“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
Josephine Baker born June 3, 1906 and died April 12, 1975, was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the “Bronze Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, and the “Créole Goddess”. Even though she was born into poverty in her modest beginnings in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., she did not let where she came from define where she was going in life. Croix de guerre: Awarded for individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces.
Josephine Baker was “the first African American” female to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. What an awful burden the label, “The First…”, for someone who just wanted to entertain and do what seemed a natural calling. Why in 2011 do still say, “The First …?” Does “the first …” imply meeting up to a “White Standard”. In a recent interview Morgan Freeman said he didn’t want to be though of as a good black actor because the black label implied a different standard. When will a person of color just be able to be great at something and not have skin color define their standard?
Josephine Baker gained international prominence as a political revolutionary for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, which resulted in being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de guerre. Josephine Baker is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. She was offered the unofficial leadership of the movement by Coretta Scott King in 1968 following Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s assassination, but turned it down.
Yes she was African American and she was “the first…” many times but like most others who were “the first…” that was not her goal. She was simply following her natural path and trying to do what she felt was right. It’s time to shift our focus from differentiation of standard and accomplishment based on the personal aspects of race, sex, religion or sexual orientation to each of us striving for the highest standard of what we can contribute. As a person of action and conviction Josephine Baker sets an example that we all should seek to emulate. What are our gifts and how can we make a difference?
1. When you can bring your passion into what you do your concept of work alters. When you are working at something that you love the last thing you want to do is stop.
2. Although we live in a material world and everyone can appreciate beauty and quality the things that are really important are out relationships with other people. What can we do that will benefit those we come in contact with?
3. Time is passing for all of us don’t wait to do what you are inspired to do. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed don’t let fear or others opinions keep you from expressing your voice.
4. Don’t be afraid of making a change. When you feel that a situation isn’t right for you rather than letting it rob you of your joy take it as a hint that making a change can open new opportunities for you.
5. Be true to who you are. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer.
Is Tommy Ton, as a street style photographer getting to do just what he loves, the eye of fashion in the real world? Often we only see what is being worn on the runway, which is where it all starts. However where does it go in the real world? We can begin to feel the answer in the photographs taken by Tommy Ton. He takes us out side the show so we can see the real people who head the world of fashion, coming and going with a natural sense of style.
Wu launched his ready-to-wear line of clothes with earnings from his years of doll designs. His first full collection debuted in 2006 and won the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in 2008. Jason Wu’s dresses were photographed underwater by Howard Schatz for Delta Faucet Company‘s Brizo branded faucet campaign in 2006. In 2008 he was nominated for the Vogue Fashion Fund award. Bruce Weber shot the designer for W magazine’s “Summer Camp” portfolio last July.
Wu collaborated with CND (Creative Nail Design) for his Spring 2011 collection to create a set of four nail polish colours set to hit stores in May 2011.
Michelle Obama was introduced to Wu by André Leon Talley, Vogue Magazine‘s editor-at-large, who had been advising the future First Family on their appearance. She bought four dresses from Wu early in the year, wearing one of them for a segment on Barbara Walters Special shortly before the November 2008 election, prompting many in the media to consider her his “career-launcher”. She wore another, a custom-designed one-shoulder, floor-length white chiffon gown, at the inaugural balls on the night of PresidentBarack Obama‘s inauguration. Appearing on the cover of Vogue, Obama once again wore a Wu design, a magenta silk dress. Upon her arrival in London during the First Lady and President Barack Obama‘s first official European trip, Obama wore a chartreuse silk sheath dress designed by Wu; the next day she wore a Wu coat during her visit with the Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. On April 2, Obama paired a “traditional looking” teal Wu dress with a blue-patterned cardigan designed by Junya Watanabe on her visit to the Royal Opera House.
Tory Burch takes her inspiration form the beach community in France known as Deauville, which has long been known as a vacation destiny of the Rich, Famous and Stylish. We could easily imagine the American F. Scott Fitzgerald novelist depicting the The Great Gatsby character , Daisy Buchanan, on vacation in Deauville, warring Tory Burch . Like the American Industrialist of the Industrial Age, we have a new opportunity to lead in the Age of Knowledge and Information.
How is new American success to look on a world stage. I think Tory Burch has strong ideas about being Stylish, Optimistic and Inspirational.