Style Stories: BeBe Jones
Style maven, journalist, entrepreneur, brand influencer - you name it. BeBe Jones has dedicated nearly two decades of her life to the fashion industry working with notable brands such as Nike, Puma, Champs Sports, Condé Nast, H&M, The Coveteur, and many more. We recently had the chance to sit down with BeBe to chat about her fashion industry influences, and how her personal style empowers her in her many endeavors.
Who are your fashion icons and why?
I love this question because as I evolve, so do my answers due to more research. At this level in my life my fashion icons are the following:
Elizabeth Keckley - She was an entrepreneur during times when it wasn’t heard of in America, and she became the ‘go-to’ seamstress for The First Ladies of The White House. Also, Keckley became an author, as well as a philanthropist. Elizabeth Keckley is the epitome of ‘Black Girl Magic!’
Andre Leon Talley - Besides his ‘larger than life’ energy, ALT has been a fashion icon of mine for many years. As a fashion writer, I’ve always been enlightened by his extensive knowledge in fashion history, the barriers he’s broken as a black gay man in fashion, and the way he’s continued to maintain relevancy from generation to the next - I’m still hopeful to meet him soon!
Robin Givhan - About four years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting this brilliant fashion journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006, the first time the award was given to a fashion writer. Her fashion critiques of each collection after fashion week are a must-read! I admire her wittiness, iron tongue, and her book, The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbles into the Spotlight and Made History, is one of my favorite fashion books!
June Ambrose - Because why not… June is EVERYTHING! Her contagious good vibes, epic wardrobe selections, and a very extensive celebrity clientele list. Auntie June never disappoints me — Ever!
You launched rowAseat1 in 2013, what was the inspiration behind it?
The idea of Row A Seat 1 was inspired from a volunteer position I researched online for New York Fashion Week at Bryant Park (2009). After an enlightening week in Manhattan (by way of crashing on my friend’s sofa in Flatbush, Brooklyn) I challenged myself to create something similar for Blacks in Fashion (preferably in Chicago) through blogging, styling, consulting, and philanthropy. With much more ground to cover, I’d like to think I’ve created a little buzz for myself (laughs)!
How would you describe your style?
#MOOD - The way I feel day to day definitely gives inspiration to my wardrobe! There was a time when I use to LOVE heels (I still do from time to time), but it’s all about comfort with me. These past 6 years as an entrepreneur have taught me how to tweak my ‘on-the-grind’ lifestyle, while never losing my feminine touch - Did someone say dope sneakers? I’m onboard 100% for my ‘tomboy chic’ look! It’s always a good feeling when compliments spring from both men and women, especially my plus-size babes! Overall, I believe my style of confidence stands out the most!
What is the one piece in your wardrobe that makes you feel empowered?
Just one? I can’t choose just one piece because I’m empowered by so many pieces in my wardrobe. Hmm, I’d have to say it’s a three-way tie between my outerwear, my frames, and my signature bumble bee pins!
What does it take to be a successful woman in 2019?
LOVE - Love of self 100% (It matters a great deal to love yourself).
CONFIDENCE - That no one can do your job because you’re doing what you love.
FEARLESSNESS - Hearing ‘NO’ 99 times until that 1 ‘YES’ is presented.
HUMBLENESS - Have a slice of humble pie… You’ll need it on your journey because people love inhaling and soliciting unnecessary gas. Keep working, you’ll know when it’s time to celebrate your wins. Reach back as often as you can for as much as you can.
TRUST - Trust the process no matter what. Remember, it’s a marathon always.
You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, what’s your next goal?
I’m always working on new goals for myself, but I’ve learned to never announce until the time is divine aka #WaitOnIt
Visit https://www.rowaseat1.com to learn more about BeBe and keep up with her on IG @BeBe_Jones