Sunday, 2 September 2012

Ghana Rising Hearts Simone Tetteh...


Five Days, Five Looks, One Girl: Simone Tetteh
As Bookings Associate at Vogue my primary responsibilities consist of casting the hairstylists and makeup artists for our photo shoots. In order to do this well, I like to meet the artists in person, especially the up-and-comers, to get a sense of their personalities, learn about their aesthetic, and most importantly, check out their portfolios. Today, I’m meeting with makeup artist Alice Lane. We’re big fans of her work around here! Aside from being extremely good at her craft, Alice also brings a great energy to every set she’s on.

One of the things I love about working at Vogue is figuring out what to wear every morning. Even though it’s very much an office environment, everyone is encouraged to inject their own personality into the way they dress. Here, I’m in one of my favorite skirts from Opening Ceremony. What sealed the deal for me were the tiny slits all around the hem—they’re such an O.C. twist to the standard black mini. To add some colour, I paired it with my new floral Equipment button-up, a recent Moda Operandi score, and a studded belt from the Gap.

I’m finding that more and more makeup artists, hairstylists, and even models are going digital and putting their work on iPads as opposed to in books. This actually makes the review process pretty convenient for both the artists—who no longer have to lug around an ever-expanding portfolio—and me (now I can quickly show an editor an artist's work on the fly). This Roberta Freymann iPad case perfectly matches my sense of style and doubles as a cute clutch.



I never considered myself a heels-kinda girl before I started working here. Due to bad knees and an even worse sense of balance, I’d resigned myself to a cute flat, tennis shoe, or a very sensibly heightened heel. All of that has changed, though. I’ve seen the light, and I totally get how integral a great heel can be—not just to a work outfit but to just about any outfit. These Jason Wu shoes are great for the office because they possess what I consider to be the ultimate heel trifecta: They’re insanely chic-looking, astoundingly comfortable, and work around the clock to carry me into any and all evening activities. It’s safe to say these heels work just as hard as I do!


As much as I love talking lipstick and dresses, I’m a total tomboy at heart—and there is nothing I like more than throwing on a pair of comfortable jeans and riding my longboard around my neighbourhood after work. This is me in my natural habitat, wearing Topshop jeans and a chambray button-up from Theory.


My friend Solomon helps run this awesome Brooklyn based longboard company called Bustin Boards. You can create a fully customizable longboard that they finish and hand-paint in the store. He specially made this one for me, featuring my favourite colors. I don’t wear much jewellery—especially when skating, with the exception of these Sarah Chloe monogrammed bracelets, which add a bit of girliness but still don’t get in the way.

In my high school days, I was a serious sneaker head. I have a few dozen super-rare sneakers stacked in my parent’s basement—all in their original boxes, of course. Although I’ve grown out of collecting sneakers—and now moved on to collecting heels— when a great pair catches my eye, there’s really no end to the lengths I’ll go to make them mine. Like these Nike Dunks, for example. I searched for weeks to get my hands on this sold-out pair, and finally ended up nabbing them from an eBay seller in Taiwan! Definitely worth it.

I can comfortably sling this Derek Lam bag over my shoulder, and it hangs at just the right length so as not to get in the way—it’s the ideal skating accessory.


I’m having a pretty serious love affair with denim rompers and jumpsuits right now. I’ve developed a “gotta collect ’em all” mentality and literally have yet to meet a denim romper I don’t like. They’re just so comfy for the summer months, and they work for almost everything—trips to the farmer’s market, bike rides, or brunch dates. These Surface to Air dungarees are probably a favorite in my denim menagerie right now. (Surface to Air is a cult French label that can do no wrong in my book.) Here I’m wearing them paired with a sweater from J.Crew, while I check out a Martin Creed piece at the “Painting in Space” exhibit at the
Luhring Augustine Gallery in Chelsea.

Works Featured:Martin Creed, Work No. 1416, 2012; Image courtesy of the artist and Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College

Martin Creed, Work No. 1417, 2012; Image courtesy of the artist and Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College..

My favourite part of this look is the tapered leg, which I think adds a dose of chicness and elevates them from being considered overalls to true dungarees. I’m also wearing these fantastically cool Walter Steiger heels. They give me a Gaga vibe—they’re insanely high fashion and eccentric looking, but they are still surprisingly comfortable to walk in—a total win.

Works Featured:Martin Creed, Work No. 1416, 2012; Image courtesy of the artist and Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College


Here I am on a night out at one of my favourite spots in the city, Cafe Gitane at the Jane hotel. I love how it has an Old World French vibe mixed with a bit of Moroccan flair. It’s a great, intimate spot—perfect with a date or a small group of friends, and nothing beats looking out onto the Hudson River while Edith Piaf croons in the background.

This lime green dress from H&M is so right in so many ways it’s hard for me to keep from wearing it to every and any occasion. (I’d be lying if I said I haven’t devised nights out specifically for the purpose of wearing this dress. It has a slit that evokes an #Angiesrightleg situation so much so that my friends and I have dubbed this look #Moniesrightleg.


I am a total bag lady in the sense that I carry so many things with me at all times that I need no less than three bags on my person to tote it all. On nights out, it’s always a battle to convince myself that I don’t have to have three extra lipsticks with me and that just one bag will suffice. This internal conflict is always resolved a little more easily when I have a gorgeous clutch like this one by Kayu. I love the iridescent look and interesting texture of this piece enough to forgo my hoarding ways! I’m usually not one for tons of jewellery, but when I feel like an outfit needs a bit more of something, I’m known to throw on a stack of bracelets. My go-to tone is gold—I think it plays well with my skin colour, and it makes me feel just a tad more glamorous.



These Ferragamo heels are the perfect addition to this look. As much as I love wearing this dress, green is not an easy colour to accessorize with. I’m always concerned that my shoes will either get completely lost in the brightness of the dress or stand out way too much on their own and clash. However, the subtle gold sheen and snakeskin texture of these heels help them hold their own while not entirely stealing the show…


One of my absolute favorite perks of my job is talking shop with hair and makeup artists. I’m kind of a beauty junkie and love finding out about new products and makeup tips. Alice Lane once told me that paintings at art museums are the best
reference for learning how to apply makeup. If you look closely at a Botticelli or a Raphael you can see that the artists always highlighted with paint certain areas of the face like the cupid’s bow (the curve of the upper lip) or the inside and outside corners of the eyes because that’s where light naturally hits and where the beauty lies. I always love to take the tips I learn and see how I can apply them on myself. Occasionally, they’re hits, like this winged eye look, and others times . . . let’s just say, some techniques are better left to the pros.



I’m a huge music fan, and I love discovering the original samples used in my current favourite songs at the West Village record store Rebel Rebel. I’m also finally starting to get serious about my long-time passion time for DJing, and Rebel Rebel’s vast and eclectic selection makes for a great stop to pick up records for my mixes.

This dress is a vintage find that I scored for a whopping seven dollars! It holds the dual distinctions of being both the least expensive item I own and also my very favourite. I’ve had it for years, and it carries so many of my best memories. I’m not entirely sure which decade it’s from, but the flowy, short cut and psychedelic print makes me think it’s late sixties or early seventies.

I get my hair cut by Dickey at Hair Rules salon in Manhattan. He’s my curly-hair guru! About a year ago, I made the impulsive decision to completely shave my head. Although a cute and totally low-maintenance look, I’ve decided to grow it back out again, and Dickey is helping me rediscover all the fun I can have with my coily curls—such as adding accessories like a scarf from time to time.


I can’t help but think of my mom when looking at this assortment of gold and wood bracelets. She's the queen of bangles and is never without a stack of at least six at all times. As a kid, I would watch her effortlessly slip on each bangle without even thinking about a specific order or colour combination, which is an approach I’ve adopted as well. I find that if you put too much thought into jewellery it just ends up looking complicated. I prefer an breezy approach.

These boots hold a lot of sentimental value. In college, I worked at the clothing store Madewell, and the day these shoes came in the store, my heart skipped a beat. I’d been searching for years for the perfect workman’s boot, and these fit the bill. I remember saving up pay checks in order to make them mine. I think I may have worn them nearly every day for a full year—I paired them with party dresses, they went on dates, I wore them to class—literally everywhere. I’ve had to have them re-soled a few times due to all of the intense wear, but they’ve still managed to hold up through the years and have taken on this great vintage look.


Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I finally got my hands on a copy of American Vogue’s September 2012 Issue -and was feeling very pleased with myself (it’s the must-have issue of all issues of all the high-end magazines in the world. It is always the biggest issue of the year.. This years one is the size of two telephone directories, -and represents the beginning of the A/W season et al)..

Gently flicking through said magazine (think…the little man is in bed, me on my favourite comfy chair, me with a very grown-up drink-with loads of ice and mint, a fragrant candle burning elegantly on table and an old cashmere blanket covering my shoulders and you start to get the picture) - and low and behold I spot a Ghanaian name in American Vogue’s masthead -belonging to one… -Simone Tetteh !!!! How fabulous -me thinks!!!

Credited as American Vogue’s Bookings Associate, -Simone Tetteh is another name to add to the list of the few people of Colour working in the upper echelons of High-fashion ….and Ghana Rising is now a fan of this modish fashionista…

As a Bookings Associate, -Ms Tetteh is responsible for booking photographers, hairstylists and MUAs, placing options on the hottest models on the planet, arranging locations, flights etc -thus, its got me thinking….wouldn’t it be fabulous to see Ghanaian models in American Vogue???

Anyway, I’m predicting a huge fashion future for Simone Tetteh. I see her as the next big style icon and IT girl. I see her all over blogland, high-end glossies and on all the best dressed lists around the globe -so if you’re a Ghanaian designer, I think its time to hook up with Ms Tetteh, send her your stuff -and make sure she’s seen in your designs on the pages of Vogue and beyond....

Please note that the lovely photographs above come courtesy of American Vogue’s website and are shot by Marko Macpherson via:

Photos: Marko MacPherson
Hair: Dickey at Hair Rules salon;
Makeup: Alice Lane

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