Monthly Archives: August 2009

Spotlight On: Joi Gordon

Joi GordonThere is nothing more inspiring than seeing people turn their passions into purpose. This is certainly the case with Joi Gordon, Esq., CEO of Dress for Success® Worldwide, whose passion for women’s issues has driven her to grow and transform a organization that helps so many across the globe.

Joi’s enthusiasm for uplifting women almost undoubtedly stemmed from her mother. Though she had a good relationship with her father, her mother raised her and, at times, worked several jobs in order to provide for Joi and pay for her private education. One of these positions moved them from Brooklyn, New York across country to Oklahoma. After high school, Joi remained in Oklahoma and received both a BA in radio/television and a JD from the University of Oklahoma.

Her first job in law was in the district attorney’s office in the Bronx, New York. Realizing that she was not experiencing the fulfillment that she was looking for, she left her prosecutor position to work with victims of crimes at a non-profit court program, also in the Bronx. It was in this role that she felt like she was finally doing meaningful work and making a difference in people’s lives.

Joi first learned about Dress for Success in 1997 when founder Nancy Lublin was on the news talking about the organization’s mission and encouraging women to donate their suits. Thinking it was a great idea, Joi later met Nancy and was inspired to become involved by serving on the organization’s board. Through this involvement her passion for growing the organization deepened. In 1999, she joined Dress for Success full-time as the executive director of the New York program and became the CEO of the organization’s worldwide headquarters in 2002.

The mission of Dress for Success is to “promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” Each client receives one suit for an interview as well as one after she receives a job. The organization has serviced close to 450,000 women globally in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand and the Netherlands.  Under Joi Gordon’s leadership the organization has expanded its emphasis from career attire to career development and job retention, literally transforming lives of numerous women around the world. “We just could not be a closet organization,” says Gordon. “My goal is to not only put a suit on a woman. I want that woman to know that she has the potential for greatness, that she can take control of her life by taking classes, workshops, and developing other skills. That is the business model for DFS.”

Residing in Queens, Joi is loving wife and mother of two. As if leading a global non-profit was not enough, she and her husband, Errol, own and operate a fleet of luxury limousines. Beyond her position with DFS and family business she also serves on the board of directors of Urban Brands and America’s Charities and sits on the women’s advisory councils of Office Depot, American Airlines and VOICE. The Harlem YMCA, Office Depot and the Coalition of 100 Black Women in New York City are amongst the many organizations that have recognized her significant accomplishments. Additionally, in 2007 she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Joi Gordon is an inspirational leader of an inspirational organization. If you want to be involved in Dress for Success, find an affiliate location near you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Good Deeds, Phenomenal Women

Fall Trends 2009: Part 2

Fall Trends- Part 2 Last week we gave you a preview of this fall season’s best fashion trends. This week we’re featuring the best fall has to offer in handbags and shoes. Happy shopping!

Chic Romanticism: Bows, flowers, and ruffles have been all over the runways for this coming season. Though still feminine, we see these accessories very refined and sophisticated.
1. Valentino Rosette Shoulder Bag
2. SANTI Clutch
3. Dollhouse Kim

Embellishments: Metal embellishments are being found all over shoes, handbags, and even jackets and jeans. Here are a few of our favorites:
4. Dolce Vita Studded Pump
5. Cole Haan Whitney Hobo
6. Nine West Vintage America Fiddle Boot

Color!: That’s right, you will see colors popping everywhere. Primarily in jewel tones like purples, deep blues, and greens, don’t be afraid to break away from the neutrals this fall.
7. Enzo Angiolini Elaya
8. Jupe Mesh Mid High Shoe
9. Prada Vitella Shine Hobo

Leave a comment

Filed under Shopping, style

The VW Best Movie Rentals

ban_005Have you ever found yourself working hard during the week and making it to the weekend only to find that you have an equally demanding weekend schedule? We have! So every now and then we like to partake in a little “mindless” activity to unwind from the week. One way to do this is by curling up on the couch and watching a great movie. We have so many favs so here are just a few dramas and romantic comedies that we really enjoy. Let us know what yours are too!

Semi-Recent Movies: Sex and the City (the Movie), Little Miss Sunshine, Real Women Have Curves, Crash, Nights in Rodanthe, The Family That Preys. 

Oldies but Goodies: Love & Basketball, Hitch, Love Jones, Jerry McGuire, Fools Rush In, Two Can Play That Game, The Ditch Diggers Daughters, A Chorus Line, Maid in Manhattan, Along Came Polly, Under the Tuscan Sun.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Black Theatre Holy Ground: A Review

new_masthead1_final_test2By Ernestine Cook

The National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF), produced by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company of Winston-Salem, NC, celebrated its 20th anniversary the week of August 3, 2009.  It was a theater lover’s feast.

Maya Angelou opened a symposium on women with a rousing and inspirational talk. She started the NBTF with Larry Leon Hamlin in 1989. Festival goers were treated to a round the clock theater experience. There were plays that children enjoyed starting at 10 am, matinees at 3 pm, evening performances at 8 pm and play readings at midnight. The readings were supervised by both Garland Lee Thompson Sr., Executive and Artistic Director of the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop in New York, NY, and Garland Lee Thompson Jr. , a celebrated poet, actor and playwright. If you came with no transportation of your own, there was no need to fret because NBTF had buses to take festival goers to the university auditoriums and theatres. (you could park your car and literally not need it for the rest of the week!). There were so many plays in the schedule that it was impossible to see them all, approximately 18 plays each day. One play that stood out the most to me was Mad At Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth by Pearl Cleage, an astounding in-your-face experience with incredibly talented actors from A&T in Greensboro, NC. Other stand outs included The Heiress by Ruth & Augustus Goetz, and I Am Who I Am: The Teddy Pendergrass Story by Jackie Taylor.

Now, about the partying! Whoa, Nelly! They had a celebrity reception every night with such stars in attendance as Kim Wayans, Malcom Jamal-Warner, Ella Joyce, Lamman Rucker, John Amos, Kim Brockington, Melba Moore, Janet Hubert, Margaret Avery, and more.

At the end of the day, I closed my eyes to the sound of congas played on the street corners. I think all of Winston-Salem turned out for this magnificent festival.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art and Culture, Uncategorized

Jimmy Choo Sample Sale in NYC on 8/26

Tomorrow marks an event that ladies all over New York City have been waiting for: the Jimmy Choo Sample Sale! One day only, make sure to get there early because there will almost surely be a long line. And ladies, be careful in there – when you combine a bunch of women with deeply discounted Jimmy Choos, it can get ugly!

Jimmy Choo Sample Sale
Wednesday, August 26 from 1-6 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., at 6th Ave.

Leave a comment

Filed under Shopping, style

Traveling in Tuscany

Italy Pics

By Kailei Richardson

This time last week I was vacationing in Tuscany. Rich with amazing culture, delicious food, interesting sights and lots of sun, this was definitely a trip to remember.
The first stop on my Tuscan Tour was Scandicci, a suburb in the hills just a few kilometers outside Florence. I was attending a wedding at the historic Villa Poggio ai Merli, which is also where I stayed. Dating back to 1400, this villa not only had amazing views of surrounding Tuscan hills, but it also was full of olive trees, beautifully landscaped grounds and a relaxing pool. Though so close to Florence, we felt secluded, as though we were the only people on the hill. If you want a wedding in Italy, make sure to check out Villa Poggio ai Merli!

Next up was Viareggio, located on the coast along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Just an hour and a half train ride from and almost directly west of Florence, this resort beach town was buzzing with Europeans on “holiday. “ Most of the Viareggio beaches are private. The good thing is, you get your own chair and umbrella; on the other hand, you have to pay at least $10 per day for them. Viareggio was very relaxing – I definitely felt like I was on vacation there. The food was great and I got my fair share of sun.

The final stop was Florence (Firenze). Being there just reminded me how little we appreciate art and culture compared to Europeans. Granted, we have different histories and Americans did not have royal families to patron the arts, but it was refreshing to see the history of the city so apparent everywhere I went. Just strolling down the street I could see buildings centuries old, breath taking cathedrals, and statues sculpted out of the finest of marbles.
If you ever find yourself in Florence, here are some “must dos”:
•    Though there are numerous galleries and museums in Florence, you must go to the Uffizi— the “Louvre” of Florence. Built in the 1500s, it has not only beautiful art pieces, but it’s also an incredible building.
•    Walk across the Ponte Vecchio – a medieval bridge over the Arno River. This bridge is lined with shops and apparently has a private covered walkway used by the famous Medici family. It was rebuilt twice due to flooding early in the 1000s and was the only Florence bridge not destroyed in World War II.
•    Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral church (known as il Duomo).  The original structure began construction in 1294 and took almost 150 years to build. By climbing over 400 stairs you can see amazing views from the top of the dome, as well as the intricate painting inside the dome.
Eat! Tuscan cuisine is amongst the best in the world, so take advantage of it! Enjoy Italian wine, gelato, pizza, pasta, truffles, and prosciutto (and anything else you can try!).  Made with such fresh ingredients, you won’t be able to resist savoring every morsel.
•   Shop! Florence is known for its leather goods. There is no shortage of well-crafted leather jackets, gloves, handbags and shoes.

Happy Travels!

1 Comment

Filed under Travel

The Vyne’s Best Burger Picks

TurkeyBurgerAhhh burgers…the all American meal. We here at the Vyne love a good burger every now and then. In all our travels throughout the country we’ve come across some incredibly tasty and surprisingly inventive burgers. So we thought we’d share a few of them with you:
Philadelphia: North 3rd
Dallas: Kobe Beef Sliders at The House of Blues
Atlanta: Flip Burger
West Coast: In and Out Burger

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized