Seeing people like Okpo, James, and Campbell succeed by remaining steadfast in their beliefs and working to make this industry better gives me hope, yes, but it's more than that: It gives me a road map. Here, Okpo, James, and Campbell detail how they integrate their social political beliefs into their fashion—and why other designers should do the same.
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INGREDIENTS AQUA / WATER / EAU PARAFFIN POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE ACRYLATES COPOLYMER CERA ALBA / BEESWAX / CIRE DABEILLE COPERNICIA CERIFERA CERA / CARNAUBA WAX / CIRE DE CARNAUBA ETHYLENE/ACRYLIC ACID COPOLYMER STEARETH-2 CETYL ALCOHOL CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS OIL / SAFFLOWER SEED OIL PHENOXYETHANOL HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE ACACIA SENEGAL / ACACIA SENEGAL GUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE/STEARYL DIMER DILINOLEATE COPOLYMER SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE CAPRYLYL GLYCOL HYDROGENATED JOJOBA OIL HYDROGENATED PALM OIL PROPYLENE GLYCOL DISODIUM EDTA SOLUBLE COLLAGEN SILICA [+/- MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES CI 77007 / ULTRAMARINES CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE MICA CI 75470 / CARMINE CI 77288 / CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS CI 77742 / MANGANESE VIOLET CI 77510 / FERRIC FERROCYANIDE ] ALCOHOL DENAT., ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, DIMETHICONE C ROS S P O LYME R , I S ODODE C A N E , I S O NON Y L I S O N O N A NOAT E , POLYURETHANE-2, MENTHYL LACTATE, DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE, P O L Y M E T H Y L M E T H A C R Y L A T E , P H E N O X Y E T H A N O L , P E G - 9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CARNOSINE, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, PEG-12 DIMETHICONE, DISODIUM EDTA, LYCIUM BARBARUM FRUIT EXTRACT, CHLORPHENESIN, PVP, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL, PALMITATE, PANTHENOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, CITRIC ACID, PEG-9, GLUTAMYLAMIDOETHYL INDOLE, ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE-1, DEXTRAN. [+/- MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR: CI 77891/TITANIUM DIOXIDE, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/IRON OXIDES, M NEW/NOUVEAU ICA]. F.I.L. D53756/1
That doesn't mean the work is easy. I recently founded my own business, The Folklore, an online retail concept store that stocks brands exclusively from Africa and the African diaspora. Already I’ve had to defend the earning potential of African designers to prospective non-African venture capitalists and investors, who were convinced that they wouldn’t sell well among non-African audiences. (Most of the pieces on my site have sold out.) I’ve argued against long-standing stereotypes that paint Africa’s business climate broadly as corrupt. I’ve invested my own money to launch the company, trusting that my vision will translate.

Water, Paraffin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Acacia Senegal Gum, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Polymethacrylate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth 20, PEG/PPG 17/18 Dimethicone, Polyquaternium 10, Silica, Soluble Collagen, Simethicone, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Mica


“When things shifted politically a few years ago in the U.S., it was important to me to I speak out, because I could see that a lot of marginalized communities were going to be really affected, including several of the communities I’m a part of. I felt that, as someone with a platform—albeit a small one—it was still my responsibility. Still, on a weekly basis, we upset people.”
“When things shifted politically a few years ago in the U.S., it was important to me to I speak out, because I could see that a lot of marginalized communities were going to be really affected, including several of the communities I’m a part of. I felt that, as someone with a platform—albeit a small one—it was still my responsibility. Still, on a weekly basis, we upset people.”
There are women like Lizzy Okpo, who founded the women's wear brand William Okpo with her sister, Darlene; Aurora James of the mega-popular accessories label Brother Vellies, which has been spotted on Tessa Thompson and Beyoncé; and the up-and-coming Shanel Campbell of Shanel, a recent Parsons graduate who has already dressed Tracee Ellis Ross, Ciara, and Solange. For them, being “conscious” isn’t an afterthought—it’s what drives them as artists.

“It's important for designers to work for a bigger purpose, because fashion is so small. If you remove the social aspect of it and if you remove the day-to-day lifestyle of it, then we're just left with a pair of pretty shoes—and who cares? That's so disposable. You have to tell a story...you have to really touch people beyond yourself. It's bigger than you, it's bigger than us.”


The color was fine, but it dried down so quickly once applied, the formula was sticky before it dried down, and my lashes were spidery like I'd never seen with one application! The wand is promising, curved to the lash and the bristles well distributed but something about the product was too thick. It is very effectively waterproof. If you're looking for a subtle mascara look, this isn't the one, but if you're into a dramatic mascara (i.e. a little thick and clumpy) with little room for error during application, this mascara is the one.
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