Fashion still has a lot of work to do when it comes to diversifying its talent pool. In February 2015 only 2.7 percent of the designers on the New York Fashion Week calendar were black, according to The New York Times; by February 2018 that statistic was still under 10 percent, per The Cut. And there have been regular reminders why this is critical: Designer products resembling blackface or nooses have sparked calls for boycotts and increased demands that companies take steps to diversify and educate their employees and provide new opportunities for people of color. Amid the headlines and outcry, black fashion designers keep doing the work: creating and advocating for more inclusive fashion through their products and every single facet of their business.
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.
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Start with the show stoppers – a glam bedroom set, chandelier dripping with crystals, or velvet sofa – and add shimmering accents, fluffy textiles, and art deco-inspired wall décor. Select pieces with embellishments such as nailhead trim on a glam chair, tufting on an ottoman, or sequins or intricate embroidery on throw pillows to add even more eye-catching detail.
It seems like every week a fashion brand is rallying behind a political candidate, collaborating with a nonprofit, or announcing a new sustainability initiative—in other words, companies are trying to prove they are more “conscious.” Being “conscious” has become a talking point. Credit the current political climate or the idea that customers want to shop their values, but more and more designers are being vocal about where they stand on certain issues, and companies are increasingly transparent about their business or manufacturing practices. ×
: to make (someone or something) glamorous or more glamorous —usually used with up The modern woman has a difficult enough time trying to put together a look that suits her personality and lifestyle without seeing those … supermodels strut the runways of Paris, Milan, and New York all glammed up in a breathtaking Galliano tulle explosion or impeccably tailored Westwood period piece.— Paul MatthewsMaking his feature directorial debut, Director X … shoots in Atlanta instead of Harlem, glamming up the story with fast cars, hip-hop and lots more women than the original …— Sara Stewart —sometimes used with out "I don't bother with getting glammed out with fancy stuff like I used to. Now I look for all the bootleg Aerosmith T-shirts, cut all the cool stuff off 'em and have Teresa or Lisa … make 'em into pants."— Steven Tyler
AQUA/WATER/EAU, PARAFFIN, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, CERA ALBA/BEESWAX/CIRE DABEILLE, COPERNICIA CERIFERA CERA/CARNAUBA WAX/CIRE DE CARNAUBA, ACACIA SENEGAL/ACACIA SENEGAL GUM, GLYCERIN, CETYL ALCOHOL, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PHENOXYETHANOL, PEG/PPG-17/18 DIMETHICONE, STEARETH-20, PHENYLETHYL ALCOHOL, SODIUM POLYMETHACRYLATE, SILICA, HYDROGENATED JOJOBA OIL, HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, DISODIUM EDTA, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, PANTHENOL, SOLUBLE COLLAGEN. [+/- MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR: CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/IRON OXIDES, CI, 77007/ULTRAMARINES, CI 77891/TITANIUM DIOXIDE, MICA, CI 77288/CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS, CI 77289/CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN, CI 77742/MANGANESE VIOLET, CI 77510/FERRIC FERROCYANIDE.]
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“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.”