Sunday, July 22, 2007

Iman Proves That 'Black Girls Rule'

IMAN: Proving that 'Black Girls Rule'

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Though a bevy of beautiful people turned out at New York City hotspot Room Service to fete 'Trace' magazine's 2007 Black Girls Rule edition, the real object of desire was Iman.

The celebrated super-duper-model turned mogul relished in all of the fan fare, which included throngs of paparazzi and glamour seekers who buzzed around her all night like moths to a flame.

As beautiful and famous as Mrs. David Bowie is, I was shocked how low-key she appeared to be. No battallion of bodyguards; no trail of minions circling about; and no bitchy fashion flacks floundering around. The only accessory she had in tow was fashion pioneer Bethann Hardison -- who I adore.

One can't go wrong when they have -- the former model turned talent manager (Tyson Beckford)-- Miss Hardison in their corner.

Iman was ever-present at the soiree for a special reason: she's the guest-editrix of the issue that celebrates black women in their countless chosen professions and private lives.

Packing its pages with articles that, according to Iman, "change and challenge the narrow definition of beauty to include all of us, to celebrate our natural God-given features and to determine beauty in our own terms," the new "Black Girls Rule" -- hitting newsstands this week -- features articles on up-and-coming actress and designated "It" girl Zoe Kravitz (yes, Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz's beautiful baby is all grown up now), bi-racial black girls, unsung heroines and Somali-born activist and 'New York Times' bestselling writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali ('Infidel').

"I was both excited and nervous of the prospect," Iman writes in the issue. "I have been an avid supporter of the celebration of black women in the myriads of our chosen professions as well as private lives. I wanted to co-create an amazing portfolio that would become a collector's edition both for its content and its beauty. Most of my choices in this issue are truly personal as well as universal."

Veering a little differently from issues past, this new edition features a fresh crop of new faces -- and doesn't have the pre-requisite familiar face on its cover (Naomi Campbell, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys have all graced its cover). Dark-skinned beauty Kinee Diouf leads the brigade a 28-page photo spread dedicated to the beauty of up-and-coming black models.

Looking like a modern day version of Grace Jones, the Senegalese born sensation is quite a vision with her sketched on crown.

"I rule because I'm true to myself," the Paris-based Diouf professed.

Indeed.

So last night, while it was light on the celebrities, I did run into a bunch of characters.

Outside of Miss Iman being stunning as always, and Bethann being such a attentive soul, (pictured above with Iman, and 'Trace' editor Claude Grunitzky (r) ),'New York' magazine contributor Ericka Goodman was working it out; )pictured below l-r) publicity maven Susan Blond working her gold lamé rain hat (it wasn't raining); event producer/performer Kevin-Anthony making his way through the crowd; event publicist Nyle Washington illuminating in the dark; and my two favorites of the evening: 'Complex' magazine's promotion coordinator Peter Robinson (in his Prince-inspired get-up) and power publicist Simone Smalls (with her relaxed tressed coif) -- who told me that she had to walk some clients through the strip club next door to get in.

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