VIBE Vixen's 2011 HOT 25 (Summer Edition)
It's a blazing hot summer, and the Vixens (as usual) have heated up the competition. Our first summer edition comes with business greats, music headliners, fashion influencers and rising starlets who have all captivated the game with physique, finesse and undeniable talent. You may not have a clue what they're up to, but we ensure these lovely ladies are cooking up something serious for wintertime heat. The coldest girls in the warmest months? Someone cue up some self-righteous, hard-hitting hip-hop and bring in hair and makeup. We now present: VV's Hot 25!
Zoe Saldana is a acting gem of Spanish heritage. She sexily slinks around red carpets in the high-end threads but can be the most badass blue giant you've ever seen! She was introduced to us in smaller roles, but suddenly gained the majority's devotion in the breathtaking cinema flick Avatar. Not only does she light up the silver screen, but the Dominican and Puerto Rican bombshell uses her great looks to make us, well, envious! The risque brand tapped her for "Envy" ads last year. And what's next? The Queens girl just wrapped Colombiana, a movie where she flexes her badass muscle to play a stone-cold, calculating assassin against her father's murderer. Do you see why she's an easy pick? Until you wait for the must-see flick to release, get your Zoe fix by picking up Vogue Russia!
Tika Sumpter is chocolate Vixen most giving us a sweet tooth! She goes by a few aliases: Layla Williamson (One Life To Live), Raina Thorpe (Gossip Girl) and Jenna Rice (The Game); however, she has a very fun, girl-next-door demeanor that was hard to hide in Esquire's "Me In My Place" spread. The 28-year-old NY fashionista had been seen everywhere you want to be: front row at New York Fashion Week, strutting red carpets at VIP parties, Essence Festival, you name it. She's slowly but surely building her fashion and marketing résumé and known to rock labels Vixens love. We've watched her step out all summer in Herve Leger, Tracy Reese and plenty of other darling 'fits that we'd love to get our hands on. Make sure you know this Vixen.
You've heard about Rachel Roy's rendezvous with a certain basketball player, right? The baller is bringing his love of basketball to the table and fashion's darling is bringing her sophisticated class to the Macy's housed line Rachel Rachel Roy. Not only is she stirring this new pot, she recently previewed her Resort collection to hold us over until NYFW. Undoubtedly, she's a fan of the latest color blocking trend, and it shows. Playing with several nautical themes, the American fashion designer used summer colors such as tangerine, a variation of blues and creams to make the looks clean. And we did mention the First Lady of the United States wears her clothes, right? Yeah, this Vixen designer is going hard all summer to prepare for September's showout! Let the fashion games begin.
I know this may sound a bit pretentious, but if you don't know who this woman is, I suggest you crawl out from under that rock, Google her or check your latest fashion magazine! Chanel Iman has been making love to the fashion world with her intriguing spreads for awhile now, but 2011 has definitely been a year for her. From Harper's Bazaar to Elle, this is Victoria's Secret Angel is hard to miss as you flip through glossy pages. Earlier this year, she received her best gift yet, solidifying her as not only a VS Angel, but our VIBE Vixen. She's a top model, a Vixen, an Angel and the owner of LA's boutique The Red Bag--what's not to love?
Peep the vid, and make sure you keep an eye on this one.
You know her name, you can spot her fiery red mane almost anywhere, and she pitches with a grenade apparently. Rihanna's rockstar edge and mouthy Twitter rants control you in some uncanny way. Admit it. As she tours the country on her LOUD tour, she pops up every now and again for award shows, wearing the most to-die-for fashion pieces. I mean, you do remember the white suit at the Billboard Awards? Or that sheer Grammy get-up? She's a dynamically daring Vixen every step of the way who drops bomb after bomb on your definition of her. The sexual star will even be making her first film debut in Battleship. The trailer is sest to be released this summer. We don't know how she does it, but she's a headliner everywhere she goes. She's indeed a Reb'l Fleur.
Oh, Kerry Washington, how you stop our hearts! K-Dub is officially Hollywood's good girl, and apart of our VV Hot 25. She makes no fashion missteps, commands her audience with every acting skill and stars in ABC's television series Scandal, which we can check for later this year. The lady from the Boogie Down Bronx made her way to the City of Angels and landed in several flicks we can easily recall: Save The Last Dance, She Hate Me, Lakeview Terrace, For Colored Girls and Night Catches Us. There are absolutely no reasons for her to not make the list. Her appearance-making summer is preparation for her new major role. Get ready!
June Ambrose reigns as one of NYC's top stylists and trendsetters. She has styled icons such as Jay-Z, Diddy and Mariah Carey.The turban wearing, Prada bag-toting fashion maven has made us and others very proud to have such a staple in the fashion theatre. Early this year, she dropped a collection of self-designed turbans to her resumé. The glamorous silk scarves come in various colors and rock names like Decadent, Passion and Envy with a price tag that ranges from $125-$150. No more details on the release date of her own reality show with VH1 which captures her roles as mommy and career woman, but we're always tuned into what this Vixen's got going on. We already know it'll be hot!
Carol's Daughter has aligned itself with the stars, and you can have Lisa Price to thank for that. The beauty brand has infectiously become a popular, household name among the Black women community. You think Vixens aren't up on these products? From its humble start, CD was nurtured by Lisa Price who has turned it into a cash cow and, most importantly, a life-changing company. With Solange, Cassie and Selita Ebanks as brand ambassadors seeking to promote and educate about diversity among Blacks in the beauty world, Carol's Daughter may just be one of the most important businesses to Vixens. Not only can your skin and hair be revitalized (word to CD's new Monoi set), but the brand stands for something positive for Black women. You can't go wrong with that!
Oprah's business mind alone exudes sexiness. In 2011, after 25 committed years to Daytime television she decided to end her infamous 'Oprah Winfrey Show' and kicked off a brand-new network all of her 'OWN'. Taking top positions as chief executive and chief creative officer of the network, the former daytime talk-show queen continues to be one of the most important figures in pop culture. Commanding attention from millions around the world, its clear that this phenomenal woman will remain in our hearts, minds, and homes forever.
Nicki Minaj has bars. Sentencing.
However, there's more to this animaniac. Her Vixen crown comes all equipped with the Barbie bells and whistles, but aside from the love she receives from hip-hop, she's got pop culture on lock. Currently the Queens, NY native is performing on Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour to a growing fanbase and audience. After releasing her debut Pink Friday, a MAC lipstick and holding her on against 'Ye, Jay and Ross, Vixens have loved. Debate as you please about her jocking Lil Kim's steez, but she an undeniable talent who's heating up everything she's touched. (She's blazing!)
For the future, don't be surprised if you see her walking for a major fashion house or on the glossy pages of Vogue. She's got a bright future. Lightbulb.
This Vixen caught our eye for being off the radar instead of blatantly one it, at least for now. Recently appearing on the pages of Elle and NBC's Parenthood, Joy Bryant's last big screen projects were her roles in Get Rich Or Die Tryin' and Antwone Fisher. Luckily enough, we can start preparing for her return this September for the third season premiere of the small screen dramedy. The show wasn't an instant hit, but Joy Bryant plays a single mother and asiring dancer.
We've loved her since the days she was rubbing elbows with Bey and Rah Digga in Carmen: A Hip-Hopera. Don't think she won't be heating up this summer unnoticed.
One model that has been killing the scene in 2011 is Jessica White! The first African-American model to appear in seven Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues, White, 26, is wasting no time becoming a household name. The Buffalo-native has walked in some of the biggest shows (Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Chloe), appeared in top fashion publications (Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Italia, Vogue U.S.), and campaigned for some of today's biggest companies (Cover Girl, Maybelline, Chloe and The Gap). Needless to say, 2011 has been thoroughly good to this Vixen, and we're only in the month of July!
Sexy, sophisticated and successful. These are three traits easily found in Hollywood. Yet titles such as philanthropist, author, producer, business entrepreneur, actress, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member and singer, are hard to find especially in just one individual. Jada Pinkett Smith never ceases to amaze with her undying love to help the community specifically troubled youth through Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. As a mother of two starlets, Jaden and Willow, wife to Mr. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, part owner of Carol’s Daughter and owner of Planet Hollywood, Jada is the pure representation of what women want to be (ask La La Vasquez). Recently snagging the cover of Uptown Magazine and Redbook, she remains a rockstar deep down holding off her Wicked Wisdom ambitions for family time.
VV Hot 25 is proud to acquaint Miss Maryland of 1988 to this list.
Sanaa Hamri is an ethnic beauty who lies behind the camera capturing the art expressions around her. The Moroco-born music video and film director is the mastermind behind some of our favorite artists' vid treatments. Prince, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and COmmon have all tapped this Vixen for her directing genius. Hamri has even tackled films such as Something New and Just Wright. Although these films weren't box office hits, they were conversation starters about the ills in the Black community. If you can't respect that...
Respect that she's dabbled in directing for popular TV show Grey's Anatomy. Yeah, she's a big deal. She's one of the few thriving women of color in film and represents to the fullest. Any other questions?
Island girl with big city dreams, Joan Smalls always knew that leaving her homeland would be the best chance for her success. As modeling became her true calling, Joan moved from Puerto Rico to New York in order to pursue her dreams. Her unabated attitude and willingness to fail jumpstarted her career with a cameo in Ricky Martin’s “It’s Alright” video, but she would not cease until she became a runway model. Fast forward and she has transitioned into the star she is today, even being mentioned in Kanyeezy's "Christian Dior Denim Flow." Joan is one sexy, exotic model who has had the opportunity to represent a plethora of designers. On top of that, Joan most recently starred in Vogue spread "La Isla Bonita" alongside charmingly cool guy Bruno Mars.
Yep, the summer is sure to treat this lady well...
Sidenote: Ayo Kanye, can we get a name drop on a hook or something? Dang!
Most guys love a woman that can speak her mind. Luckily for Jill Scott, there aren't many women who do that quite better than her. That's why the buxom beauty is ranked in our Top 25 list. The singer-songwriter and poet has been touring most of this year with R&B-singer Maxwell and recently dropped her album The Light Of The Sun, as well as a few pounds. This full-figured beauty manages to secrete sexiness and confidence in her artistry, while proving that sex appeal doesn't come in a particular size.
Gracing the latest cover of Ebony and talking sex and celibacy in US Magazine lets us know we'll be seeing more this Vixen all summer long! No complaints!
Bieber fans better back off because we'll fight for our Vixen Esperanza Spalding. The talented, young instrumentalist won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, but she's much more than just "new." Just take a listen to her Chamber Music Society; it's her third studio album and was the top jazz album upon its release. Recently, she performed at The Roots' Picnic alongside Nas and Wiz Khalifa proving that she's infiltrating the hip-hop culture in such a powerful way that reintroduces the art to a new generation. She is respected by a variety of community, and even the fashion world has embraced the big-haired brown girl.
Watch as she freshly remakes an old jam!
Living Single, House Party 2, Juice, Just Wright, even Hanging with My Cooper… but wait, let’s not forget Set It Off. Falling in love with her spontaneity and surprised by her versatility, Queen Latifah, as well as her accomplishments are not limited by the roles she played, yet what she exemplifies. As an actress, singer, rapper, Covergirl spokesperson and now a fashion designer, the Queen's work in the entertainment industry has not only attained her respect and praise from many, but helped her to secure a spot in the New Jersey Hall of Fame. A gamut of accolades reflect a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award and several other nominations. VIBE Vixen respects the a female mogul for her commitment to finding makeup products for African American women, commends her for the readily the launch of her line of clothes and accessories in August on HSN and can’t wait to see what acting has in store for her.
With a life like that her tagline will always read: "Every summer is mine."
What can we say about this woman that hasn't already been said? She's strong minded, sexy and totally about her business! Quite frankly, any woman who has the ability to completely change a conversation in barbershops across the world deserves to be on our list anyway. I mean really, now men are actually talking about getting married... and more preferably, to a woman like Beyoncé. Damn you, Jay-Z!
Since the day that Amber Rose announced her separation from Kanye West, she has been fighting to stay in the limelight. And if I may say so myself, in 2011, she's done a damn good job at it! Appearing front row at Paris Fashion Week, on the arm of Wiz Khalifa and most recently covering VIBE's June/July issue, she is proving that she isn't going out of sight or out of mind anytime soon. A. Rose has a vintage sunglasses boutique and a reality TV show ("Behind Her Shades") in the works. Also, her enviable cambodian features, very proportioned physique and feisty platinum blond hair more than compensate for any lack of self-expression you may think she has. But then again, as cliché as it may sound, I guess blonds really do have more fun!
Who's give a [bleep] what a hater gotta say?
With a killer body that would seduce any man and make any woman jealous, Serena Williams not only dominates on the court. Considered as one of the best American professional tennis player, Serena has acquired over 27 Grand Slam titles, placing her ninth on the all-time list, as well as two Olympic gold medals. Her fast action and tenacity to continue her career despite a knee injury show's that the voluptuous athlete perseveres off the court as well. And she's very much into fashion. Venus Williams' little sister has her own line on HSN—Signature Statement— and a line of athletic wear through Puma and Nike or her own line Arenes. She has even obtained ownership in the NFL Franchise, became part owner of the Miami Dolphins. She's unstoppable. And while she's still stopping traffic with her assets, just watch her work!
When Kelly Rowland, sporting a form-fitting hot pink Herve Leger dress, walked the red carpet at the 2011 Billboard Awards her transformation was officially complete. With the release of her single "Motivation", Rowland has gone from being in one of the biggest girl groups to becoming a legitimate solo star. And that isn't it! Kelly is on the verge of something even bigger. The 29-year-old star is working on a new fitness DVD with her trainer, Jeanette Jenkins, which is expected to drop later this year. Now that's what I call true motivation, if I could say so myself!
President and CEO of BET Holdings, Inc, Debra Lee runs what we know as BET. The Black Entertainment Television network has taken some harsh criticism during her reign, but it still remains one of the only networks left catering to a young African American audience. Lee, a businesswoman hailing from South Carolina, has been able to run this machine for six years now while increasing the budget and displaying better production; that deserves a tip of our hats. As BET becomes more technologically advanced, incorporates more positive Black programming and maintains their TV gem Centric, Vixens must applaud this southern belle for all her hard work!
Ever since Marsha Ambrosius released her first solo album Late Nights & Early Mornings, fans of the R&B singer have eagerly been waiting to hear more from her. Her LP can provide the soundtrack for an summer night, and the singer/songwriter possesses a soulful voice that's hard to ignore. But there is more to this songstress's sex appeal than just a good voice: there's that beautiful smile, those fantastic legs and a great personality. Whether writing heartfelt lyrics that touch the soul, touring with Melanie Fiona, or soothing fans with that rich creamy voice of hers, this Regal beauty has proved that a great ending in 2011 is not "Far Away."
When she's not visiting schools and inspiring young women who want to advance themselves and make a difference, Michelle Obama is simply minding her own business--literally. Her role as First Lady comes as no easy task, though she might make it look quite stylish and simple. This "Mom-In-Chief" is often found juggling motherhood, overseeing policy decisions, supporting her husband and jet-setting across the world as part of her ceremonial duties. In addition to her international travels, Michelle has changed the fashion style of a 'traditional' FLOTUS. Covering fashion publications such as Vogue and being a fashion staple to women across the world, it's no wonder this busy beauty has landed on our VV Hot 25.