" DJAMEE, Are you ready, I have a show at the Tent in Bryant Park at 4 pm? This is Russel Simmons', wife Kimora Lee's show, you are welcome to come with me... We can go backstage; because I only have 1 seat front row - everyone is trying to go to that show.." We hoped on a cab and a few minutes later we were in the tent attending BABY PHAT first show. This seems like yesterday; at the time Damon Dash; Jay Z; Beyonce; ( It was the first time I met Miss B) Naomi Campbel, were all hangin out together. I remember being stuck with all of them after the show as no one could get back backstage for 2 minutes that seemed like an eternity. With so much energy in one place, you could hear everyone positive thoughts thanks to an over zealous bouncer who needed a signal from a producer to open the door.
CLAUDE GRUNITZKY The Chairman of TRACE magazine was nominated #1 most influential "French people" in AMERICA about 2 years ago. Claude is a long life FRIEND. He is generous attentive to people needs and loyal. That makes him a very rare HUMAN in the field of moguls he is now part of. Time has certainly passed since Claude, then 15 years old needed my help to get in the club Palace in Paris...
Flashback to the late 90's; I ran into Claude, on the street, right next to that Mc Donald near 8th Street. He looked so grown up yet still so young. "I am publishing a new magazine TRACE. This started in the UK as TRUE but we re named it and I am launching the magazine here now." He said. This was 14 years ago! Since then he has launched TRACE TV, published & distributed TRACE in more than 100 countries at it's peek. His magazine parties are always sold out events. He has sponsored music events and most recently has been involved with humanitarian work hosting fund raisers for charity. TRACE co signed through covers the launch of some of the most recognizable stars today and helped ethnic models being a center part of fashion editorials way before anyone else joined the crusade in favor or more visibility of various "shade of colors" models on the catwalk. So why is this TRACE "Final issue"? I was able to get an EXLCLUSIVE excerpt from Claude Grunitzky's last Editor letter which may help us understand WHY. Claude takes the time to reflect on his baby TRACE; the family; friends; team that helped him make his dream come true as well as how the readers & fans influenced its editorials; how Fashion Editor and "Closest friend" Christine De Lassus started the carreer of many GIRLS including our own model ROME. Rome was centerfold for the first editorial shoot for Y3 by BEN WATTS. In a single editorial credit TRACE legitimized DJAMEE Models our then brand new company. Lastly, I was partying with Claude and hundred of other revelers that included icon super model IMAN and former husband Peter Beard the night of 09/10/01.
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from the last EDITOR LETTER to be published next week in the FINAL TRACE BRAZIL 2010!!.
"The month was November 1996, exactly 14 years ago this month. This magazine gradually matured with my evolving interest and cosmopolitan curiosity. In the Spring of 1998, my tiny team and I moved from grungy London to flashy New York, and sometime around the beginning of this new millennium,Trace became about Transcultural styles and ideas --- We transition to the web under the old / new TRUE brand. We feel immensely proud to have been the magazine that helped launch the careers of singers like Kelis, Alicia keys and Rihanna, or rappers like 50 Cent and Ti, of models like Alek Wek and Selita Ebanks, of gifted journalist like Jon Caramanica. I will never forget the Terry Richardson TRACE fashion shoot from the Spring of 1997, when the then unknown photographer immortalized the lascivious kiss of gay New York B - boys with his Yashika T4 camera. ( no taboos allowed in Trace.)..."
This is how you wanted it Claude, and we are most grateful for it. Long live TRUE and See you next week for another TRACE blockbuster PARTY- PASSION - DR