HelloBeautiful recently sat down with Tameka Foster to talk about her lucky break into the fashion industry, her relationship with Lauryn Hill and her attempt to save teen girls. Check back next week to read what Tameka has to say about coping with divorce.
HB: How did you get started in the industry?
Tameka: I went to FIDM. I majored in fashion merchandising, with the goal of becoming a buyer or possibly someone that owns their own retail boutique. That’s what I did first. While I was in school I worked as a dresser. I did fashion shows, like just behind the scenes at Giorgio Armani shows and things like that. After that I had a friend, his name is Todd Russo. He’s actually married to Faith Evans now. He was working at a company alongside Michael Bivens called Biv Ten records. They had a group called Subway and 702. He actually asked me to style them. And was funny because I didn’t know anything about styling to begin with, I was on a wing and a prayer.
HB: Your big break began with Lauryn Hill? Am I correct?
I was on an elevator in the Bellage hotel in LA actually going to a photo shoot, and I was carrying all these wardrobe cases and bags. And when I got on I noticed there were like big body guards. And I turned around and it was Lauryn Hill. This was when the Fugees were at their peak. And ironically, she and I had on the same exact shoes and we both had an arm full of bangles. I mentioned the similarities and we laughed because we both had on the same shoes. I said “If you ever need a stylist…” It was a shot in the dark that ended up coming into the light because Lauryn’s stylist at the time failed to send her FedEx package for the VMAs, which were the following day in LA. Thank goodness. So, her assistant called me and said “Hey we met you yesterday, Lauryn needs some looks” and I ran out like a bat out of hell to get everything together for the show. She called me one day out of the blue a couple of years ago asking me if I saw any hot boots. She thought I was still a stylist. But no, I haven’t spoken to her in a couple of years.
Take a look at some celebs that Tameka has styled:
HB: How do you feel about the way the media portrays celebrities?
Tameka: I have a hard time believing anything I hear. I’m one to believe that usually there is 15 to 20% truth in most of what you read, unless it’s like a direct quote. And a lot of the stories end up being convoluted, they muddy the facts of everything. The headline is always something striking. Like, “Tameka strikes back at the bloggers.” I’ve never contacted a blogger in my life. I always say we’re in a very Jim Jones-esq era. And I say that because you remember how everyone went to Guyana, and they drank the punch. So I’m like “Are you guys are drinking the KoolAid.”
HB: What sparked your interest to start the “Lost Ones” charity?
Tameka: I have five sons, and I’m always concerned with the type of women they will end up with as far as morally, from an education standpoint. When I was growing up, there weren’t many people to mentor besides family members. My childhood was cool. I was about 13 when my parents split up, but it was good, I had a big family. I had uncles that definitely did not spare the rod, they didn’t care. They would spank you in church or wherever if you were acting up. You got checked no matter what. When I see girls now, like if you go to a cookout or barbecue, and there’s music playing, you’ll see girls, just shaking and dancing like they’re grown and they have more experience, it’s scary. At my son’s football game, the girls’ shirts are tied up in the front, they’re jeans are low and tight. I’m talking 11 or 12 years old!
HB: What goals do you hope to achieve with this non-profit organization?
Tameka: The goal is to mentor them by having different professionals in different fields come in, and actually speak to them. We’ll have a gynecologist come in and talk about sexual health and red flags to be guarded against. Then we’ll have a fitness person come in to show them how to keep their bodies in shape. And then we’ll have motivational people will come in to tell them that they can do anything that you set your mind to and prove their adversaries wrong.