Tag Archives: tracee loran

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!

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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?

CONTEST RULES

*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!

♥♥♥A HUGE thanx to my RADICALLY FABULOUS SPONSORS! ♥♥♥

KIINI IBURA JEWELRY

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!

KAREN’S BODY BEAUTIFUL

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.

CAKE JOY

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.

FORT GREENE SNAP

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.

♥♥♥

USE THE FORM BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING. PLEASE LIST YOUR ANSWERS IN PROPER ORDER ACCORDING TO THE QUESTIONS AND DOUBLE CHECK THEM BEFORE SUBMITTING. THERE ARE NO DO-OVERS!

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L’AFRICANA NIGHT


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

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BETEL NUT BEAUTIES

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

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DJ SPINNA BORNDAY SOIRÉE

 

DJ Spinna

Last Saturday night, I found myself in Soho at the Santos Party House celebrating the birthday of good friend and turntable assassin DJ Spinna.  This world-renowned mixologist and music producer has a record collection that would make Quincy Jones weep and boasts a serious fan-base in places like London, Paris and Tokyo.  He has collaborated with many major artists including Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Mos Def and jazz great Roy Ayers.

L - R: Tracee Loran, Marj Petion, Keita Petion-Williams

Along with his wife and my close, close homie, Keita Petion-Williams  (aka Kee-Ah-Tah aka The Mayor of Brooklyn) of KeiStar Productions, Spinna throws the hottest parties in New Yawk City! If you are not on the KeiStar invite list you are most definitely missing out.  This multi-hyphenated duo doesn’t just give a party; they host an experience!  Their theme-based events “Soul Slam: Prince vs. Michael Jackson”, and “WONDER-Full: Tribute To The Genius of Stevie Wonder” are legendary and have been frequented by many A-list entertainers such as Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee, Rosario Dawson, Judah Friedlander, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, Mos Def, R&B crooner Maxwell, Sean “P-Diddy” Combs and the Olsen Twins.

Big shout to my Gurl, fellow April Baby and P.I.C. for many KeiStar events, Marj ‘aka Lula aka The Sarge’ Petion.  We perfected our fist-pumping moves and are def ready to go to “Jersey Shore, bee-yatch!” Watch out, Snooki.

Spinna and his co-conspirators, DJ Scratch and Kenny Dope certainly didn’t disappoint as they spun a funky mix of classic hip-hop & soul, deep house and contemporary hits.  The energy was good, the music was hot and the night was a blast!

Stayin' Alive!

Photographer Nicholas Small came through to capture all of that goodness, and he didn’t miss a beat.  He immortalized much of the essence that blankets a KeiStar production.  If you don’t believe me just look to your left and right.

Mama Say, Mama Sa...

To help select a wardrobe for the evening, I enlisted the assistance of up and coming stylist Scot Louie whose client list includes Danielle Staub of Real Housewives of New Jersey fame and new docu-series Social.  I kept it simple donning a black

Oh You Fancy, Huh?

tie-neck blouse, pair of skinny jeans and black studded flats.  Despite the party “heat” I maintained my cool and exited the soiree with my gear in tact! And I managed to “find” some cash when two party animals offered me forty bucks to babysit their coats. Ahhh, I NY!  Don’t hate, socialites need cash too. 😉

Do yourself a favor, go to Amazon right now and add some DJ Spinna joints to your cart (one of my fav Spinna records is “Boogie-Back: Post Disco Club Jams”). Then finagle your way onto the KeiStar Productions invite list.  All the cool people do it.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll see you at the next experience.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week begins next Thursday and my calendar is already full! You don’t wanna miss out on my exploits, so make sure you click the “Sign me up!” button in the upper right hand corner to follow along. Until the next party, stay radically fabulous…

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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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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…

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