Although New York Fashion Week has ended, Black History Month remains an important priority for me. Throughout NYFW, I made it a point to wear Black-owned brands as a visible statement of progress and defiance. While I already wear these pieces year-round, it was particularly significant to showcase them in February.
Over the past decade, the impact of Black designers on the fashion industry has become undeniable. For me and many other young Black fashion enthusiasts, a turning point was when Virgil Abloh, without a traditional fashion design background, rose from his mid-2000s brand Pyrex Vision to become the artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. This controversial appointment was the first time I realized that rules could be broken by redefining them.
The next generation of Black talent refuses to be overlooked or ignored. It took years for someone like Dapper Dan, an icon and CFDA lifetime achievement recipient, to receive proper industry recognition. But his legacy has paved the way for today’s talent to be rightfully celebrated in real-time. I want to pay homage to them as well.
I chose to wear both established and emerging Black designers, such as Christopher John Rogers and Dylan Mekhi. While I’m still discovering my signature style, I like to mix high and low and proudly display Black culture. I typically lean towards all-black outfits, but during my week of wearing Black designers, I challenged myself to wear more color. Each day, I tapped into a different aspect of my personality in an effort to fully embrace the unique style and audience each designer represents. Needless to say, each outfit was a hit.
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