I spent my adolescent years attending public schools that resembled the United States of America; the majority population was Caucasian with a smaller percentage of minorities. While I was infinitely empowered by attending a historically black college for my undergraduate studies, I have always been undeniably BLACK; so much so, that sourcing merchandise and services from black businesses has become a part of my personal brand.
I have grown to believe that it is important to experience and esteem the richness of the black perspective. So, here are two reasons why you should be using your buying power to support Black Fashion in 2019!
BLACK DESIGNERS RULE
Politicians, artists, and icons have turned to the expertise of black designers, seamstresses, and stylists to dress them for their celebrated and pivotal moments in the public eye. Historically, black designers have curated collections that enhance the curvy silhouette because they, themselves, are the original prototype. For instance, Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama, wore a silk, jacquard dress by Black fashion designer, Tracy Reese at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. This selection catapulted the fashion veteran into the spotlight for sophisticated women, globally. Even so, legendary fashion stylist, Misa Hylton, chose a velvet pantsuit with a tuxedo jacket by Kimberly Goldson for songstress and Lady of Soul award recipient, Faith Evans, at the 2018 Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas, NV.
BLACK IS OPULENT
Many times we only attribute luxury to European labels, but black fashion is the source for many of the world’s most illustrious brands. Unfortunately, many of these fashion houses garner profits without acknowledging their inspiration or hiring black designers. Moreover, few black fashion designers receive public accolades for their collections, so, they tend to be the industry’s best kept secrets. Simply put, these designers, typically, are not subject to the grueling mass production schedule of retailers, so, they are able to administer an elite and intimate experience for their patrons as would any luxury fashion house.
Our wardrobe speaks volumes about who we are and can also foretell what we value. Even though the world continues to be intrigued by the mystique of black people, globally, our worth has yet to be validated and affirmed. The same is true within the design industry, but you reserve the right to validate your own by showing loyalty to shoe, suit, and dress designers that value you!
Annick Tyler resides in South Carolina