When you search fashion blogs or even click on the fashion hashtags on Instagram you see a plethora of people and their style. You see all the new trends and all the looks that people have created over time. But there’s a presence we that is looked over, not that it isn’t present it’s just looked over.
Fashion tends to repeat itself just like history. Trends that have been prevalent in black communities for years have swept the runways for many seasons. Whether it’s a du rag or cornrows, black fashion trends are being represented all over the Paris runways. African tribal prints made in china can even be found in your nearest Forever 21 and you might even be able to catch it on sale.
But where does this leave us? Helen Williams was the first black supermodel to grace the fashion scene. They knew her look was unique and she had style of her own being a stylist in New York. Her blackness was dismissed by many but her blackness paved the way for fashion models like Naomi and Iman. We are characterized by our dramatic features and we set the trend yet we still don’t matter. Black people are the trend setters, the jet setters, the ones pushing the envelope. A lot of designers and people in fashion use our ‘urban’ appeal as the foundation of their newest resort collection but we still don’t matter.
As a black man who has a deep love for fashion and always has, it’s very important that I represent myself well. It’s not only for me it’s for the other people of color, male or female, who secretly set trends just by getting dressed everyday based on their environment and feelings. I know so many well dressed black men and women of all different walks. Some with dreams of being bigger than Anna Wintour or eating lunch with Donatella in Milan and then there are some who wants to dress well and travel the world and help people (raises hand). It is important for us to see black people and people of color in fashion because dammit, we created the trends so we need to own it. I stand for a people, a people cut from different fabrics to create a beautiful garment. I am fashion.