Getting to know JONES with Editor-in-Chief Tracey Ferguson
The newsstands have made some room for a new fashion magazine in town!
JONES Magazine is a new fashion and lifestyle publication that serves as a go-to shopping guide for multicultural women. The premier issue debuted nationally last Thursday, April 15th. Less than a week old, JONES has already gained traction with cover girl, Veronica Webb.
Editor-in-chief, Tracey Ferguson, has been a fixture in the Houston fashion scene and is now bringing her expertise and passion nationwide. She shares her journey in this exclusive interview about her vision, the story behind JONES, and Ferguson’s new reality shop-drama series, “Keeping up with the Joneses.”
How is JONES different from the other magazines already on the racks?
Since 2005, JONES magazine has served as the premier luxury shopping and lifestyle resource for African-American and multicultural women. What distinguishes JONES from other glossies is that we have successfully honed in on the lifestyle and shopping needs of today’s contemporary women of color. This group of women shares a penchant for what’s new, now and next. When they pick up JONES they see women who look like them living a similar fashion-forward lifestyle. JONES is much more than a magazine; it’s an experience that bonds a very diverse group of women together.
Why Veronica Webb for your first national issue?
Veronica Webb is one of the most visible and respected African-American models in the world. We thought she was the perfect choice for our national debut issue. She could not possibly be more on brand for JONES. Veronica is intelligent, sophisticated, ambitious, charitable, well-traveled, fashion-forward and a tastemaker– all the qualities that define a JONES girl.
What type of content can we look forward to in the coming issues of JONES?
Shopping is the main event inside each issue of JONES. I like to think of JONES as the shopping guide for women who know better. In every issue we dig deeper to introduce the most exciting emerging designers, the best shopping spots and deals, the best in beauty and hair care, the best in travel worldwide, and, of course, events. Our content will always target savvy American-American and multicultural women who aspire to live or are living a fashion-forward lifestyle. You can count on the next issue to have even more thought-provoking articles and inspiring fashion photography.
What is the backstory behind JONES magazine? How did it come to life?
I had the concept for a good while, but the drive came after losing my husband, who supported me taking the plunge. My idea for JONES was born from a book club of really bright, interesting, stylish friends. We got together and had this tendency of unwittingly sharpening ourselves against each other shoes, hairstylists, bags, boutiques, sales, travel destinations, restaurants, etc. We were always chatting it up, sharing lifestyle information with each other. I got to thinking how cool it would be to contain all of that information in a magazine format so other women could benefit from the insight too. It mattered to me where beauty, fashion and travel advice came from. I was always interested in stylish multicultural women and what they used, and how they held it down.
What is your vision for JONES as the editor-in-chief?
It’s my goal to continually understand, meet the needs and evolve with the JONES woman by sharing the art of living in a provoking, compelling, sophisticated way on multiplatforms such as print, online and TV.
How does your show “Keeping Up with the Joneses” fit in the overall vision of JONES?
I wasn’t looking for a reality show when it happened. I received a phone call from the show’s production company in Los Angeles several years ago that they had a copy of JONES and they said they thought it could be worth shooting a test reel. The more we shot that week, the more I began to see it as an incredible outlet to share the publication and brand with a national audience. From that perspective, it became a compelling business decision. I’m one of the producers of the show, and Centric, our network, hits a strikingly similar audience as our demographic, so it only made sense to combine efforts to enhance both of our brands. They’re like having a partner rowing in the same direction as you are.
Viewers will get a rare look at all the drama that goes into publishing each issue of JONES. They will also witness my efforts to balance home, family demands, work, ambition, grief and stress — all the highs and lows of being a mogul-mom. We have challenging staffing issues, land mines to side step, my ambitious musically-inclined teenagers to parent, photo shoots to improve, a potential investor to charm, and admittedly a few personality quirks to overcome.