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VSG (very stylish girl)
by kimberly suggs

Potential: Capable of being or becoming.

Fashion Potential: Dana Owens, A.K.A. Queen Latifah -- born in Newark, New Jersey -- the daughter of an art teacher and police officer -- Grammy award winning rap artist -- talk show host -- producer -- Academy Award nominated actress -- full-figured model -- signs a potential 21-year multi-phase partnership with Curvations/VF (Vanity Fair) to create plus fashions -- Lots of potential...

The fashion business is filled with potential secrets, mergers and big deals always, "In the works." This past June, in New York, one of the "big secrets" was revealed. The “Queen“ (no, not Aretha), Ms. Queen Latifah announced an unprecedented multi-part, multi year contract with the Vanity Fair Corporation’s intimate’s line, CURVATION. As Spokesperson and Creative Consultant her “reign” will include a sportswear collection that will launch in 2006. This groundbreaking partnership, with the potential to run for 21 years, is revolutionary.

During the press conference, I could hardly contain myself.  Divas everywhere, the drum roll has just begun and the plus-size fashion evolution is officially ON!

It has been my pleasure to work with The Queen on several occasions over the past few years and I must share with you that she IS the real deal. This is not a "fake out" like the Hilton sisters, or JLo with their couture friends all lined up in the wings. I have done my share of styling and I am telling you that it is much easier for them to drop by D&G, Prada or Gucci and pick up a little sumthin’ off the rack. There aren’t many racks for us “healthy” girls, at least not just yet, but the Queen does have some clothes to share and baby they will be stage ready.  Finally, a celebrity body who understands what it is that we need.  This collection will be, "For us -- by us," not a skinny wannabe who doesn’t understand the first thing about a good fit even if it hit them upside their finger snapping head! 

Latifah is not only diligent in her pursuit of excellence, but she has worked hard and long before adding her name and talents to a collection that would only befit a Diva's status. Even though the line is slated for 2006, I fortunately got a peek at the collection -- and trust me, it will not disappoint! There are great woven shirts for any body type, sassy prints, knit dressing for easy travels, and a killer denim collection. Queen’s body of work has crossed many disciplines and she masters them all. Whether it’s her voice gracing a musical recording or commercial or her flawless face and sumptuous figure image looming large on the silver screen and on the pages of countless magazine covers and articles, she always projects the persona of a true fashion diva without all the drama. This lady is a platinum personality, with a heart as big as her smile and a wit and bright mind that is unmatched.

Her success is no accident and via these talents she has broken many stereotypes about the pull and audience appeal of the full-figured woman. While garnering roles not just written for the big girl and as pitch woman for Cover Girl and Pizza Hut she has expanded the collective consciousness to the potential of plus women in the arena of advertising and entertainment.  Playing against dashing leading men such as Richard Gere, Denzel Washington and Djimon Honsou she proves that we are every bit as capable, desirable and bankable as the next woman.


Dana Owens, A.K.A. Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah has a wonderful sense of style and knows what works for her and on her, and that 'strong spirit' never comprises. This woman has a great head for business so this new partnership didn’t just up and happen. She has been the brand spokesperson for Curvation since its launch in February 2003. Curvation offers sensual and livable lingerie at affordable prices. Her realness and sincere sense of being grounded are a few of her most wonderful qualities. She challenges all around her to keep things real. 

I first worked with her In early 2004 and I was impressed by her sense of style and her uncompromising  drive for quality at a price that is affordable, well designed and wearable. It was never about the glamour factor without the price factor.  She always remembered her base, the curvaceous real woman, with real lives.  Even with her current first vocal album (Queen Latifah – The Dana Owens Album), two movies under her belt where she served as executive producer and a new movie coming this fall (The Last Holiday, in which she appears opposite L.L. Cool J), she is still very reachable. Her long time personal stylist Susan Moses is all style and class. This beauty is a veteran with more than twenty years of cladding countless stars from Hollywood to Broadway also keeps it real and that is why they work like hand in glove together.  Susan’s sense of style is never over the top but always tasteful and ladylike. I have met many stylists and fashion folks over my career but these two are winning because they are truly talented. As I started this article there are lots of secrets in the fashion business but the secret to true success is talent.    

As we end our summer fesitivities, treat yourself to a special 'Girls Night Out'. I hope you can catch Queen Latifah on tour (The Sugar Water Festival, with Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Floerty). The twenty city tour concludes in Los Angeles, CA on August 9th.


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about kimberly suggs

Kimberly is the head of Very Stylish Girl and Style Eternal LLC, a fashion consulting company. She is a media veteran and retail fashion buyer for some of the most prominent retailers in the country.

She certainly keeps busy! Kimberly just finished styling for one of TV’s hottest shows, TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” She is an adjunct professor at her alma mater FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and also teaches professional image seminars for the Dress for Success organization. Kimberly handled the design and merchandising of the Brooklyn retail phenom B2 Gear, a concept store that gives back to the community. Located in Brooklyn's notable Fort Green community, B2 Gear is a specialty project created by the non-profit organization Youth America to assist urban youth in learning the structure and practical skills of entrepreneurship.

kimberly suggs


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