Tanaya Henry Tanaya Henry

Vixen Chat: Tanaya Henry Opens Up About Lace by Tanaya, Clears Trey Songz Dating Rumors

“Its crazy to see how much one person can really do on their own if they're passionate.” —Tanaya Henry.

Crazy indeed. Tanaya Henry is a model and actress that proves the old adage, "beauty is nothing without brains" is real. As designer and jewelry maker of her own company, Lace By Tanaya, Henry embodies hard work and determination. Her pieces have probably been seen on your favorite celebrity, magazine, and music video—and she's just getting started. Flip through as she opens up about her personal success story, rumors of her romance with Trey Songz, her craziest experiences on video sets and more. — Shannon Powell

Tanaya HenryCan you tell us a bit how you started modeling Ad's on T-shirts.
A friend of mine from Minnesota had the idea [of modeling slogans] and reached out to me to be the face. Companies paid daily for me to wear a tee shirt with their logos on them every day of the month as advertising. I didn't start out that way, but it was a fun project and got me a little recognition!

Can you talk about how you started becoming involved in modeling?
I started modeling in Minnesota when I was going to school and eventually moved to New York alone when I graduated. I signed with Wilhelmina on the commercial board and did a few campaigns, music videos, and commercials.

What's the craziest or most interesting thing you’ve seen on set for a music video?
I haven't really seen anything too crazy. One time, I remember getting a my first big order from Karmaloop for my earlaces and I literally made 60 of them on set in between takes. It was quite interesting. Another time I was a sea monster painted all black, crawling around in the water. I danced so hard that I almost passed out. That music video never came out, but they turned a clip of it into this commercial. It was amazing.

Would you say you’re more interested in the modeling aspect of your career or your jewelry line?
Expressing my creativity and making others feel good is the most important to me, so if I can incorporate the two I do, but there's nothing like seeing something you've made with your hands on another human..

Can you tell us about how you discovered you were good at jewelry making? Was it something you were always interested in?
I started making jewelry as a hobby while I was living in a warehouse in New York with a bunch of artists. I wanted [jewelry] I couldn't find so I made it. My friends started buying pieces and eventually stylists were pulling it for shoots, etc. I realized I could make money off of doing something I love. I funded everything myself and modeled/acted to make money to make more jewelry.

Do you make all of you jewelry by hand? Can you tell us how you come up with design concepts
Yes, I make most of it by hand. Some things I find and alter, some things I design and make molds of. I honestly have no idea where I come up with the concepts.

A lot of celebs have been seen wearing your jewelry, who were most shocked to see wearing it?
I think Alicia Keys takes the cake and will forever. I remember one of the first weeks I had my website up in 2009, my friend was wearing my earlace earrings and a stylist got my info from her and called me up to pull them for Alicia's shoot the next day. A few weeks later I walked in the magazine store in Union Square and they were on the cover of the last issue of Giant Magazine. I died. Kanye is next.

Tanaya HenrySome of your friends (Karrueche, Christina Milian and Draya) have their own businesses. What are some words of wisdom you've shared with each other?

I think it's a little different for me as I've been working on Lace by Tanaya for over four years. I built my own following and nothing has been handed to me. I think we've got different formulas for the way we're doing things, but its important for all women to support each other.

There are rumors floating around that you and Trey Songz are dating. Would you like to address those rumors?
I've known Trey since I graduated high school. He's one of my best friends and is someone I can act a fool with. He's always been there for me, and supported my dreams which is hard to come by these days, but we're not dating and I'm very single!

What are your plans for the future and what is your ultimate goal?
I'm going to elaborate on one of my best sellers again, the Lace Cuffs! I'm releasing a Spring/Summer 2014 Collection for both men and women during Fashion Week in August. Long-term I want to move into fine jewelry and complete custom collections with brands. Within the next two years I'm going to have my costume line of jewelry in 100 stores worldwide.

Any last comments?
People need to believe that they can do whatever they want, no matter what anyone says. Anything that will have longevity isn't made over night. There is so much more to life than Instagram, wearing Louboutins, going to the club and sipping lean. Girls need to know you don't need to be with a celebrity to be relevant and you don't need to act ratchet on a reality show to get attention. We're not all cut out for stardom but we can all do something positive.

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va DuVernay speaks onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 10th annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay And Theaster Gates To Lead Diversity Council For Prada

Major luxury brands like Prada and Gucci have been under fire since releasing luxury items with racial undertones. Sparking controversy that is not easily repaired with public apologies, Prada has announced a Diversity and Inclusion Council lead by director Ava DuVernay and social practice installation artist Theaster Gates.

Gates and DuVernay, who have used their art in social justice missions will join " Prada’s initiative to elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at-large.” The pair will also help the brand provide the opportunity for designers of color to obtain internships and apprenticeships that are inclusive of diverse communities.

In a statement to WWD, Miuccia Prada, Prada’s Chief Executive Officer, and Lead Creative Director stated explained the brand's willingness to learn from their own mistakes while actively including creative of color in the company.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company, Prada said. "In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry, we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

The Diversity Council will work alongside the company's Social Responsibility department to recommend strategic approaches within the next few months.

 

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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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Cast of 'Boomerang' (L to R): Ari (Leland Martin), David (RJ Walker), Bryson (Tequan Richmond)
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BET’s 'Boomerang' Recap: Can You Really Hate The Player?

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As Tara reluctantly Insastories the night’s dull festivities, Ari gives his homie Bryson the cold, hard truth: Simone does not want his a**. Out on the balcony, Crystal and David (RJ Walker) have a moment; the two clearly have history. A shared beer and a couple of laughs reveal that David is an aspiring preacher, begging us to wonder if that’s why little Creflo’s relationship with Crystal didn’t last. The newly invited pizza guy, Shawn, makes his crush on Simone crystal clear and Bryson. Loses. His. Sh*t. Damn, we heard the friend zone was a cold place but we never thought it was that brick. Simone and her new eye candy rendezvous en route to and from the bathroom where Shawn makes a very forward ask to keep Simone company in her bed.  We’re not even going to hold you all, Simone was out; my mans didn’t even have to ask her twice. Le sigh. Poor Bryson. He just keeps taking L after L.

Okay, so remember kitchen bae who bumped into Simone making Bryson get all Mighty Mouse? Well, the gag is, his eyes are just for Ari (Leland B. Martin) and the two make their exit for a steamy hot tub sesh. Bryson feels stupid now, but at least someone is getting a happy ending.  Confused as to why the love of his life doesn’t view him the same, Bryson looks to pastor David for some well-needed reaffirmations. Repeat after me: Everything happens in God’s timing. A spirit of prayer, a childhood photo, and spin of Ahmad’s “Back In The Day” is just what Bryson needs to finally feel the relief he was yearning for all night.

This season of BET’s Boomerang looks like it will be filled with bomb hairstyles, plenty of passion, and some “aww sh*****t” moments.

Tune in to Boomerang on BET every Tuesday at 10/9c to see if this nice guy will ever finish first.

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