Vanessa Simmons ROSE by Vanessa Jean Vanessa Simmons ROSE by Vanessa Jean

Vixen Chat: Vanessa Simmons Talks Lingerie Line, Sheds Daddy's Girl Image

is looking rightfully fresh with a brand new movie, a recently launched lingerie line and an unstoppable outlook on life. The first daughter of hip-hop pioneer Rev Run, formerly of RUN DMC, is refusing to base her life on the expectations of others. Vanessa proudly launched Rose by Vanessa Jean, a sexy, upscale lingerie line mostly reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. While the launch may be keeping the Pastry founder busy, she has not strayed away from her passion of acting. Her new film, Dysfunctional Friends, is in selected theaters now. It’s a fun comedy with a star-studded cast that includes Meagan Good, Stacey Dash and Tatyana Ali. Vanessa likened being on set of the film to a dream. It "was so surreal,” she described.

The 28-year-old actress dispels the silver spoon perception and says she has to work just as hard as everyone else, regardless of coming from a wealthy family. She chats with VIBE Vixen about remaining fearless despite the opinions of others, while sharing the best advice she’s ever gotten from her father. -Lathleen Ade-Brown

What role do you play in the new movie Dysfunctional Friends?
My character in the movie is Hanna, and she just stirs up a little trouble for my co-star Brett (Wesley Jonathan). She’s like his mistress; she’s a funny kind of a girl. It was really cool working on the set because I got to work with a lot of people that I use to see on TV growing up. Meagan Good has been acting forever; I use to watch TV and watch her and say ‘I think I want to do that.” I got to learn a lot from all my co-stars.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about being an actress; some people think it’s easy?
Before I moved to LA, I was like “I got this!” But when I got there it was like ‘wait there are a lot of girls here just like me.’ It’s not as easy as it seems to be so vulnerable in front of so many people, you might be able to do it in your bathroom, in front of the mirror but get on set with so many people around, the director and the whole crew, everyone is watching and everyone is looking. The more I fall into it and the more I do it, it becomes easier, I learn as I go. I just want to get better and be good.

What inspired you to launch your lingerie line?
I love lingerie so much. I spend way too much money in Victoria's Secret, but I wasn’t finding little things that were needed. So I started designing little things for myself. I would make a robe or a corset, and other women would love what I have to offer. It’s all about old Hollywood glamour. Most of my inspiration comes from, Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Dandridge; they were so classy and feminine. I really think I have something to offer, and I want to be able to offer it to women of all shapes and sizes.

Were you reluctant to release the lingerie line? What do you say to the people who may think it’s too sexy and mature for a Reverend’s daughter to release?
I laugh at those people because I’m like, I can’t be a normal female and like normal things that girls like? What am I suppose to be wearing? Granny panties? [laughs]. I make some money, I go buy sexy things. I’m obsessed like any other woman would be, so those people that hate on the project, I don’t pay them no mind.

Perhaps they still consider you a young girl.
People think I’m like 10! I’ve been mature since [Run’s House]. I was 20 years old when we started. People always want to see me with my dad when I’m out. Paparazzi usually ask me "where’s your dad?” I’m like, 'He doesn’t walk around with me everywhere.’ [laughs]

Your dad is like the king of words of wisdom, but what is the best piece of advice that he has given you?
When I was living at home going through certain issues, it would be like 6AM in the morning and my dad would bust through my room like, 'I got it for you!' He would read me whatever quote he found in a book or whatever he thought of. Sometimes when I start to feel too much pressure or not as happy, I’ll just remember my dad saying, 'Do your best and forget the rest,” because that is all you can do!

What is the biggest misconception about being a Reverend’s daughter?
Well people expect me to not be talented. While I am a Simmons and there are a lot of privileges that come with that, it is really hard to get our family’s attention to pitch something. Think about it, my dad has heard every pitch idea, so we actually have it a little bit harder to pitch something. When we are sitting at home chilling, my family doesn’t want to hear about business. It can be challenging for us like everyone else. We are grinding like everyone else. We have been installed with this incredible ambition that just will not stop; I do not sleep at night. I am working just as hard as everyone else, maybe even harder. I don’t party often [because] I spend my time trying to make my dreams come true.

You’re a businesswoman. What advice do you have for women who are trying to start their own businesses?
Organization is so important, but my biggest piece of advice is to know that you’re going to get so many "no’s" before you get your "yes." I have my little Vanessa’s words of wisdom: You can expect a "no," but you cannot accept a "no." It’s all about the persistence. Keep pushing through and take the constructive criticism. There is nothing that can stop you except you.

We all know how relationships can be distracting when focused. Are you single?
Oh gosh, I know. I’m not single ,but my boyfriend and I are both at a time where we are going deep into the things we have been working on for so long, so it can get challenging. I’m starting to travel more and so is he, so we just have to stay strong.

When you’re not working where do you shop?
I like online shopping. Shopbop and Karmaloop, all these different websites that I fall upon. I have so many different places that I go to, and I can’t remember the names. I have a favorite boutique in Studio City called Timeless. I love that place.

After a long day of working and maybe partying, what do you use to cleanse your face and remove makeup?
I use a face wash called Purity by Philosophy. You can find it at Sephora, it’s awesome! It’s a really gentle face wash that melts your makeup off, and also I use the Microdelivery Exfoliation from Philosophy. When you wipe it off, you’re glowing!

Lathleen Ade-Brown is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has written for ESSENCE, JET and Global Grind. Keep up with her on twitter, @Lathleen.

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.


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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.


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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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