Fashion designers masterfully use the art of aesthetics to apply designs and natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Since the beginning of time, it has been influenced by cultural and social concepts. And as we all know, our culture is THE culture.
I love that fashion is an instant language that allows one to convey their thoughts and opinions without saying a word. I am so thankful for designers who create pieces that help me speak my truth as a woman of color. While women keep the fashion world moving, it is proven that the industry is dominated by white men. This is why it's extremely important to support the designers that look like us.
We have gathered a few Black designers we believe you should watch out and root for in 2019:
1. Nareasha Willis of Avenue N &The Black Vogue Movement
Nareasha Willis describes herself as a fashion activist. She is best known for her Black Vogue Movement. With the photo of her design, "Ghetto Until Proven Fashionable" during Paris Fashion Week going viral, she started a much needed conversation about cultural appropriation in the fashion world.
Nareasha created Avenue N in 2013 to showcase her street chic style. She also wanted to spotlight Black designers in the New Jersey area. Avenue N birthed the Black Vogue Movement, which is a social justice movement that seeks equity in the fashion industry. She said, "It inspired me to continue AVNU as a full fashion line that uses fashion as a tool to make political statements and spark controversial conversations that are long overdue."
We had a chance to chat with the up and coming designer and she is excited for what's to come in the new year. The New Jersey native told us, "I look forward to applying Dr. Amos Wilson's philosophy that 'we as a people cannot consume our way into equality, yet we must produce ourselves into equality'. I look forward to watching my people as well as myself continue to build more tables for us to sit at. As creatives, we have to produce more positive content of Black people to erase the stereotypes society has placed on us."
She went on to say, "My supporters should be excited for my work to come because I am elevating, not only [by] producing new items [but also] better content that celebrates our culture. My main goal is to convert commerce into conversations that lead to revolutions and solutions."
Featured image by Nareasha Willis/Black Vogue.