SIS By Simone I. Smith Jewelry Event
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Simone I. Smith attends SIS By Simone I. Smith Jewelry Event at Macy's Herald Square on October 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Designer, Simone I. Smith Talks Family, Jewelry Line, and Battling Cancer

SIS By Simone I. Smith Jewelry Event

The latest line to hit Macy’s is SIS by Simone I. Smith. The jewelry line is a modern infused line with a touch of the '90s swag. However it’s the story behind the brand that makes it a better investment compared to it’s competition. SIS’s proceeds go towards the American Cancer Society, a choice that has much to do with it’s founder being a 10 year cancer survivor.

In 2004, Smith was diagnosed with stage three III Chondorosarcoma—a rare form of bone cancer. She thankfully  beat it proving she’s a fashionable fighter. Now that she’s beat probably the hardest battle she's ever encountered she wants to bring the grace of her accessory line to tell the sweet side of things. Smith’s line has a little bit of everything. Growing up in the era of the door knockers and bodacious styles, she incorporated her foundation with other styles for minimalist—"not everyone is daring and risqué to put on a pair of really big hoops so I toned them down.”

The woman behind the brand is not just a cancer survivor but she’s a mother and wife to LL Cool J. His wife of over  20 years took her love for accessories and a trying period of her life to help others upgrade their fashion statements. Flip the page to learn more about SIS by Simone I. Smith, her family and LL's overwhelming support for her.

Visit Her Website: http://simoneismith.com/

 

Photo Credit: Getty, Simone I. Smith

SIS By Simone I. Smith Jewelry Event

The Story behind Simone I. Smith:

SS: We have hoop earrings of all sizes, bangles, and lollipops. The lollipops [necklaces] are called, “Sweet Touch of Hope” and it’s the most popular piece besides the hoop earrings because it represents my journey as a 10 year cancer survivor. My lollipop necklace was disfigured during surgery and it looked like somebody took a bite out of my lollipop so when I decided to design Simone I. Smith, I decided to design the lollipop exactly the way my tattoo looked after my surgery and my logo is stuck in the middle which represents my journey.

SIS By Simone I. Smith LL Cool J

Bringing Her 90s Era to Today’s Fashion:

SS: Some of it is subtle. But I do it for all the ladies because not everyone is daring and risqué to put on a pair of really big hoops so I toned them down. We have all sizes. I wanted to make sure all the ladies would be able to rock some SIS.

Her Tight Knit and Supportive Family:

SS: It’s very important to have my family on board because my family inspires me. By the grace of god all my kids are talented and they give me their information. Todd and I are both young parents so we have kids that keep us cool even though I think I’m cool, so it’s very important to have my family involved.

 

simone smith

Dream SIS Models:

SS: Pink. My girl, Nicki Minaj. I know she has a pink lollipop, I gave her one when I first started the line but I would love to see her rock my stuff. Beyoncé and would love for Michelle Obama. We tried a couple of times, but it’s really hard to try and get her some times. I just feel like Michelle should be rocking some SIS.


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Future of the Brand:

SS: I love accessories so I would love to do handbags for sure. Maybe some belts but handbags for sure. If your handbags is right and your jewelries right, you’re it.

SIS By Simone I. Smith Jewelry Event

Their Hollywood Marriage and Family:

Simone Smith: We put god first in our family. Although we are fortunate and our family’s fortunate, they have chores and we have rules in our house. You do well, you get a lot, you don’t do well, don’t ask for nothing.  We both were raised by our grandparents and the mothers in the home. We both have god fearing grandparents. That’s how we were raised so we raised our children in the same type of environment.

LL Cool J: It’s not a Hollywood marriage. That’s what people forget. We’re from the same neighborhood. Sometimes as you become successful in entertainment, you can easily forget who you are and where you came from and you can start living your life as though you have an imaginary crown on your head. And that’s dangerous. It’s nothing wrong with being proud and confident in who you are but when it pushes over to the point to where you forget where you came from you kinda have to look in the mirror and check yourself.

SIS By Simone I. Smith Jewelry Event

His Thoughts on Her Jewelry Line:

LL: I think it’s great for women everywhere. For my daughters and women everywhere. You can do anything you put your mind to. Especially women that come from humble beginnings. Around the way girls, girls that come from normal places in this world and they need to know that they can make it and they can do something and that they have some value. it doesn’t always have to be about the rapper, actor, entertainer, or ball player taking them out of their misery. Although it’s apart of the fantasy, but it’s not always about that, you can do it.

simone i smith

Favorite piece from her line:

LL: Right now, it’s the lollipop. I’m not going to run around with some door knockers on, that may make a splash on VIBE.com [lol] like “you see your man in the door knockers’ but then again, if I put a trp beat to it then it will work. I like the lollipop though, it’s great.

44th NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

Letting Her Have the Spotlight:

LL: For me it feels good. Obviously I was there to support her and help her but it truly is her vision. She really was committed to it, she put a lot of energy in it. It was her choice to give back to the American Cancer Society and I’m just glad to be cheerleading.

Staying Humble:

LL: I try to keep god first. I remember where I came from. Like my new album GOAT 2, Everything I’m doing, The whole point is to remember where you came from. To talk to my people and where I grew up. It’s not to get to Hollywood and all of a sudden start tap dancing and trying to be a different guy and forgetting who I am. I didn’t forget who I am, I’m just a guy that goes after his dreams. For a 20 something year old, they look at LL and  say, 'he’s been famous his whole life, is he even a real guy,' because 'all I ever seen is him on TV.' I never forget where I come from. I really am a guy from queens tat just worked hard.

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BET To Release Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook, and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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Mike Windle/Getty Images for McWraps

Tatyana Ali Shares She’s Pregnant With Second Child

A new bundle of joy is on the way for actress Tatyana Ali and her husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. On Saturday (April 13), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star shared the news on Instagram, posting a picture of her baby bump and an excited caption.

“I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump,” she wrote. “We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed.”

 

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I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump. We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed. #BabyRasberry

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:52am PDT

 

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“Who are you calling?” I asked. He said, “the baby in Mama’s tummy”- Already in cahoots.

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 14, 2019 at 6:47am PDT

In 2017, Ali and Rasberry had their first child, Edward, who arrived a year after the pair wed in July 2016. In an interview with Parents, Ali described her method to parenting, which she picked up from her mother and father.

“I’m more laid-back than I thought I’d be,” Ali said. “My dad was like this with me and my two sisters. While my mom was stricter, he said, ‘If you teach them everything they need to know, they’ll be prepared and figure things out.’”

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