“As I lay me down to sleep
I hear her speak to me
Hello Jay Jay, how ya doin’?
I think the storm ran out of rain, the clouds are movin’”
She was the first person I ever met.
It was one of the last few days of 1986, the middle of the Reagan era, when she gave birth to me. It wasn’t an easy feat; I didn’t want to come out. After hours of labor, I finally arrived in the world, my umbilical cord wrapped tightly around my neck. My mother knew then that I was going to be something.
And something, I became.
Since the day I could talk, she’d say I wouldn’t shut up. Once she casually told me that “no” was my first word. I had an opinion for everything – I still do. By no means was I a perfect child. I was a rambunctious and zany kid who had an answer for everything and who wanted to grow up to be Steven Spielberg. My parents had NO idea what to do with me. Gail and I clashed a lot, especially during my teens, but she always remained my mother, my Gail Wendy Storm.
Born the fourth child to my grandparents – who in total had five children – my mother was the quietest and most reserved out of the brunch. Growing up, she’ll oft say she was a “tomboy”, running around with her brothers and sisters and playing basketball in middle school. She mostly kept to herself. This changed as she blossomed into a young woman. She began to develop an impeccable sense of style. With her sleek structured suits, windswept hair and flowing capes, she looked like a real life Dominique Deveraux from Dynasty; ready to throw shade while sipping on Dom Perignon.
After high school, my mother worked for Gimbels Department store in Philadelphia and even flirted with a modeling career that later fizzled. She had no desire to be a fashion model, rather, work with the public. She worked in politics for a bit before switching into the retail industry where she worked for close to 20 years. In her last position, she worked in Human Resources for Lord & Taylor.
My dad remarks that the day he met my mother was the best birthday gift he ever received. They met on his 22nd birthday in 1976 on a subway car ride home from where they had worked for the same company. They had never met up until that point. Ironically, they were born the same year, grew up nearly a mile away from one another, attended the same high school, had mutual acquaintances, and still never met. After their chance encounter, what began as a simple courtship later turned into a 30-year marriage. I was one of the results of their beautiful and long engagement.
Unfortunately, my mother passed away last October from natural causes. Her death was unexpected and sudden. Honestly, I’m still trying to recover from it. Words can’t describe losing a parent, it’s a fucked up experience. It’s like losing an arm. Someone so part of you, it’s innate to your entire being.
I have contemplated on continuing this site several times. How could I go on blogging about style in spite of all that happened? Why do this? What’s the point?
It all seemed so frivolous.
Then I thought about her. I remember the first time she toured lowefactor by herself. My mother later told me she was in awe of what I was able to do and enjoyed the commentary. Her face beamed with delight raving about a few of her favorite posts such as coverage of London’s fashion week, our commemorative post on the genius of Robin Williams, and notably Michael Kors’ hilarious comments during his time on Project Runway (Kors Quotes, as we called it).
That’s a memory that I hold close to my heart, her face lighting up about something that I worked so hard to get off the ground. Children yearn for that face from their parents. It’s my motivation to keep on with this site and my pursuits. I want to continue to make her happy wherever she may be.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my family and I. Thank you for your words of encouragement and most importantly, thank you to our viewers for your patience. Our commitment to the spirit of providing readers with a “style they can factor” has never left. For every blog post, article, or feature, we’ve kept to this vow.
Alas, thank you for welcoming us back.
Normally, I’m not the type to post my life on lowefactor but I’m very excited to announce that I am having a very fabulous 25th birthday party this Saturday, Dec. 17th at Le Salon Millesime in the Carlton Hotel 92 Madison Avenue, NYC (at 29th Street) along with some very chic friends @SandrineCharles and @KelsKalu. If you’re in NYC, I would LOVE for you to come out this Saturday and we can marry the night together. Please see dets above. Until then… xxo – Jared Michael Lowe
To many aspiring fashion and writing girls who move to NYC every year, Carrie Bradshaw maybe you’re ultimate tour guide to a life of complete fabulosity or the devil incarnate. Yes, her life is ultra glam; she has four best friends to cackle and down Cosmos with, a closet full of INSANE ready to wear and BIG. But before the book deals, freelancing for Vogue and the financier hubs, how the hell could Carrie, a writer, live this glamorous life in Manhattan and not be strung out on crack walking aimlessly in Chinatown today?
Fortunately, we aren’t the only ones who feel this way. Yesterday, while tolling through Refinery 29 we found The Frenemy’s post on Carrie Bradshaw’s extravagant lifestyle. “Carrie Bradshaw, you gotta be tripping balls to have us believe that you can sustain yourself that extravagantly on that one stupid-ass column. You lying bitch!” quote The Frenemy, which we agree.
Last Friday, in all the rain and cold, I was treated to a bit of Parisian life in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) Fashion Show. Held at the Kimmel Center, the show was a mix of local designers and student design creations from neighboring universities such as Drexel and The Art Institute.