This past week we attended the first annual Jones Magazine Awards sponsored by Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful (#1), held at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York (#2). We arrived to the event (3), dressed to the nines, ready for a fashionable event to recognize a stellar group of people.
First, we hung out at the outdoor cocktail party where there was lots of mixing and mingling (#4) and great cocktails (#5). We met some fantastic women who were looking fabulous including Renae Bluitt from InHerShoes.com (#6) and jewelry designer Shauna Neely(#7). Also there enjoying the evening were The Vyne-worthy Liz Pickett of Ginger + Liz Colour Connection and advertising/media guru, Tiffany Griffin (#8) who showed off their nails with new Ginger + Liz hues.
After mingling it up and partaking of some yummy light hors d’oeuvres, it was time for us to make our way into the awards show. Before we walked in we ran into celebrity make-up artist and Jones Magazine award winner, Sam Fine (#9) (who looked flawless, by the way!) as well as Tatyana Ali and her sister Anastasia (#10).
The awards show started with Jones Magazine Publisher L. Londell McMillan opening up the night. He talked about how proud he was that there was diversity in the print magazine business, as each publication holds significance for their respective generation. Editor in Chief and Vyne reader Tracey Ferguson also spoke as well as announced the first award winner, the fabulous designer extraordinaire, Byron Lars (#11). Also receiving awards during the evening was supermodel Sessilee Lopez, whose sister Kristian accepted the award on her behalf (#12) since Sessilee was on the runway that night for a Fashion Week show. Sam Fine (#13) accepted his award while pictures of many of the amazing celebrities he has worked on were playing on a slideshow behind him. Ending the night was Sheryl Lee Ralph who took the stage, and through a powerful performance that included both spoken word and song, she moved everyone in the theater.
Before the night was over we were able to chat with and congratulate our girl Tracey (#14) for a wonderful event and also snap a couple pictures of Sheryl Lee Ralph (#15). Though we had an enjoyable time that night, what really made an impression was the fact that it was filled with such a classy group of people – entertainers, corporate execs, entrepreneurs, fashion and style experts, and media powerhouses. We hope to see even more events where such a diverse yet sophisticated group of people can gather, celebrate and recognize great talent.
We’re days away from the official start of summer and what better way to get ready than changing up your ‘do? We both did a hair transformation for the summer and we encourage you to do the same. Whether you drastically cut your tresses or just get some bang action or layers going, treat yourself to a fresh look for the season.
So tell us – which ‘do is most likely to be yours this summer?
I first heard about Tracey Ferguson back in 2006 while doing media research on black women back in business school. Tracey started Jones magazine, a fashion and lifestyle shopping guide for affluent black women in Houston in 2005. Months after I heard about Jones, a friend introduced me to Tracey, not knowing that I was already familiar with her magazine. I was so intrigued by Jones that I ended up doing an independent study on the magazine. The thought of having a high fashion magazine for black women on the newsstands was exciting, and it was quite clear that Jones was bigger than Houston.
Tracey and I stayed in touch and have become friends over the years. Her story is interesting, yet tragic. She graduated from Abilene Christian University with a BA and MA in Communications and later experienced the devastating loss of her second husband who suddenly died from a heart attack shortly after they were married. Despite her tragedies, Tracey has proven to be resilient. A strong mother of two teenagers, she somehow finds time to run a magazine, create a new show, and travel the world as often as she can. Not to mention, her extraordinary style can’t be denied, as when you meet her, you just assume she is a celebrity due to her awe-inspiring eye for fashion.
When Tracey shared with me a reality TV show treatment called “Keeping Up with the Joneses” back in late 2007, it was clear it was destined to happen. It was just a matter of time before Centric (the BET J and VH-1 Soul collab. network) targeting a more upscale black audience, would launch and be the perfect fit for “Keeping Up with the Joneses” (the name, by the way, was picked way before anyone heard of E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”). The “docu-soap” will focus on Tracey, her talented teenagers Kendall and Josh, and the Jones staff as they re-launch the quarterly magazine nationwide.
So, will “Keeping Up with the Joneses” be the new show we “Jones” for? Will Jones magazine become the Vogue or In Style for black women? Check out the premiere of “Keeping Up with the Joneses” tonight, Thursday, April 8th on Centric TV network and pick up Jones magazine on April 15th on news stands everywhere — and tell us what you think! Regardless, we congratulate Tracey and Jones for bringing more diverse images of black women to television and print.