Tracey Olkus: The Latest Vixen

 

Text by Tracey Olkus, Copyright 2024

Photography and Set Design: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Styling and Creative Direction: KVaughn

Lighting Assistant: Anthony Colagreco

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THE LATEST VIXEN

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I have had the honor of working with Tony Ward only a few times over the last couple decades-most recently with Ellen Tiberino for The Vixen Series. So when Tony asked if I would be a part of this project, I thought he meant behind the scenes doing hair and makeup.  I was shocked when I realized that he wanted to photograph ME.  I’m never in front of the camera. I don’t even take selfies.
 
I love creating Vixens and encouraging Vixens,  but I had never thought of myself as a Vixen. I think of a Vixen as a woman who breaks from tradition, supersedes expectations and takes control of her destiny. She exudes confidence and sexuality.  She IS fire!  Well, part of that is definitely me.  I have been an entrepreneur most of my life. I have never had the patience to wait around for things to happen.  I have been told that I’m outspoken. And I only know how to do things in my own weird ways. I’m a sexual being through and through but I have never considered myself to be sexy.  When I told Tony this, he assured me that I was in good hands. And THAT I believed. I stepped out of my comfort zone and let him take the lead.  And it was a wild ride!
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Portrait of hair stylist Tracey Olkus wearing black sheer dress on night out in Paris
Tracey Olkus. The Vixens Series. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

For almost two decades, Tracey Olkus  has been transforming faces and elevating styles from her private studio in Philadelphia. Specializing in everything from everyday glam to commercial shoots to TV and film. 

 
Tracey’s artistic interests extend beyond the chair. With a passion for costuming, she crafts bespoke headdress designs available through commissioned works.  
 
As the curator of The Performance Salon, Tracey provides a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their talents in an intimate setting. From musicians, to thespians, writers to chefs, The Performance Salon has become a hub for artistic expression with performances that leave audiences mesmerized.
 
But Tracey’s interests go beyond her professional pursuits . A dedicated patron of the arts and the finer things in life, she enjoys hosting extravagant dinner parties and whimsical camping trips…often simultaneously.
 
When it is time to escape, Tracey can be found exploring the world, talking to strangers, and collecting stories from every corner of the globe. And along the way, she is most happy to have has amassed an eclectic collection of friends that share her passion for the extraordinary.

Kitchie Ohh: My Job is To Help

Kitchie Ohh photographed for Tony Ward's Vixen's series wearing KVaughn ALUMINUM WRAP DRESS
Kitchie Ohh. The Vixens Series. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Styling by KVaughn for The Vixens Series

If you’ve had any number of jobs in your life, they probably weren’t all great. Maybe the job wasn’t satisfying, didn’t pay well, had terrible coworkers, or an even worse boss. It happens. More often than not, people take a job out of necessity. They work multiple jobs to make ends meet. They put up with a LOT of unnecessary stress and dysfunction just to afford to live. I know all of this all too well. 

I’ve been working in the nonprofit space for all but one year of my career. I’m mission driven. Working for a cause helps make all of the office drama, the headaches and stress worth it. Until even that can’t balance the scales. I firmly believe people don’t leave jobs, they leave situations and people. 

I began my previous job, as a food bank fundraiser, in the Autumn of 2019. It seemed so perfectly suited for me. I was really feeling like I found my place. I had just a few months in when the world shut down for the pandemic. As an essential service, we remained open, figuring out daily how we would operate amid ever-changing precautions. If that wasn’t stressful enough, we soon experienced a huge shift in leadership. Suddenly the amazing team we had built came crumbling down. New faces, new rules, resignations, terminations, a general sense of unease and mistrust. My perfect role was turning into a nightmare. I no longer had a designated space to work in the office, it was assigned to someone else, but I was still required to be there several days a week, finding whatever space was available. Soon, I was accused of not meeting the expectations of the job. Those expectations turned out to not even officially be related to my role with the organization. Yet, I was being reprimanded for failing to perform and told to start making them my responsibility if I wanted to remain on the payroll.  I began the job search that day. It wasn’t easy. 

In the midst of the job related stress, I had an emergency home repair that came with a giant price tag and also forced me out of my home with just a few hours notice. I had to pack myself up to live at the closest dog-friendly hotel for an as yet undetermined amount of time. Living and working from a standard room at the Red Roof Inn with a giant, nervous about everything dog was not a good time. It was even less of a good time being told unsympathetically, that regardless of what was happening, I still needed to be present at work. 

In a shocking case of the Universe can be a real bitch sometimes, in between all of that, I lost my aunt quite suddenly. I did get to tell her goodbye, but it wasn’t enough time and it certainly wasn’t fair.  As I sat with her, she rubbed my back and told me how proud she was of me for choosing the line of work I did. For making it my job to help people. It seemed a strange turn of phrase when she followed that up with, “you know what you have to do, you do, you can. Keep fighting. I love you.”  Shortly after she passed, I had a very vivid dream about her. I was also having a rougher than usual day at work despite it being a “from home” day, and was talking to my sister to vent my frustration. Mentioning my dream, I was met with an “OMG ME TOO!!”  We took a few minutes to laugh about it, recalling funny things about her and her way of being the unofficial boss of the family, while pondering what she was trying to say. I was feeling a little lighter so I dove back into work. 

As I took my lunch break, I was hopefully checking my email to see if any of the job applications I completed had gotten responses. Instead, I found a notification about a position I might be interested in. I clicked. I read. It sounded perfect. And coincidentally  the cause had a direct connection to my lovely, bossy, missed dearly aunt. The aunt I dreamed of, the one whose last words to me were cryptic then, but made total sense now. Shaking I relayed all of this to my sister. Who told me if I didn’t apply right fucking now, I was insane. 

Over the next few weeks, I had a series of emails, phone calls, and in-person interviews. Every single one felt right. It went so fast. I was terrified, but I accepted an offer and tendered my resignation on the same day. Two weeks and three days later, I was sitting in my own office. Not a shared workspace that I could use only if no one else was. My name was on the door, still is. 

I have grown so much in the last two-ish years touched on in all of the above, personally and professionally. I now know what that fighting and knowing what I had to do statement was all about. I have shown not only my new colleagues, but myself, what I’m capable of; that I DO actually know what I’m doing. I’ve fought for what is right and best practice to achieve the organizational goals. I’ve gained responsibility for many things, including the oversight of a whole team, and more coming. I’m co-leading a project that has been a long time coming and will be transformative.  And most importantly, I feel heard, respected and trusted. 

Just this week, my first annual review was filed. In my over two decades of work, I have gone through this process more times than I wanted to. This was the first time I was left speechless. I am honestly still processing some of the things that were said. Not because they were terrible, but because they were so positive and appreciative I didn’t know how to respond. Thanks? You’re welcome? SHUT UP!!! All of those and more ran through my head, and probably were said. It was more than the number crunch of ratings for ‘core values’ and accomplishments for the year. It was the way that someone – my boss – took the time to run through all of it but also relay to me that everything I have done since joining the team has pushed us in the right direction. That the way I am able to take every single thing that’s been thrown at me and somehow make it happen, is astounding. The way that if my name is brought up in a room where I am not present, only good things are said. The ability I have to remain calm while navigating outdated processes and simultaneously improving them is a superpower; and helped us exceed goals. 

Everything has lead up to this moment. I am who I am because of every day before this one, everyone I’ve encountered and every lesson learned. I don’t know how the future is going to play out, but I’ll keep fighting for what I know has to be done, because I can. I got this, thanks Aunt Bet.

Alex Foxe: On The Dangers of Breast Implants

Adult performer Alex Foxe in her living room
Photo by Alex Foxe,  Copyright 2024

Photography and Text by Alex Foxe.

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On The Dangers of Breast Implants

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From as early as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of having breasts. Perhaps it was the playful coincidence of my last name rhyming with “tits,” or maybe it was growing up with older sisters who had already begun to wear bras, marking a rite of passage I longed to experience. My curiosity was further piqued when I stumbled upon a hidden Playboy magazine beneath my brother’s bed. The glossy images of confident, beautiful women captivated me, and I knew I wanted to embody that same allure.

Adult performer Alex Foxe wearing a teddy and black panties
Photo Courtesy of Alex Foxe. Copyright 2024

Embarking on independence at the young age of 16, the thought of breast augmentation was far from my mind. However, after settling into adulthood and saving money from countless double shifts at my first waitressing job, I secured a small loan and took the plunge. The transformation was instantaneously mesmerizing. Suddenly, shopping at Victoria’s Secret became a celebration of my new figure, no longer feeling out of place among the lingerie that seemed designed for women more endowed than my former self. My confidence soared, fueled by the attention and admiration from those around me. It felt like a new beginning, and even garnered the unintentional approval of Penthouse magazine, a testament to the quality of my augmentation.  

Adult performer Alex Foxe wearing a teddy and black panties
Photo courtesy of Alex Foxe. Copyright 2024
Adult performer Alex Foxe wearing a teddy and black panties
Photo courtesy of Alex Foxe. Copyright 2024

Yet, my journey took a turn when I encountered the realities of breast implant illness, a condition I endured unknowingly for years. Despite suffering from symptoms such as chronic fatigue, mysterious aches, and cognitive fog, it never occurred to me—or was suggested by any physician—that my implants could be the culprit. The situation escalated with my latest implants, leading to a series of health complications that made me question the cost of my physical transformation.

The discovery of silicone particles in my lymph nodes was a chilling revelation, highlighting the body’s unpredictable response to foreign materials. This experience shed light on the darker aspects of cosmetic enhancements, revealing the potential risks that accompany the pursuit of an idealized beauty. My story is not isolated but echoes the experiences of many women who face similar challenges, drawing attention to the need for a deeper understanding and caution when considering body modifications.

Adult performer Alex Foxe wearing a sexy dress and red heels.
Photo Courtesy of Alex Foxe. Copyright 2024

Through my ordeal, I’ve come to realize that beauty and health are not always compatible. The allure of achieving a certain aesthetic can obscure the inherent risks, leaving many to grapple with the consequences. My aim in sharing my story is to advocate for informed decisions and a more cautious approach to cosmetic surgery, urging others to weigh the allure against the potential impact on health.

As the conversation around breast implants evolves, my narrative and those of others serve as crucial reminders of the complexity of choice, the body’s unpredictable reactions, and the paramount importance of self-acceptance. In the end, my journey has been a powerful lesson in understanding that true beauty lies in embracing oneself, health and wellbeing above all else.

Adult performer Alex Foxe wearing a sexy dress and red heels.
Photo courtesy of Alex Foxe. Copyright 2024.

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About The Author:

Alex Foxe is an adult and fetish films entertainer with a firm belief in artistic creativity and sexual freedom. When she’s not on set, she enjoys whipping up delicious meals, losing herself in all kinds of music, enjoying the perfect margarita, and cherishing moments with her loved ones and fur babies. 

Follow her on her socials and fan pages @theofficial_alexfoxe. Or log on to her website: https://alexfoxe.com

Lileet_Miriam: The Latest Vixen

Tara Mordin the latest Vixen in a series by Tony Ward Studio copyright 2024
Tara Mordin. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by Lileet_Miriam, Copyright 2024

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Styling and Creative Direction by KVaughn 

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When I was contacted by Tony Ward Studio to partake in this project, “The Vixen Series,” I was genuinely honored, very excited, and quite honestly, humbled. I viewed this invitation to be in a league of its own – an elite circle of amazing women from all walks of life who were having their beauty, thoughts, strengths, and tribulations highlighted in a way that exuded power and commanded respect. As I began to ponder more on the concept of what it means to be deemed a “vixen,” I realized that the whole is greater than the sums of its parts. To be considered and included with these other “vixens,” meant that I brought something to the table that is equally powerful, enticing, and worthwhile that goes well beyond having a physical presence. 

Many of us have had moments in life where we are our toughest critics – questioning our worth, doubting our abilities, obsessing over how others perceive us. I think being considered a vixen allows one to fully embrace their true, authentic self and showcases how their individual uniqueness has its place in this vast world. We each have physical and interpersonal traits that make us different from the next. When we acknowledge and accept such attributes and celebrate what they truly offer, it opens a window of opportunity that is filled with confidence, empowerment, even pride. The more positivity and ownership of our value that we portray to others, the more impact and inspiration it tends to have. 

Over time, I feel that I have reached my own prime. I am unapologetically, me. I have grown a tremendous amount as a person, both inside and out. I have come to learn that my qualities do carry inherent value and that my input, time, energy, and overall presence, matter. Being a part of this series has reinforced that for me. It continuously sheds light that there truly is more to a person than what we first may see and that each of us should honor, praise, and recognize our own inner vixen, in all its amazing forms.   

Sightseeing in Paris at night beautiful woman wearing lingerie exposing her beautiful legs as she looks onto the Eiffel Tower.
Sightseeing. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

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To access additional photographs from The Vixen’s Series portfolio, click herehttps://tonyward.com/the-vixens-series/

James Domingo: Erasing The Myth of Superiority

Photograph of beautiful and stylish African American woman
Celebrating Antoinette. AKA: Scorpiana. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by James Domingo, Copyright 2024

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Erasing The Myth of Superiority

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The 2024 election cycle may prove to be one of the most important in our country’s centuries old experiment with Democracy. 

As we wind down this Black History Month, there is always reason to celebrate the rich culture and contributions that Black Americans have woven into the fabric of America. 

Unfortunately, aside from the vast contributions of incredible music, art, literature and amazing cuisine, many other accomplishments have been purposely diminished and whitewashed from the history books by those who would prefer not to acknowledge these overwhelming contributions achieved in the face of rabid adversity. 

America, with its many successful advancements of civil rights and equality, is finding itself with a segment of our society actively working to dial our country backwards to its darkest times by resurrecting the ignorant rhetoric of the Jim Crow Era.

It’s important to remember that there are those that like to pretend that Black Americans did not contribute to the Industrial Revolution. However, in the north, we invented and received 50,000 patents which was on par with every other group of immigrants with the exception of German and English immigrants who didn’t face the adversity that Black Americans were subjected to, especially in the south where institutions and policies were extremely racist and oppressive.

Fast forward to the 2024 Election cycle and here we are again being subjected to the same ignorant rhetoric and attacks on Black History. 

For decades the GOP extremists have used their thinly veiled dog-whistles and red meat rhetoric to foment anger and resentment towards the Black American community as well as every other non-white citizen in our country including the LGBTQ  community as well.

American citizens need to stand strong against the likes of Ron DeSantis who for some strange reason thinks his misguided anger gets to dictate how and where Black history will be taught and shared. We need to stand firmly against extremists and wannabe fascist, bigoted dictators like Trump who peddles his bigoted bullshit by suggesting that Black Americans now align with him because he’s been convicted of sexual assault,  fraud and a host of other crimes. He also insisted that Black Americans will embrace him because they “loved his mugshot.” In his declining MAGAt mind he thinks Black Americans have some sort of affinity toward criminal behavior and see him as some sort of an ally or hero. He will continue to pander to Black Americans while mumbling the “N” word in private until he no longer needs them as he does with everyone in his polluted orbit.

Others in the MAGAt camp have also suggested that “the Blacks” will flock to Trump because he came out with a hideous line of sneakers that he’s yet to deliver on and wreaks of desperation.

 I suppose by their ignorant mindset, they’d also believe that he could boost sales by including a slice of watermelon and a piece of fried chicken with each purchase of his “DespAir Jordan” clown shoes.

So again, elections have consequences. The 2024 Election is one that could put some of the worst that our society has to offer back in power and diminish our standing in the world. 

We can and should avert another pandemic of racism.

So, Americans need to decide if they want our country to be run by archaic, knuckle-dragging AmeriKKKans or they can show up at the polls and vote for American leadership that will represent all of our citizens equally in the way any evolved society should. 

We’ve had 247 years to get this Democracy thing right. 

Let’s grow up and act like it.

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Portrait of James Domingo, photographer, activist
James Domingo

About The Author: James Domingo is a veteran professional photographer and political activist based in Philadelphia. He specializes in photographing people on location or in the studio and often promotes his activism on his Facebook profile. This is James Domingo’s first contribution to this zine.