearing L'Africana Collection-African Queen by MacDella Cooper; Styled by Sergio Alain Barrios, Georgie Badiel & Millen Magese

Pop Diva Zelma Davis

Philanthropist & MCF Honoree Barry Segal

Isaiah Presents Plaque to Honoree Bisilia Bokoko

Greylock Capital CFO Alsion Roach

L-R: Michelle Stoddart, Nadia Vassell, Tracee Loran

Nadia Vassell & Tracee Loran at Nikki Beach

Tracee Loran & Miss Sierra Leone Marie Mansaray

Tracee Loran & Fela! Dancer Lauren DeVeaux

Tracee Loran & MCF Chief Marketing Officer Thomas Tafuto

Tracee Loran & Model Brianna Michelle

Celebrity Hairstylist Nadia Vassell at Nikki Beach


Filed under Fashion, Radically Fabulous Stories


I’m going to let you in on a little secret; New York City is bubbling with talent. I’m talking about pure, raw, unrefined, bona fide TALENT!  What are you going on about, Tracee? Well, my latest “discovery” is architectural and landscape photographer Magda Biernat and believe me she’s more than worthy of the conversation.

Tracee Loran & Magda Biernat

Originally from Poland, Biernat now calls New York City home. Lucky us. With her she brings a cornucopia of prestigious awards like the TMC/Kodak Grant, a Lucie Award, a Magenta Foundation Flash Forward/Emerging Photographers, and Photographic Center Northwest Photo-Op.

Biernat’s work has been praised by The New York Times and has nestled between the pages of Metropolis Magazine, Afar Magazine, and ELLE Décor. And, she’s been the subject of many solo shows in New York City, Seattle, Belgium and Poland.

Thursday night, I trotted over to my new hot spot, the Clic Gallery, to check out Magda’s latest work of art, Betel Nut Beauties.  In Taiwan betel nut beauties are young scantily clad women who sell betel nuts (or paan) and cigarettes along the roadside from brightly lit encased huts.  As you can imagine, the Beauties cater to a mostly male clientele with transient occupations.

A Betel Nut Beauty

Picturing these women being imprisoned behind glass and put on display immediately conjured up thoughts of loneliness and drear. In my mind’s eye, I saw smoky gray hues and splotches of black.  But Magda shoots with a different eye.  She managed to find beauty in the Beauties.  The result is bold, lively photographs that somehow dance and capture the humanness.  The colors are really striking – green grass sprouting in front of one betel hut or the pretty pink tint used to paint another (my favorite).  Vibrant, rich colors that really draw you in.

Adrian Adaramoye & Tracee Loran

Perhaps one would argue that by making the photographs so pretty, Biernat is attempting to hide the seedy ugliness of the profession.  To those people I would say, life is heavy and often burdensome. And every human deserves to be seen through rose-colored glasses even if for just a fleeting moment (chalk it up to my romantic idealism).

Although those women are in reality still scantily clad and still hawking cigarettes and paan and still very lonely, with her lens Magda Biernat gave them a different story. One that’s pretty in pink…and rose.

Don’t take my word for it; stop by the Clic Gallery to see the Betel Nut Beauties for yourself!  The exhibition runs through March 6, 2011.

Thanks to Nicholas Small of N-Scene Photography for using his great skills to help capture this wonderful event!

PR Director, Angharad Coates & Tracee Loran

Tracee Loran & Thane Wright

Christian Ducharme & Tracee Loran

Wearing Cotton Biker Jacket, Skinnys w/Black Ankle ANA Boots, Red Zara Clutch


Filed under Fashion, Radically Fabulous Stories


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Getting Back to Me


Norwood Young

My second night out on the town took me to the UWS for a book launch party at R&B legends Ashford & Simpson’s hotspot, Sugar Bar.  The memoir, ‘Getting Back to Me’, chronicles the escapades of Norwood Young, infamous Hollywood socialite and former lead singer of the jazz group, Pieces of a Dream. I knew the night was gonna to be delish when I spotted Sir Norwood gliding down 72nd Street in a white floor length fur coat.  Divo! But I’m not mad because if you can’t make a grand entrance you might as well not make one at all. Play on, Playa (just don’t let PETA know where you live cuz they will stab a homeless man to save a rat!)

In his salacious book, Young addresses his past addictions to

Norwood Young & Tracee Loran

drugs and plastic surgery; the sexual abuse inflicted by his cousin; his time spent in jail; his association with Wendy Williams, and the demise of his friendship with Karinne “Superhead” Steffans.  In case you’ve been living under a rock or in Vermont, Karrine is a former music video girl who penned a tell-all book, ‘Confessions of a Video Vixen’, which depicts her sexual exploits and alleged trysts with many famous rappers and actors.  According to Young, he befriended Steffans and she reciprocated his benevolence by stabbing him in the back. Hmm, this book has the makings of a…reality show. Well, Norwood did appear on E! docu-series Maintenance 90210. If you want to know more scrumptious deets about his ‘Young’ life, you have to scoop Norwood’s book, ‘Getting Back to Me.’

Tracee Loran

With all of this juicy divoness I was sure to have a Red Carpet moment so I had to look just right.  I selected one of my favorite dresses, a long denim number from Exodus by Jon Berry.  Oh how I miss Jon in Brooklyn. Jon, come back!  His designs are made just for me.  To complement the dress I wore a gold belt that cinches in the waist, because the waist can NEVER be too small, right ladies? The gold vintage purse I clutched all night once belonged to my Grandmother (every time I visit I return with a gem.)   The ensemble was topped off with a pair of tall leather mahogany boots and a  stunning necklace that I found for a steal (it garnered lots of attention.)  (Have you noticed that I love to be parenthetical?)

To document the event with wonderful photos, emerging fashion photographer Patrick Brassard came along for the ride.  Patrick, who can easily be confused

Brandon Davis & Tracee Loran

for a Calvin Klein model himself, is a star on the rise with a portfolio that includes The Hills starlet & author Lauren Conrad and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (Ok, she’s not exactly a model, but I’m sure she’s dreamed of it).  Patrick works under the tutelage of renowned photographer Sante D’Orazoi who’s shot every major supermodel and celebrity in the world for popular publications like Vogue, Vanity, and GQ.  So yes, Mr. Brassard is definitely one to watch.

Tracee Loran & Publicist Andy Diaz

Also, snapping pix was Queens-based photographer Nicholas Small. Nicholas has ill skills, a good eye and a steady shot!  Unfortunately, he was hampered by the guest-list nazi and

Tracee Loran & Monroe Shannon

missed much of the evening.  But he eventually managed to get in and grabbed a couple of good shots.  Worry not,  more of Nicholas’ work will grace these pages in the near future!

Ahh, my Red Carpet moment arrived and it was as yummy as my Mother’s Snow on the Mountain Cake! Snap, snap. Flash, flash. “Tracee over here,” “Look here.”  And I made it into the Associated Press photo archives. Oh my, I’m weary from all of the media attention (said while patting my forehead, of course.)

Before I leave you, I must send a shout to all of the radically fabulous people I met at the party; Andy Diaz of Cobalt

Model/Boxer Ngo Okafur

Public Relations; Monroe Shannon, a cool brother rocking a super fresh tee;  Steven Styles, a stylist who won my vote for Best Dressed of the night hands down; Hottie Brandon Davis and Model/Boxer Ngo Okafor, who seemed to be annoyed by my sarcastic humor. Ahem, I learned some moves from watching Rocky (my FAV movie) so a sistah was ready to duck the left hook & then counter punch. 😉

Stacey Holman & Tracee Loran

That’s it for now Dudes and Dames.  The party continues…

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Filed under Uncategorized

The Debut

As fate would have it, my very good friend Professor Tracey Walters (or Dr. Professor as I like to call her) gave me a Kate Spade Spiral Desktop Calendar for Christmas.  Perhaps she had visions of my new socialite life!  With snazzy calendar in hand, I diligently poured over social websites like Guest of a Guest and The New York Social Diary that provide a listing of private and open events to see where my journey would begin.  I selected a low-key function for my debut, a book signing at the ultra fan-tabulous Clic Gallery in Soho (you must visit!) for photographer Mike Schreiber’s ‘True Hip Hop.” After all I shouldn’t aim for the Tinsley Mortimer high society galas right off the bat. Right?

NYC Socialite Tinsley Mortimer

Selecting the right ensemble was crucial.  What would I wear?  For this event, I definitely wanted to be artsy chic. I went through my selection of new clothes (My Grandmother the Foxy Socialite still loves to shop and still has good taste!) and vintage gear.  I finally decided that since I was embarking upon uncharted territory, I wanted to cloak myself with something very comforting and familiar.  I chose a brilliant vintage coat that took me years to pry away from my Mother; a pair of ankle cowboy boots, skinny jeans; a gold & brown Bon Bon Vie t-shirt that reads “Brown Skin Lady” (in case there was any confusion) and some beautiful accessories that were bestowed upon me by my BFF and enormously artistically dexterous friend Angela (Her hand-crafted cards are divine!  Check out one of her paintings below).

Untitled by Angela Ford

The night before my inaugural socialite experience I was super excited and wanted to make sure that I was dazzling from head to toe.  I exfoliated my face; trying something new and natural, I whipped up some honey and sugar in the raw.  After about 60 seconds on my face the concoction began to itch feverishly. It was at that moment that I remembered I was allergic to honey.   So much for that particular natural remedy.   I used the same recipe on my hands (apparently my digits are much more resilient) and chased it with coconut oil.  To polish off the pampering of my hands, I manicured my fingernails.  It was like Bliss Spa up in here, up in here! (Shout out to DMX.)

Wednesday finally arrived and it was time for me to paint the town!  Michelle and Nadia were unavailable that evening.  But Stacey said she would be in attendance, albeit a bit late because she’s diligently working on a new documentary about Jesse Owens (more on that in a later blog).

I arrived at the book signing on time (my need to be punctual is hard to shake), but I didn’t want to be the first one in the spot, so I didn’t go in right away.  When I finally entered the gallery, the room didn’t part and there were no rumbles.  In fact, not one person noticed the new socialite on the scene. Ok, I exaggerated; one person did notice me – Photographer Leila Jacue, who agreed to attend the function & catch all of my good sides.  Senorita Jacue hails from Spain y ella es sumamente talentosa! Muchos gracias, Leila!!

Mike Schreiber, Tracee Loran, Tyson Hall

I ran into my boy Tyson Hall.  Tys and I go waaay back.  We were in an Amiri Baraka play together at the famed Nuyorican Poet’s Café.  I’m happy to say we are still doing it! He is a super dope artist and he has the flyest Mother!   Tyson is cool with ‘True Hip-Hop” author Mike Schreiber, so he made an intro.   Mike is good people; we chatted it up, talked about hip-hop and took pictures. Good times.  If you love hip-hop and have a grand appreciation for photography, you must pick up “True Hip-Hop”…now!

Chris Rucker, Tracee Loran, Van "The World Traveler"

The night made way for some interesting encounters.  I met Mike’s friend and an extremely gifted artist & furniture designer, Chris Rucker and Van, the World Traveler, who was not impressed with the fact that I guessed he had just returned from Brazil.  Hmph! The live action version of Squidward (Go ask your kids who that is…if you don’t know).

Stacey Holman, Tracee Loran

Stacey made her grand entrance; we took more photos, mingled and headed out. Our next mission was to crash an event at the Carlton Hotel hosted by Ne-Yo, Estelle and real estate guru Avi Oster.  Earlier that day, I’d acquired the cell phone number of the person in charge of the invitations.  When I called he was naturally taken aback that I had his number.  Oh I have my ways!  He told me to stop by and he would “see what happens.” Hmm, that was vaguely promising.  We followed his instructions, but when we arrived there were about 5 different guest list sergeants who didn’t seem to have a clue. Honestly, did there need to be so many?  I called my contact but he failed to answer the phone.  Hmmm. I don’t want to put Ciro of the Carlton Hotel on blast but, um. Wait I just did, didn’t I?  Oops! Well, that was fine with us because we took notice of the party guests and decided that it was too cold and they were too corny-looking to waste more time.  In the end, we were satisfied with the book signing and called it a night.

Mike Schreiber, Tracee Loran

I’d say my first night of being a socialite was a smashing success.  I had a great time and met some pretty funky people.  I think my Grandmother would be proud.  And if not, she will surely let me know.  She’s not shy!  Make sure you subscribe by clicking the “Sign me up!” button in the upper right hand side so you can check in on my next adventure. Until we meet again my friends, stay radically fabulous…


Filed under Radically Fabulous Stories

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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