So I’m going to get really technical here. Jo-Ani is my husband’s cousin. Andre and I have been together 12 years, so at this point, I go with cousin. Cousin-in-law doesn’t quite have the same ring.
She’s family. She’s awesome. And I am beyond proud of her.
You may recall seeing her from the viral Allure Magazine video wherein she discussed how she’s managed to age with such grace and poise.
Watch it here:
Sunday, she walked her first runway during New York Fashion Week’s Tome’s S/S’18 presentation.
But she didn’t wake up like this.
Born and raised in New York City, she’s always sort of been somewhat of a legend on the streets of Harlem, but her Allure feature has taken her dopeness to a whole new level.
We talked this morning for a couple of hours, and through laughter and tears (on both of our parts) she talked about what drives her and how she got to be her fabulous, sought-after self.
How did all of this begin?
My husband credits himself as being my “founder.” One day we were walking down in Chelsea minding our business, going to dinner or somewhere, when a photographer asked to take my picture. I said no, but by husband said “go ahead and do it!” so she took a photograph of me and she put it on her site. Apparently these casting agents look for this kind of stuff, and that’s how I was contacted through Instagram for the Allure article.
Did you always want to be a model?
If you would have asked me if this would be part of my life today, I would have said no way. When I was younger I wanted to model desperately, but at the time the rules were so stringent, I was up against the Pat Clevelands and Beverly Johnsons of the world, and it didn’t happen because I didn’t meet the height requirement…So I ended up working in showrooms and so forth. I worked in the fashion industry for 13 years and eventually left. But if you had asked me if I ever thought that I would go back into fashion, the answer would have been no. I’m of an age where I never thought it would happen.
You are such an inspiration to so many people. How has your life changed since the Allure Magazine feature?
What’s next for you?
I’m enjoying the ride, but what’s important to me is the responsibly that comes with it. Giving our sisters and brothers the encouragement to know that you can’t let this world beat you down. We’re so eager to make sure we get ours…We’ve got to get ours! You may want it today, but today you may not be prepared. Just know that your time will come.
Okay, but can we talk about your hair? Give us at least one haircare tip!
Shea butter. I find coconut oil to be drying. Wash your hair infrequently and find a good conditioner with Shea butter. That’s it!
There you have it! Inspiration at its finest. While you’re here be sure to check out Jo-Ani’s other passion: Tea blending! Check out the company website HERE.
Hey, Boo! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a 30 something-year-old writer/mother/wife who happens to love lipstick, high heels, blackness, and the truth. You’ll find a mix of everything on this site, so I won’t bore you by trying to define this space. I hope you stay awhile!