*Editor’s note: this story was written for the May/June issue of PaperCity, before the swell of protests for Black Lives Matter took place in Dallas. We hope you’ll excuse our silence on the matter.
For years, I watched this month’s “Bomb girl,” Janiece Evans-Page, speaking eloquently from a podium or as part of a panel at countless Dallas events. She does this a lot, often while receiving awards (such as Ebony Magazine’s 2018 Power 100) or because of her role as community leader on boards such as the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Just last fall, I was hanging on her every word at the Town & Country Philanthropy Series while she discussed the female force in philanthropy, and then again at the Texas Women’s Foundation luncheon, where she spoke about issues ranging from the importance of young women in science-related fields or the need for fashion to pursue sustainable practices.
Her eyewear changes daily, depending on her mood.
I’m always in awe of what she’s saying. But, to be honest, I’m also enamored with her style. For the T&C program Janiece looked equal parts woman-in-charge and fashion-spread-ready: a flawless study in black and white, with a white leather tunic dress by Martin Margiela MM6, black Akris turtleneck, black leggings, and black over-the-knee Sergio Rossi boots. Her accessory was her glasses — in this case, bold violet frames by Tom Ford. Her eyewear changes daily, depending on her mood, and she has options ranging from Christian Dior to Eye Do Eye Wear, a company started by a close friend.
Janiece grew up in the Bay Area of the 1970s and was voted best dressed in her high school’s senior superlatives. During that era, she says, “I was known as the black Farrah Fawcett, since my hair was layered and feathered.” Her early fashion inspirations, however, were actress Diahann Carroll and models Beverly Johnson and Iman. Carroll, in particular, stood out for being “so inspiring, since she normally portrayed progressive and professional characters,” not stereotypes of African-American women.
Janiece’s own professional path began with studying engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, but her major soon switched to social sciences and organizational behavior (“I was a people person,” she says). She went on to earn an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and toyed with the idea of working in fashion, until Silicon Valley came a-calling with an offer from Hewlett-Packard. “I was this crazy liberal, and I was drawn to HP’s entrepreneurial culture and the fact that they were known for employee development,” Janiece says. “Anyone who was scrappy and innovative was encouraged.” She remained at HP for 20 years, leading several business units including e-inclusion initiatives, and was part of the UC Berkeley recruiting team. “I was passionate about social impact. The company wanted more women and students of color and they knew that putting me out front would help encourage them to consider the company.”
She laughed with me as we took a fabulous stroll through the 1980s. It was exactly what I needed, and perhaps she needed it as well.
She and her husband, Mark, moved to Dallas from California almost 10 years ago with their daughter, Jordan, and son, Miles. The lure was new job opportunities — for Janiece, at AT&T. Then Fossil asked her to become the company’s vice president of global philanthropy and sustainability. It was exactly the opportunity she had been waiting for. In seven years, she has launched programs focused on empowering women, fostering diversity and inclusion, reducing waste, and designing for the future.
My first coffee with Janiece Evans-Page to discuss the Bomb feature occurred a few days before the self-isolation mandate in March. As I pen this in April, that seems so very long ago. Our recent chats were over the phone, as she texted option after option for her “Bomb” picture. She laughed with me as we took a fabulous stroll through the 1980s. It was exactly what I needed, and perhaps she needed it as well, during these thoroughly surreal and challenging times.
PC: Approximate date of this photo.
Janiece Evans-Page: 1985-ish.
My besties and I loved fashion. If we weren’t attending a fashion show like Macy’s Passport, we were dressing the
part at our own version of America’s Next Top Model. This was a photo of me having fun at a fashion show.
What you were wearing.
I often wore an outfit that I found on sale at Joseph Magnin or I. Magnin. I was a college student who was on a budget.
I remember splurging on this angora sweater, and I believed in the power of bomb jewelry. To the side was likely a Gucci handbag. It was around this time that I treated myself to my first “real” luxury purchase.
What price fashion.
There was a lot of therapy shopping after finals. Confession time: Much of my paycheck from my job on campus supported my fashion habit.
Why this is a Bomb.com picture.
My BFF and I still laugh about this moment. Between classes and part-time jobs, we found moments to live our best lives. While I was enamored with fashion, I was more passionate about spending time with people I love. That hasn’t changed.