Long before she was known as the wife of famous music star Usher Raymond, Tameka Raymond had established her own name. In fact, the Oakland-bred stylist had been known in the industry for dressing A-listers (Ciara, Lauryn Hill, Jay Z, Toni Braxton, etc.).
Fast forward to the present day and her name remains in headlines. Now divorced from Usher (the couple were married for two years) and having suffered a personal tragedy (in 2012, her 11-year-old son Kile was critically injured on an inner tube on — he later died) some argue that Tameka continues to inspire. Critics and fans caught a glimpse inside her world, on VH1’s Atlanta Exes. And boy, was it entertaining!
theJasmineBRAND.com recently caught up with Tameka during her ‘Style Theory‘ tour and chatted with her about fashion; if she felt like she was portrayed accurately on ‘Atlanta Exes’; off-camera drama and what’s the hold-up on the show returning. Peep a few excerpts.
theJasmineBRAND: Congratulations on your Style Theory Tour. For folks that aren’t familiar, what is that?
Tameka Raymond: It’s exciting! It’s a tour that I put together. I’ve got like the best hair, makeup, fashion stylist and we basically go to different cities. I have 15 cities that started out with, actually I take that back 14 cities and we’re just teaching. It’s a whole day with like one-on-one instruction for everybody.
theJasmineBRAND: How did you come up with the concept?
Tameka Raymond: I was just asked so many questions all the time for fashion advice. You know what do I wear with this and you know social media. And people would like DM me questions like what to wear to an event. I’m like this is crazy.
theJasmineBRAND: Do you feel like style can be taught?
Tameka Raymond: It’s a very innate thing. I will say style is definitely innate. It’s definitely not about the designer labels. I wrote a book also and I talk about that. It’s not about having confidence in the designer you’re wearing its confidence within yourself. A lot of people are kind of like label whores. They follow trends so closely and they are trying to do what the next person is doing. Good or bad they do it and that’s never really been my thing.
theJasmineBRAND: What’s the most common question you’re asked I guess about this whole fashion world, styling world?
Tameka Raymond: How do you get into it, people always want to know how did you do it. What I need in my portfolio.
theJasmineBRAND: Who was your first celebrity that you styled?
Tameka Raymond: I worked with Subway and 702. I did their first video This Little Game That We Play.
theJasmineBRAND: Atlanta Exes. Congratulations on that; you all completed the first season. How was that experience for you?
Tameka Raymond: You know it’s a double edge sword. First of all, I’m not one that’s big on being in front of the camera. I’ve always been behind the scenes so I am a little camera shy or nervous. So I spent like probably the first 4 episodes trying not to blink and trying not to mess up and say the wrong thing and then it came off as you think you’re better than everybody or they just didn’t understand what my mind set was. I was trying to just not get in the confrontations and I ended up in them because I wasn’t. Then I thought I was better and then when I said something to have some personality I would have foot in mouth disease. I’m like, ‘Sh*t I can’t win with this damn thing.’ I didn’t like some of the edits and some of the way I kind of came off on camera. But you know what — it was an experience and I don’t regret it.
theJasmineBRAND: Do you feel like you were edited fairly?
Tameka Raymond: Sometimes I was not. Definitely. But then it’s like you kind of have to follow the story. If you do one episode and I’m kind of made to look a little more confrontational then the next episode kind of has to match the other one — so yeah it’s just the name of the game. At the end of the day, I’m smarter than that. I knew what I signed up for and I should’ve been just kind of carefully analyzed that a little bit.
theJasmineBRAND: What was the hardest for you to watch?
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