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21 April 2014

Tracy Gayle Norman (1951 - ) model.

Tracy Norman was raised in Newark, New Jersey, and started going to the Ball scene in Harlem, where she became known as Tracy from New Jersey.

She was encouraged by friends to attend a modeling event at the Pierre Hotel in New York in 1971 where she was discovered by renowned photographer Irving Penn and booked for Vogue Italia a few days later. She was similar in appearance to the rising black model Beverly Johnson, and quickly was featured in major advertizing campaigns for Clairol, Ultra Sheen and Avon Cosmetics. Essense Magazine booked her for several sessions.

During the last session, the hair dresser's assistant, who was from the same part of New Jersey and had been asking around trying to figure out who Tracy was, spoke to the editor and spread the word that Tracy 'was not female'. Work in New York dried up.

Later Tracy bought a one-way ticket to Paris and was able to find work in fashion shows.

In the 1990s she moved back to New York, became one of the founders of the House Africa and became known as Tracy Africa on the Ball scene. She became mother to the house, and was elected to the Ballroom Hall of Fame in 2001.

Recently she has been working in home decorating


Billie said...

Good for her!

JusTonzae said...

Iconic and historical interview.