Quantcast
stylish-black-woman-reading-fireplace
Shutterstock

Black Influence On Fashion: 10 Books To Read

Black people are the muse.

Good Reads

We all know the fashion industry is one of the most underrepresented areas around. The lack of diversity in gender and race has heavily influenced the success stories we've seen, both in front of and behind the lens. The significance of black culture in the fashion industry is non-negotiable. You can't go very far without seeing reminiscences of its influence, from the athleisure and 90's nostalgia. Throughout history, black people are the muse behind many of fashion's most notable trends, and the reason for the meteoric rise of our favorite trends today. And we're not just talking social media clout or simply selling out the newest TopShop collaboration.

According to a report, Black purchasing power was $1.3 trillion in 2019 and is projected to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2024 - a rate that will surpass white purchasing power. As racial inequalities in the workplace subside, the black dollar becomes more powerful. For decades, the fashion industry hasn't spoken to black people but, finally, designers can no longer afford to negate the black audience.

During a time where many brands are taking the first step of an overdue process towards more diversity and inclusion, there's also a growing desire to understand the history of black impact. American fashion historians like Shelby Ivey Christie use social platforms to reiterate the importance of preserving the trendsetters of our culture and keeping their impact alive.

To keep the momentum moving forward, here are 10 books on the decades-long impact of black culture on fashion.

The Birth of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora by Carol Tulloch

cdn.shopify.com

A perfect place to start, this book historically depicts the style narratives of black culture in the twentieth century.

NAOMI by Naomi Campbell

A beautifully curated book centered around the career of the incomparable Naomi Campell, this book features photographs from the likes of Steve Miesel and Bruce Weber. This collection also features text from Naomi to accompany her most iconic magazine covers, editorials, videos, and more.

Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion by Marcellas Reynolds

Amazon

Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion is an archive of historic and iconic black supermodels that failed to make the mainstream history books.

EBONY: Covering Black America by Lavaille Lavette

Amazon

You can't say much about the black influence on fashion without a thorough discussion of EBONY magazine. This collection of essays, photographs, and exclusive contributions paints a vivid picture of the cultural significance of the legendary magazine.

The Threads of Time, The Fabric of History: Profiles Of African American Dressmakers And Designers From 1850 To The Present by Rosemary E. Reed Miller

Amazon

If you're a true student of fashion, The Threads of Time profiles 38 Afro-American designers from the 1850's - an era that holistically tends to negate the social contributions of black Americans.

Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem: A Memoir by Daniel R. Day and Mikael Awake

Amazon

Fashion aficionados and the black community know about Harlem's infamous Dapper Dan, but mainstream fashion circles are just learning of his craft. In his 2019 memoir, Dapper Dan details his struggles and challenges within the problematic fashion industry for the first time.

Stylin’: African-American Expressive Culture, from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit by Shane White and Graham White

Amazon

Spanning over two centuries, the authors of Stylin' explore the deep-rooted meaning behind the style choices of Afro-American communities in the 50s and 60s.

Vintage Black Glamour by Nichelle Gainer

Vintage Black Glamour

Vintage Black Glamour is a beautiful collection of portraits and profiles of world-renowned and lesser-known important black artists. The features range from entertainment icons like Diana Ross to pioneering model Ophelia De Vore, and many more.

Andre Leon Talley, ALT: A Memoir by Andre Leon Talley

Much has been speculated of Vogue Editor-At-Large Andre Leon Talley over the decades, but this self-penned collection of stories breaks down every prior wall. The style icon dives deep into his early VOGUE days, the challenges of being 'the only', and the continued inequality that still faces the industry.

Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul by Tanisha C. Ford

Amazon

If the intersection of politics and fashion is an interest of yours, Liberated Threads needs to be your next purchase. Subtitled 'Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul', this thought-provoking book explores black women through the 60s and 80s incorporated activism into their style.

Featured image by Shutterstock

If You're Not Skin Cycling Already, Here's Why You Should

Another day, another TikTok trend that's all the rage. Many TikTok trends are gimmicks without any scientific backing. Or, in the case of the NyQuil chicken trend that took off, just plain dangerous. However, one has bubbled up to the surface that is worth investigating. Enter: skin cycling.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
How Yoga Helped Peloton's Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts Heal From Past Traumas

Since her Peloton debut in May of 2020, Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., has become one of the most sought-after yoga instructors on the app. Using a mixture of hip-hop, R&B, classical, gospel, house, and funk-themed classes, the Dayton, OH native guides Peloton users across the globe, in the weekly practice of feeling connected with the body and the breath as they “root down and rise up.” With many leaving her classes feeling more grounded and anchored than they were when they started, it’s easy to see how the former Lululemon Global Ambassador and two-time Yoga Journal cover star has made such an impact. While her background as a third-grade school teacher and founder of Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp lends to her influence, her journey to becoming a world-renowned celebrity yoga instructor was not met without tragedy.

Keep reading...Show less
Your October 2022 Horoscopes Are All About Finding Flow & Alignment

October is a month of balance. With some energy moving direct and some energy moving retrograde, there is a middle ground to find this month between what is unfolding and what you are letting go. The month begins with Mercury officially moving out of retrograde and going direct in Virgo. Mercury this month is cleaning house and sprucing things up after the somewhat tyrant energy it’s brought over the past few weeks. Now that Mercury is direct, there is less interruption when it comes to daily flow and plans, and this is a good month to start setting things into motion.

Keep reading...Show less
The Myth Of The Sex Drive & How Libido Changes From Your 20s, 30s, 40s & 50s

No one prepared me for how horny I would be in my late 30s. All the elders in my life prepared me for random chin hairs, weight gain, and menopause but no one said a mumbling word about my sex drive. Something happens the closer you get to forty. I went from wanting sex here and there to wanting it all the damn time. Is there a support group for this? I can’t be the only one who has the sex drive of the Energizer Bunny. Upon my research to figure out why I felt like a cat in heat, I discovered several theories surrounding women and our sex drives–including one that says the concept of having a sex drive is a myth altogether.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive: Da’Vinchi On Protecting His Peace & Why He Prioritizes Mindset Over Looks In Dating

Da’Vinchi has appeared in many television series such as All American and Grown-ish but it was his role in BMF as Terry Flenory that helped propel his career forward. Since starring in BMF, he made his Broadway debut with Thoughts of a Colored Man and is currently shooting an undisclosed movie in Vancouver. The 26-year-old actor is beginning to see the fruits of his labor and so it’s hard to imagine that he almost went in a different direction. Da’Vinchi spoke with xoNecole’s Dana Blair for our xoMan series about acting, being a sapiosexual, and protecting his peace.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts