Lena Horne died on May 9, 2010, at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City of heart failure, according to her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley.
On May 14, 2010, Horne's funeral took place at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in New York City. Thousands gathered to mourn her, including singers Leotyne Price, Vanessa Williams, and Dionne Warwick.
Lena was laid to rest in the Horne Family Plot at The Evergreen's Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.
Black is in at Vogue Italia who recently launched a website called Vogue Black which highlights blacks in fashion and profiles icons like Grace Jones and models like Tyra Banks. There are even beauty articles on embracing natural hair and celebrity profiles of Forrest and Keisha Whitaker.
Bethann Hardison is reportedly the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Black...which leads BSF to believe that the Vogue Black site isn't just in celebration of Black History Month. Does this mean that it is here to stay?
We hope so - but let's just say we'd like a little credit for knowing that blacks have been en vogue forever and dare we say we thought of the idea first?!
BSF spotted Teri Agins of the Wall Street Journal and Robin Givhan of The Washington Post in the front row at the Nicole Miller Show. Thanks to these ladies for inspiring a new generation of fashion writers and reporters - and most of all for lending me your ear and letting me express what it means to know that there are strong, smart and talented black women who have made it in this industry, who have longevity, and who have left a legacy for others to follow. You are truly an inspiration!
When Tyra Banks and André Leon Talley lunched 8 years ago to discuss Talley co-signing a new reality TV modeling competition, “America’s Next Top Model,” she got a less than enthusiastic response:
“At that point, I said no because it was the beginning. I was thinking I wanted to see where it goes,” Talley said. But 13 seasons — “cycles” in “Top Model” parlance — later, the Vogue editor at large softened to the idea. So when Banks asked him once again to come on board as a judge for cycle 14, which premieres March 10 on The CW, it was an easy sell. “I’ve seen the success of Tyra in many facets of her life,” said Talley, who first met Banks backstage at an Yves Saint Laurent show when she was 16. “So I felt maybe I could contribute something to it that had not been on the show. I just felt that it was a way to step out of the box and associate myself with a very important American success story, a very important brand — Tyra Banks.”
My how times have changed - WWD has announced that Talley has signed up for three cycles of the show. Oddly enough Talley had never even seen an episode prior to signing on. And he got the okay from Vogue's Anna Wintour.
“Her reaction,” said Talley, “was, ‘Fine, André. Just let me know when you’re going to do it and how it’s going.’” Her spokesman added: “André is always onto new things on television, and I think his latest adventure sounds like a lot of fun and I look forward to watching him on the program.”
In cycle 14, Talley will join Nigel Barker and runway coach J. Alexander, and guest judges Rachel Roy and Sally Hershberger.
Describing Talley’s appeal, Banks said, “A lot of people can speak about fashion, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to strong television. But André speaks about fashion and he has such a passion, and the words — the adverbs, the adjectives — he uses! I know it’s going to make the viewer at home go, ‘Wowww.’” Banks added, “It might go over their head, but he’s educating them about a time, bringing them back to a place when fashion was life.”
And Talley's presence has made Tyra give herself a make-under:
“This is the most clean you will ever see me in the history of ‘Top Model,’” she said. “I am wearing a chignon every single day. I went back to Yves Saint Laurent 1991, honey. I said, ‘This is André Leon Talley! No earrings, no nothing. Just me and the gahhment.’”
Banks believes that the Talley debut will attract the fashion elite to her 'Top Model' show:
“Reality television is very commercial. It’s very mass,” she noted. “The fashion industry is very elite, but I feel the fashion industry is catching up to reality television.”
Last night, HBO premiered its third installment in a three-part documentary series called The Black List Project at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. The Black List features intimate portrait-interviews with some of today's most accomplished and influential African Americans. The Project not only includes the film series but also a book with portraits taken by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. The interviews in the film were conducted by Elvis Mitchell.
Among those in attendance were Oscar nominee Lee Daniels, Rev. Al Sharpton, LaTanya Richardson, Faye Wattellton, Majora Carter, and Dr. Michael Lomax.
During the profile of fashion model Beverly Johnson, she discusses how the industry made a big deal about her being the first black model to land the cover of Vogue when at the time she'd already graced the covers of magazines like Glamour numerous times.
She said it infuriated her that it had taken so long for a black model to be accepted by Vogue, but it angered her even more when the media referred to her as the top black model. As she pointed out - she was THE top model at the time - black or white.
Johnson says she overcame the struggles and the challenges of the fashion industry, and life in general by not giving up and simply putting "one foot in front of the other."
Other profiles revealed in Vol 3 include John Legend, Hill Harper, Lee Daniels, Whoopi Goldberg, Debra Lee and Dr. Michael Lomax.
For a closer look into the lives of fashion contributors Patrick Robinson of the Gap, and Sean 'Diddy' Combs visit -The Back List Project.
The half hour show will air nationwide on HBO February 8th at 8:30pm.
The fashion world lost an icon and trailblazer, and entrepreneur this past weekend. Naomi Sims, the first black supermodel, died of cancer Saturday in Newark at age 61, the New York Times reports.
When Sims made the cover of Ladies Home Journal in 1968 —
she became the first black model to do be featured on a mainstream women’s
“Naomi was the first,” the designer Halston told The New York Times in
1974. “She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke
down all the social barriers.”
After 5 years of modeling in the fashion industry Sims became disillusioned by the few opportunities and the racism and sexism that she experiences. She retired from the catwalk and started her own business making wigs for African
Sims later expanded her business to include everything from cosmetics to books, including “How to be a Top Model”
and “All About Health and Beauty for the Black Woman,” published in
For more on the life of Naomi Sims see the article at NYTimes.com
Who would have guessed when Rapper Jay Z and manager Damon Dash started the urban clothing line Rocawear, that 10 years later they would celebrate with their own line of Barbies? The details on the Mattell / Iconix (current owner of Rocawear after Jay Z and Dash sold their shares a couple years ago), partnership have yet to be released, but here are a few photos posted by retailer Jimmy Jazz.
Michelle Obama's style has been on the radar of many in the industry, however so have the rumors and speculation regarding who may be dressing her and influencing her wardrobe choices. Many assumed Andre Leon Talley was the culprit responsible for putting the fashion bug in her ear if not the mastermind behind her sense of style. However, while he has hosted a fundraiser which raised $1 million for the Obama for America organization, ALT told Style.com the rumors of his involvement in her wardrobe couldn't be farther from the truth saying -
"...let me go on record saying that I have never, ever given her any advice on what to wear...To put the record straight, I think that Michelle Obama does not need advice."
He added that he's most impressed with the Chicago resident's chic sophistication, à la Jackie O.
"But it's not about Jackie Kennedy being a woman of privilege. She has, in many ways, taken some of Jackie's elements of simplicity, elegant restraint, three strands of bubble-gum pearls, the flip of hair, solid colors, simple lines, and clothes—and it's working for her. I think she's incredible."
Vogue Vogue Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talleywas recently denied a store credit card in Macy's while trying to buy XXL Calvin Klein thongs. According to Page Six, the fashion icon was rejected while trying to make his purchase.
"He was denied and had trouble paying for it and had to come back . . . it was a big fiasco," a source told the column.
Vogue spokesman Patrick O'Connell confirmed Talley was in Macy's, but insisted he was buying Polo boxers - not thongs. He declined to discuss the credit card mishap.