Primping in a colorful printed dress by Demestik, in the hallway of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans for the 2019 Essence Festival, was how I first encountered Tamron Hall. She was preparing to speak in front of a room full of press about her then-new show the, Tamron Hall Show, premiering in the fall of that year. She entered the room with a charming smile and big Texas-sized “Hello.” At that moment, with her dress dancing with each sway, she became a fixture in the fashion world and also, my mentor.
Hall’s contribution to the culture isn’t limited to her great style. Through content that moves the culture forward, she filled a void in the daytime TV space with her undeniable fierceness and dedication to thought-provoking journalism.
Making her mark as an on-air reporter in her hometown of Dallas, TX in the 90s, Tamron Hall has become a modern trailblazer with a powerful voice in the black community; and a household name. She is respected for her candid and honest approach covering gut wrenching topics, getting to the nitty gritty with our favorite celebrities and touching on subject lines that affect us all. Three seasons into her show, which has been renewed for two more, Hall wears the crown as an award-winning talk show queen. More than just a fashionista and career woman, she is also a wife and mother proving that you can really have it all with one simple word: balance.
When I caught up with Tamron, she was patiently waiting outside her son Moses’ school. “I get to drop him off one day a week because I am working. I’d love to do it five days a week but that’s not the cards that’s in the deck for me, but I sit outside of school imagining what he’s doing, and I can’t wait to get out of the car and greet him at the door. I love being his mommy, it’s great and it’s a beautiful thing that I never expected.”
As a mother and career woman, one of Tamron’s favorite things is expressing her individuality through her style and fashion. It was important for her to have a stylist who understood her vision and the ability to execute it flawlessly. Celebrity stylist Eric Niemand has been that person for ten years; ensuring that her style is as much a hot topic as the news she covers on a daily basis. In addition to Niemand’s direction, Hall remembers when the late icon, Prince, gave her advice that helped sparked her style confidence.
“I’ve never told anyone this story, but we had the White House correspondents’ dinner right after Prince had died and Prince was a person who pushed me to do more red carpets,” she revealed. “He said, ‘I don’t care, get out the car, walk the carpet and go back in, but you need to walk the carpet. You have style and people need to see that.’”
Prince died shortly after, leaving Hall emotionally paralyzed. “He was very adamant about it and when he passed away, I did not want to do anything. I was heartbroken and devastated” she added. “I called Eric and said ‘You know I wanted to go ahead and do this red carpet — it’s the White House correspondents dinner — and Eric went out and selected this beautiful chocolate brown gown that was very fitted and pushed the limit with just a little bit on the sexiness. But, it empowered me.”
Together, she and Niemand have formed a bond that translates on her show every week. “Every week we have a style meeting, so every outfit and coordination is very deliberate, we think about the color, the tone, how many pants have I worn this week and I also think about it in a sense with age. I still want my youthfulness to be expressed through my fashion.”
No look is complete without the perfect coif. When Tamron hits the stage with her perfect pixie cut she is in a lane all on her own. Whether it’s curled or in a mohawk, her hairstylist of 20 years; Johnny Wright always adds that extra touch.
“Recently my hairstylist decided that he wanted to try something different with my hair. We’ve been low key growing out the back of my hair to do something different, I’m not sure what it is nut he’s leading way and I trust him. I love my short haircut and I cannot imagine myself with any other style.”
She added, “We have experimented with different variations of the hairstyle itself from flipped in the front to more spiky and so I just trust anyway he wants to go with it. I feel that this is what I love, and I love my hair this way.”
Woman Of The Culture
Forging healthy relationships in any industry is imperative. As a journalist you are face to face with some of the most iconic people and building those relationships can lead to lifelong friendships.
“I have had phenomenal relationships with Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and the list goes on and on. At this stage, I find that we have familiar ground that we’ve covered, and we can learn a lot from one another and it’s important but it’s also important for me to have those same relationships with people who are not living their life in the public eye.”
Being a part of an industry that demands so much of your life can often become draining and the allure of fame sometimes blurs the lines of reality, but according to Hall, staying humble and opening it up to those who seek to follow in your path makes your purpose greater.
“I get more energy and more focus when I speak to young women like yourself,” she says. “Young trailblazers in this industry remind me of how I felt then and why it’s important for me now to allow that access. To not close off my story in my life by only hanging out with other industry women who have achieved what I have or more. I don’t enjoy that company because, again there’s a familiarity of the journey that we can discuss, but I really, really absorb and receive the energy when I am with young women in their 30s, in particular, who have put college aside and maybe the first job aside and have their eye on the prize of what it can be and what they can do in this industry.”
Unapologetically representing the culture in fashion, in style and on TV, Hall gives her all so that the culture wins; and those who support the culture also get a real-life glimpse at what it’s all about.
“I want a conversation for the culture, but I also want the conversation for people who don’t understand the culture, who are not a part of the culture but appreciate it. I wanted [Tamron Hall Show] to be well-rounded but an unapologetic show; and so I’m not surprised that the show resonates because I think that’s how people see themselves for the most part. I think the reason people enjoy the show is because that’s how they want to live their life. They want to be unapologetic about the pain; they want to be able to celebrate their triumphs. They want to be able to feel safe and comfortable and around folks that keep it real so, that’s the show. I am humbled by it. I am grateful, but am I surprised that hard work pays off.”
And the fruits of her hard work show no signs of slowing down. This month, Hall will be stepping into a new arena as the host of Crime / Court TV series, Someone They Knew, premiering March 6th on Court TV.
Tamron has been able to usher in her own agenda and bring people along with her for the ride. One would wonder, is Hall surprised about her success?
“If I say I’m not surprised, there will be those who say, ‘Wow, she’s arrogant and then if I say I am surprised,’ some might think I’m not confident. I actually think it’s both and that’s not me trying to play it safe, I just think I’m a little bit of both. I think I’m not surprised because I worked hard, and my team worked hard, and we had hard-fought battles to make sure that this content reflects the people that we call the “Tam Fam” and reflects the show that I created.”
Embodying the term “every woman” isn’t always an easy task. It’s met with opposition, challenges, heartbreak, and real-life issues. The culture needed an honest voice to speak, not only to our celebratory moments but also to world moments. Tamron Hall has been that beautiful voice.
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