In less than two weeks from now, we hope you will be joining us on March 6th
for our Second Annual Blue & White Party at John Barleycorn River North in Chicago. We will recognize all of the hard work and dedication of our mentor angels and volunteers. It is their willingness and commitment to give back that has made our mission so successful today!
Even if you don't live in the Chicagoland area or you won't be able to attend the event you can still be a part of our raffle! We have an amazing item you can win! A Jenn-Air Undercounter Wine Cellar valued at $2400! We will have it shipped to the winner anywhere in the Continental United States.
You can buy one raffle ticket for $10.00, three raffle tickets for $20.00 or a wingspan (40 tickets) of raffle tickets for $100.00!
*Within 48 hours of purchasing a raffle ticket you will be contacted with your raffle ticket number or numbers depending on how many you purchase. Purchases for the raffle will close at midnight March 7. The wining raffle ticket will be announced via email the afternoon of Monday, March 10. Please contact Melissa Pinkney firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Event sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Melissa Pinkney email@example.com for more information.
Tracy Agyemang: Lawyer, Fashionista, Model! Ms. Tracy is everything B.A.F.F.L.E.D. is about--fashion, law, fashion law, beauty, and fun. It was such a joy to meet her last year at John Marshall Law School's Fashion and Design Law Symposium, and we've been fashion law friends ever since. We have so much in common, and it was past time for us to spotlight her here. You'll love her, too....read on!
What made you want to be a lawyer? When did you know?
I actually can't remember when I decided to be a lawyer. I do know that I always toyed with the idea of being either a doctor or a lawyer. In my family those were the only two options. African immigrants aren't known for their inventive career choices. My compatriot Ozwald Boateng notwithstanding. But one day in college I just decided that I am repulsed by other people's bodily fluids and that I should use my gift for gab for justice and equality and all that.
Was getting to where you are in your legal career as straightforward as you thought it would be? Is this what you planned for yourself?
Absolutely not as straightforward as I thought it would be. Wholly attributable to my aforementioned lack of imagination when it came to my legal career. I've been totally driven by inertia and the fact that I love talking to and helping people. I started law school thinking I was going to be an immigration lawyer. One clinic and snooze-worthy course later, I was over the entire INA. Then, because I couldn't pick just one interest, and because I was a huge Perry Mason fan, I decided to be a litigator. I figured that way, I'd get this really cool skill set that I could apply to almost any area of law. So far, that has been a pretty savvy move.
How did you get started in fashion? What sparked your interest?
My interest in being fashionable started with my parents. They were very meticulous about their appearance the quality of our clothing. When I was a pre-teen, my father decided I should "Be a Model or Just Look Like One" so he enrolled me in Barbizon Modeling School (remember that tag line?! hilarious). I kid but it was at Barbizon that I really learned about fashion as an industry (read: business). I started to see the world of fashion and I was and remain completely fascinated by the machinations of fashion. Not to mention the fabulous.
Have you ever been a part of the fashion industry in any other cities or countries? In what way?
I modeled in New York City as a teenager.
What do you just adore about fashion law?
I adore the fact that fashion law is all about how to help the creatives that we, as practitioners, truly admire and respect. We genuinely want to help get their product from brainchild to end product. It's incredible how passionate we all are about our fashion clients. It's serious business and we all know it. Plus fashion law is kinda subversive. Colleagues I haven't seen in a while will usually say something like "[H]ow's that whole fashion law thing going?" You can almost see the air quotes. But I love it. Here's another reason I love fashion law and a fun game: The next time you go to a fashion law event, look down. The shoes in the room never fail to be flawless!
What are some legal issues or challenges you have faced in modeling, if any?
The only challenge I have with modeling is trying to downplay the fact that I am a lawyer. Same goes for being a lawyer as a model. In each industry, law and fashion, clients are jealous. And no one wants you cheating with the other side (left v. right) of your brain.
What drew you to labor law?
As usual when it comes to my legal career, I was driven by inertia. A mentor and I had breakfast one morning and after I told her that I want to be a litigator, she told be about her first experiences as a litigator. After she described how she was forced to hit the ground running as a DOL lawyer while her classmates were busy buried in doc review at law firms, I decided to would go to DOL, too. And here I am.
How are you able to connect, and separate, your work as a lawyer and your work as a model?
I try to separate the two as much as possible. At the same time, I offer all of my resources. So, if it doesn't come up organically, I don't mention modeling or the law. I talk about my myriad other interest. But if asked directly or if a legal question comes up with a modeling friend (e.g. can the agency forbid me from working with non-agency clients?) or a modeling issue comes up in the legal context (e.g. NY's new child model law or models as independent contractors) I'll disclose and assist.
What do you feel the fashion industry needs most? What do you plan to do to help achieve those needs? What does the fashion law industry need most?
There is no question that the fashion industry needs more black girls on the runways and in print. Thankfully, the diversity problem in fashion is lately getting media coverage and advocates. For my part, I started an organization called C.J. Harriet Models. Our mission is to positively influence fashion to incorporate more black girls in their brand images. We teach business soft skills (i.e., effective interviewing, business etiquette, fashion industry acumen, etc.) to young black girls who want to model. Thereby offering the best possible brand representatives to fashion clients. My purpose is to imbue black girls with self esteem by normalizing images of beautiful, articulate, successful black women. Diverse images of black models in media ingrain into the collective conscious the fact that black women are beautiful. Young girls of any curl pattern and hue should see themselves represented positively in media. I'm trying to completely change results the infamous black doll study.
What's next for you?
I have so many things I'm considering but, overall, my goal is to integrate all these varied facets of my life into something more manageable and fluid.
What are your favorite types of garments to model? Who is your favorite designer?
Any time a designer or stylist picks up some element of my ethnicity and decides to play a bit, I feel my most confident. Who wants to be seen as a hanger? I prefer when I'm a canvas. Bright colors on dark skin. Sculptured braided hair. Printed fabrics. Complimentary makeup. It's a good day when I don't have to manufacture confidence on the runway or at a shoot. I love it when I can lean on beautiful clothes, haute hair, and flawless makeup to glide over.
We're excited about what Tracy is doing next and can't wait to see her at an upcoming Fashion Law Symposium in Chicago...
Christopher Cleveland of Brushworks by Chris! As promised, we are highlighting people you should know all month long--and beyond, of course. Christopher Cleveland is definitely someone you should know in the makeup world. His style is unique, and his perspective on make-up is more than just coloring a face. He's connected to the true artistry behind the work.
We got to ask Chris some questions about his work. Here is what he shared: What got your interested in being a makeup artist? I live for the transformation. Watching a look merge with the alter ego is fabulous. Believe it or not, it really started as a kid, watching my mom get ready for events. I was always in awe as ordinary mom ducked into the closet for a few minutes, and then emerged as supermom, ready to conquer anything. That feeling has stuck with me through the years and is my motivation each time I witness it take place with my clients today. Who are your makeup inspirations? What is your "beautymark"? (You know how we pair fashion and law terms here, folks!) I find inspiration everywhere. Working behind the counter (at Sephora) has given me the opportunity to understand what women really want, combined with my male perspective, and you get beauty from every angle, literally. I have studied all of the greats like Kevyn Aucoin, Sam Fine, Scott Barnes, Pat McGrath, Francois Nars, Billy Brasfield, Samer Khouzami, and Alex Box, as well as art history though contemporary art. They say that the window to the soul is through the eyes, so I love making that the focus point of my looks. To me, eye contact is priceless. My "beautymark", I would have to say would be that dreamy gaze that a man gives a woman when he is utterly hypnotized and lost in her eyes as she speaks. Like in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, my favorite line was..."You cannot call yourself a true Geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look." --Mameha I asked Chris what's coming up next for him, and he told me he's working on branding. He's collaborating with up and coming designers and photographers, and doing bridal parties. He's also teaching one-on-one makeup classes.
The International Law Review Symposium-- In Chicago or want to visit? Lawyers and law students, this is a great opportunity to discuss and learn about the current state of human rights and free trade agreements. Mark your calendars for February 14th, now! This during the day...time with your loved one at night ;) To register, click here.
2014 Loyola University Chicago International Law Review Symposium presents
Assessing the New Generation of Human Rights Provisions in Free Trade Agreements
Friday, February 14, 2014 8:50 AM - 3:10 PM Philip H. Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson Street Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 10th Floor
This conference and workshop will explore current trends that use trade agreements to promote human rights and will address various areas of human rights such as labor rights, women’s rights, Internet freedom, and access to medicine. Speakers will discuss the new types of human rights commitments as they compare to prior efforts, the effectiveness of mechanisms to bind and enforce measures of protection, and the desirability of implementing such commitments for promoting human rights in other types of free trade agreements that include multiple partners, such as the one the US is currently negotiating.
If you're in the Chicago area, or watch Guiliana & Bill, you know about this great organization. They are looking for people to help spread the word about breast and ovarian cancer in underserved communities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
3. Be aware of these cancer myths
There's 4 here, but certainly there are many more. Knowledge is power, and you never know how much more strength you have until you're armed with details. Check out these myths, and help dispell them.
This group is amazing. Started by a young cancer survivor, Jonny and his crew pair survivors and fighters to make sure everyone knows they have someone supporting them. Their events are pretty cool, too!
Black History Month and People You Need to Know--
Black History month comes to us every February, but is alive and well every day of the year. This month, we'll be highlighting African-American lawyers, fashion icons, and today, those making big impacts at local levels. Beware...this is just the beginning for them!
Official Anais PR, By Vau've Davis You won't find a better PR professional. Vau've has created a business which does its work on the "Build your brand. Start your legacy" motto. She does just that, and helps her clients to do the same. In addition to her traditional PR work, she's all over the community serving and influencing. Book her now!
DeVawn Jewelry, by Ashley Bonds You can be styled by many designers all in 1 place. From traditional accessories like earrings and bracelets, to scarves and hair wraps, DeVawn Jewelry has everything!
May Vora Jewelry, by LaReana Nichole LaReana's pieces add all the personal touches. Everything is one of a kind! This glamorous line is always doing amazing things. Order your personalized items right now. "There's Only One" Yannick Bonheur and Vanessa James These 2 are making history in a Arthur Ashe-Tiger Woods type of way. Rising to the top in a sport not often frequented or dominated by African-Americans is well worth recognition. We will be rooting for this team in Sochi!
Swish Dreams, by Joshua Mercer A sports-themed educational program in Chicago and growing larger and larger every year, we have to keep this one on your radar. This program is fun for the kids, great for parents to connect while helping one another, and is pivotal in raising the test scores in our schools. We need more like Josh. Kudos to Swish Dreams! Red Pump Project, by Karyn Watkins and Lovette Ajayi Born in Chicago, and making moves all across the country, these ladies use red pumps as their "Causemark" to keep awareness about HIV and AIDS are top of mind. Their events are empowering and fun, while the social media presence allows everyone to participate and learn. Help them spread the word and look out for their blog campaign in March! Awareness is Always in Style. Afrobella, by Patrice Yursik Everyone loves Afrobella. This site has grown in so many ways over the years and is an inspiration to aspiring bloggers. Keeping us all up to date on the best beauty products, style, celebrities, and natural hair care, Afrobella is a fixture in today's social media community. Daniel Shannon Speaks, by Daniel K. Shannon Daniel is an inspirational speaker like none other. His style is unique, and his results are certain. Whatever your motivational needs--sports teams, corporate team-building, nonprofits--no group can go wrong enlisting this gentleman for a speech. Emerging Leaders Commission by Todd Walton Todd is making moves in urban culture, current events, music, and politics. In addition to sitting on various community panels, boards, philanthropic ventures, and social events, Todd is also highlighting his creative thinking for a better society at Chicago Ideas Week. Keep your eyes out for this guy!
The Hoop Lab, by Quintin Garrison If you want your youngster to be the next big NBA star, they need to be trained by Coach Q! THL is "Building Better Basketball" from the ground up. Your kids will get the skills they need and positive role models. Summer camp info coming soon! My Lifestyle Zen, by Patrice Perkins Partice is a social-savvy lawyer proving to everyone, there are endless options for the person with a J.D. Her practice helps entrepreneurs build their businesses, and take their branding to the next level. Check out her site for the next creative event! Gametime Pros., by Elliott Ivory Even high school athletes need highligh films. They have to win over the college recruiters, right? Gametime is the only option. Call them for a filming with your young star, and get them ready for the next step.