PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2022

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Page 145 of 147

She had me at Esprit. By that, I mean, when Annika Cail suggested her dear friend Tracey Nash-Huntley as a future Bomb girl and shared, "Tracey used to model for Esprit," I immediately asked for an introduction. Yes, that Esprit — the omnipresent fashion label that was found in every girl-on-the-go's closet during the 1980s. Tracey hails from St. Louis, Missouri, and her initial path led her to Dallas in the mid-1970s to attend Southern Methodist University on an engineering scholarship. Her dad packed up a U-Haul and brought two of his daughters, Tracey and an older sister who was starting Baylor Medical School, down to Texas. There she met the man that would one day become her husband, David Huntley. As cupid works in mysterious and circuitous ways, they first encountered one another when he was a sophomore advisor in the SMU quad and Tracey's dad enlisted him to help unload their moving truck and get her settled in her dorm. David and Tracey remained strictly friends for the following years until they both found themselves living in NYC. More on that in a moment. While at SMU, she befriended another student, Linda Kao (a former "She's the Bomb" girl), through a fashion club at SMU. The organization encouraged girls to work at the Dallas Apparel Mart as models to make a little extra money for college. Tracey began working at the Esprit showroom, which was the company's largest in the country, and founder Doug Tompkins came to town one day and exclaimed, "Why aren't you in our book?" Who doesn't love a "model- being-discovered" moment. Tracey had the typical adolescence that many models face — an awkward body that had yet to blossom. She was long and lanky and wore glasses, and her high school nickname had been Olive Oyl. "After that encounter with Doug," Tracey says, "they flew me to San Francisco, and my new path was set. For two years, I was pretty much exclusive with Esprit" After graduating from college, she signed a contract with Wilhelmina Models in NYC. That's when she happened upon David Huntley again, and their friendship became a full-blown romance, with the two eventually marrying. David completed his law degree, and she continued her days in front of the camera. Tracey and David have moved 10 times over the last 27 years, from New York to Dallas (three times — I'm hopeful they're here to stay), San Antonio, Atlanta, Boston, and Houston, due to David's career with AT&T. These chic nomads have two sons: 28-year old Calhoun and 26- year old Porter. With each city, Tracey became involved in her son's schools and has volunteered with community organizations such as The Junior League of Dallas and San Antonio, and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Dallas. In Dallas, Tracey remains involved with the local chapter of The Links — "the experience that inspired me to be an engineer was a summer high school program," she says. "It's impossible to imagine, if you've never seen anyone who looks like you achieve such a dream. This is why I love helping STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Academy of 7th- to 12th-grade female scholars of color dream big. Serving as mentors to these young minds, we facilitate the program through exposure, encouragement, and by connecting them with dynamic female STEAM leaders." Tracey is also passionate about New Friends New Life (NFNL), an agency that empowers and restores the lives of trafficked and sexually exploited women and girls. Co-founder Gail Turner had the organization co-host a Human Trafficking Awareness Conference with Dallas Links, and Tracey immediately knew she wanted to become involved. Three years later, this model citizen is the NFNL board chair. Approximate date. December 1979. The occasion. Photo shoot with famed fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani. What you are wearing. Esprit sweatshirt and not much more. What price fashion. In college, shopping for designer deals was a must. Loehmann's Back Room was my happy place. Why this is a picture. It changed my life and launched my modeling career. SHE'S THE BOMB TRACEY NASH-HUNTLEY B Y B I L L Y F O N G Tracey Nash-Huntley, 1979 OLIVIERO TOSCANI 144

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