Everyday we awake to news of something new happening in our world. We continue to pay great homage to our frontline essential workers who are literally putting their lives on the line. The economy is not the same and so many industries continue to be affected by the pandemic and racial injustices. The world as we once knew it is shifting. There's the saying that " knowledge is power," but only when it’s put to use. After the protests, and eye-opening enlightenment of injustices, many designers and retailers put out how they would support the movement as it’s being referred to; #Blacklivesmatter. Instagram and social media outlets were flooded with statements and promises to represent more diversity in their products and marketing campaigns. The search for brand ambassadors of color were in full force. However, I’ve noticed over the past few weeks….crickets. I’ll give credit to the few that continue to update with there call to action, but many have gone silent. This is not an incidence of “when will this be over?” but a trajectory in our history.
Black Out Tuesday was June 2, 2020. All over social media, organizations, brands and individuals posted solemn messages featuring stark black backgrounds, sometimes tagging the posts with #BlackLivesMatter in an effort to help continue to raise awareness in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others who have lost their lives due to police brutality and racism in America.
Like other historical facts that were either jaded or overlooked in American history, specifically fashion history, designers, and artisans remained on the back burner to established fashion designers who were afforded the limelight and promotion.
A Little Known Black History Fact
Ann Lowe’s (1898 – February 25, 1981) best known design, is the wedding dress that Jacqueline Bouvier wore when she married John F. Kennedy. She was initially credited as “a coloured dressmaker”, then later “a negro ” then finally in theWashington Postas “A Negro – Ann Lowe.” Lowe’s other high-profile clients included the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts.
During the riots, protests, I received calls and emails asking what one can do? That’s really a question that does NOT have an immediate answer besides educate yourself and speak up. In fashion and retail, what can you do? Buy Black! Become aware and support African American designers and retailers. They often don't get the recognition and acknowledgement of their mainstream white counterparts.
This industry has been heavily white-washed. Although we’ve seen significant change over the past few years with models and celebrities becoming a face to mainstream brands to check the box and say, “see, we have women of color in our campaigns, and expanded our shades to include women of all colors,” there is more work to be done.
I invite you to educate yourself on designers of color. This includes interior designers, fashion designers, and other Black artisans. Allow me to share some of my favorites. Of course, I’ve read the backstory. That’s where the magic began.
Fashion for Every Style
Jewels & Such
For the Home
The Only BS I want in my life....Bags & Shoes
Beauty & Skincare
Libations for All
Enjoy! Be sure to explore their websites. Please share your favorites or others you like.
On living Extraordinary Lives, with Extraordinary Style.
Yours In Style,