Black Designers are Still Fucked!
It’s the end of 2019 NYFW and Style360NYFW and I’m saddened to see the state of black designers in 2020. While I love that a number of black designers are getting the budgets and forming the partnerships needed to produce shows during NYFW, there are very few that are doing it without European backers. I’m not MAD just disappointed.
Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean – Raymond was rescued by Reebok, Virgil Abloh's Off-White is getting all this press and venture opportunities because he’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, Rihanna seemed to have hit gold with Fenty X Savage and Korto Momolu (one of my fav designers) themed her show #WomenGrow – Cannabis culture (smells like corporate-funded)
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What does cannabis culture have to do with fashion? @kortomomolu shows us exactly how via their partnership with @womengrow at their #NYFW runway show. "Women Grow aims to replace preconceived notions regarding #cannabis to envision this segment of plant medicine as the solution to health, wellness, #sustainability, and environmental needs. All looks were made with sustainable hemp-based fabrics such as #hemp, #linen, #jute and #cork, coupling #highfashion with athleisure." Read more (and see more great looks from the show) at link in profile. #sustainablefashion #fashion #nyfwshow #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #fashiondesign #sustainabledesign #kortomomolu #womengrow
Hey I get it, we have to survive, we have to partner because if Black Designers had to wait of black people to support black designers and stylists, then Black Designers are Fucked!.
By Darralynn Hutson
Is it WRONG to be obsessed with Black Stylists and Black Designers? So many of my peers that I absolutely love like https://thecurvyfashionista.com/ and http://fashionbombdaily.com/ are just obsessed with clothes; Me. I specifically want black designers to WIN! I want black people, here and in Africa to KNOW – BUY – GROW black designers and stylists and yes costume designers. Especially because we are the sculptures of this thing called adornment. From hair, to clothes, to nails and accessories- WE are the ones that should be draped on red carpets and on worldly runways NOT European brands that hate our very existence. They only partner with us because they know we can PRODUCE for them.
Don’t get me started.
Yes, I too was raised to LOVE Coach (especially being from Detroit). My luxury brands were Gloria Vanderbilt (they fit me), Norma Kamali, Nike and Gucci, cause Biggie sang about it all the time. There was no real attachment to these brands other than status.
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@jodiesmith, @rowanblanchard, @jeremyoharris and @adameli attended a private event hosted by #Gucci and @Saks Fifth Avenue. The party celebrated a special partnership including in-store installations and special window takeovers featuring one-of-a-kind ready-to-wear and accessory collections and newly launched universal fragrance #GucciMémoire d’une Odeur—available now through September 23. @guccibeauty #GucciBeauty @alessandro_michele #AlessandroMichele
Once I travelled the world and was able to Meet, Touch and Befriend people like Christopher Coy (sneaker designer) and Stella Hues (heels designer), Poetic Justice Jeans, Dena Burton (red carpet dresses) Kyemah McEntyre (pieces of art), Ply Apparel (classic womens wear), Byron Lars (dress designer), Kutula (dress designer), Kaelakay (Dresses), Monif C. (plus swimwear), Eleven 60 (womens wear) Tori Soudan (heels designer), Nubian Skin (bras and panties), Mombasa (jewelry and accessories), Conrad Booker (purse designer), Coco & Breezy (sunglasses).
I was HOOKED on black and can’t go back.
If you LOVE and adorn black stylists and designers like me, you’ve streamed the new Netflix series Styling Hollywood. For me, I’ve watched this series to get to know Jason and Adair but also to watch and learn how to get deeper into this world of Black fashion and style. Let’s be clear, I love, adore and have put a spotlight to the work of stylists like Jason for the past 4 years through www.stylistssuite.com, a website the celebrates people of color that shape this industry. So when I see a show like Styling Hollywood, I take a small bit of ownership that the world, especially Netflix, believes that these people are Influential enough to warrant a budget and promotional support behind Jason and his Black celebrity clients. We are here and we are watching.
But…as a journalist who fights daily, pitching, supporting, liking, commenting, purchasing black stylists and designers, I’m always looking for a way to get THEM into the limelight, all this dope work that we, as black designers, do. That’s ME, pitching your brand to Vogue, Glamour. That’s Me bringing attention to editors in South Africa, saying how DYNAMIC black designers can be. We are a part of a secret revolution of people that work that nobody sees but bring some attention to someone that’s making moves.
As I watch the season finale of Styling Hollywood, I can’t help but see all of the Luxury, Elite brands having opportunities to be draped on his clients like Taraji, Serena, Janet Mock and even young black advocate, Yara – all of our black Hollywood royalty. Now, all of the brands that will be sending Baby clothes. (hint, hint)
I DO applaud people like Ava who asked to be designed by a BLACK designer. One of my favorite episodes (even though it felt a bit staged). The designer was a personal friend of Jason’s. How does a black designer get in, if he’s not personal friends with Jason or Adair?
How is Jason given the opportunity to see what’s new in the world of Black Designers? Does he even care? With his black ass, and his black ass clientele, No one is asking to be dressed in Black Designers?
Hell, what does it say about Serena Williams when she doesn’t even promote her own line S by Serena in a show that can promote her clothing brand?
This is why watching shows like this strategically is so important because it allows you into the world of celebrity styling. What Jason loves, - personal jewelry and gourmet chips - what he wears – jeans and hats and what’s the best engage with him – revealing itself, them seem to love dining out.
One thing that I really love about Jason is that he’s so dramatic and he loves what he loves. He is the boss. What he says goes. To have that kind of Power is Electric. His energy level is so contagious; I see why people want to work with him. Now that he has the clientele that’s elite, and a TV show, he will only grow. Let’s hope he eventually gets more than one assistant.
Watching Styling Hollywood also gives me a direct visual to what Jason dress his clients in, and European luxury. What you don’t see is the challenges. And ALL of the many boxes of dresses and accessories that are shipped to his office that encase a designer’s baby, their creation that may never even be opened.
So HOW does a BLACK DESIGNER get noticed? If we can’t even get BLACK CELEBRITIES to demand them? If we can’t change the concept of what luxury even means. How can we WAKE UP these folks so that Black Designers are given the same amount of Respect that a European Designer is given on a red carpet, press junket or award show?
Does Jason and Adair even know the POWER that they have to grow this industry?!
What if all of Jason’s clients rocked Black Designers for just ONE awards season - just like MC’s and DJ’s supported brands like FUBU, Karl Kani and Sean John back in the day.
Think about all of the POWER that people like Ade Samuels (Michael B Jordan, Big Sean), Jason Bolden and Kollin Carter (Cardi B) have to take a small dynamic designer to millionaire status in a 24-hour period. Think about all of the brands that can get off the ground and out of their studio apartments to access to investors, warehouses, international manufacturing.
Think about it?
All the fashion magazines would HAVE to mention the brand.
Think of all the coverage, the exposure?
As any of my fashion clients from the past 4 years will tell you, this is a doable passion of mine that grows everyday. When I see shows like Styling Hollywood, when I experience shows like Pyer Moss and S by Serena, I’m inspired and PROUD but I’m also PLANNING.
I’ve got too many friends, dope ass designers that need to be given a chance to shine. It’s time to start holding people with this power accountable and Jason Bolden is one of those people.
Remember what HBO did for Ballers, when they did a pop-up in LA of a select number of designers from the 3rd season and put their items on sell? That was brilliant Tiffany Hasbourne.
How many times are we seeing Jason and Adair give a WHITE establishment their business? Over and over again. There’s no one of importance making that request of them to HELP the CULTURE. Grow the Culture. Do your part. With privilege comes great responsibility.
We love and support Jason and Adair but also need them to step UP! Black Designers need you or else they’re fucked!
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