It’s easy to get enamored by the faces on the runway but the real movers and shakers in the fashion industry flourish off the catwalk. From editors at your favorite glossies to bloggers, these purveyors of style are making an indelible imprint in every arena of the fashion industry, and impacting the culture in the process.
Whether creating a fashion show just to showcase talented black designers or changing how the world views plus-size fashion with a “fatkini,” these women are revolutionizing the fashion industry through their groundbreaking accomplishments. Check out 15 black women in fashion you need to know.
1. 1. Brandice Henderson
With 12 years of experience in fashion under her belt, Brandice founded Harlem's Fashion Row, a movement to increase diversity in fashion by providing a unique platform for designers of color during Fashion Week.
2. 2. Renae Bluitt
In Her Shoes Blog, the brainchild of Renae Bluitt, celebrates fly, female entrepreneurs by "empowering, enlightening and uplifting women committed to realizing their dreams." The powerhouse fashion publicist also represents clients like fellow entrepreneur, Jasmine Lawrence of Eden Bodyworks.
3. 3. Jessica C. Andrews
A style expert and journalist published in The New York Times, ELLE and People Magazine, Jessica Andrews inspires women to be their most glamorous selves through her blog, GlamazonsBlog.com, where she shares fashion, beauty and natural hair advice while chronicling her experience trying to make it in New York's cutthroat publishing industry.
4. 4. Gabi Fresh
After seeing the lack of resources for younger, trendier women sizes 14 and up, Gabi created GabiFresh.com, where she inspires through fashion advice and personal style posts. By simply flaunting her enviable curves in a "fatkini," she created a movement so influential it received national attention and eventually lead to two highly-successful design collaborations with Swimsuits4All.
5. 5. Shiona Turini
Now the Fashion Market Director at Cosmopolitan Magazine, Shiona Turini climbed the masthead at the world's most prestigious fashion publications. The Hampton University grad served as the fashion market and beauty director at CR Fashion Book, the accessories director at Teen Vogue and accessories editor at W Magazine. Prior to her work in the magazine industry, she worked as a publicist at Yves Saint Laurent.
6. 6. Christina Brown
Boasting clips at Uptown Magazine, Refinery29 and Vibe Vixen, Christina Brown is the founder of style blog, LoveBrownSugar.com, where she uplifts women of every shape and size while celebrating the splendors of being young, multicultural and beautiful.
7. 7. Kanayo Ebi
Praised for her work with Vanessa and Angela Simmons, celebrity fashion stylist and image consultant, Kanayo Ebi has styled such names as Adrienne Bailon, Rocsi Diaz and former American Idol Contestant Joanne Borgella. When she's not dressing familiar famous faces to the nines, she's blogging about her fashion adventures and giving commentary on today's trends at KachMeIfYouCan.com.
8. 8. Joy Adaeze
Known for her fearless personal style, Joy Adaeze worked at WWD and Essence Magazine, while launching a successful career as a stylist, style blogger, fashion writer, social media editor and professional image consultant. She shares her love for all things fashion at JoyLovesFashion.com and talks natural hair products and styles on her new site, CurlSistas.com.
9. 9. Julee Wilson
The editor of Huffington Post's Black Voices style section, Julee Wilson uses her platform to give voice to issues impacting black women in fashion from diversity on the runway to groundbreaking achievements in the magazine industry. She also serves on the advisory board for Harlem Fashion Row.
10. 10. Faith Cummings
Published on Fashionista, Stylecaster, xoJane and The Fashion Bomb Daily websites to name a few, Faith Cummings shines a much-deserved light on stylish celebrities and emerging designers of color through her expert trend and celebrity fashion reporting.
11. 11. Zandile Blay
Over the course of her illustrious career in publishing, Zandile Blay has worked for Essence.com, Paper Magazine, InStyle, AOL, Seventeen and the Huffington Post all while running her successful sites, The Blay Report and Africa Style Daily. She currently serves as Fashion & Beauty Journalism Lecturer at Syracuse University and Editor-in-Chief of HELLO! Nigeria.
12. 12. Claire Sulmers
Claire Sulmers' work has appeared in magazines like Essence and Real Simple and on the websites of Paris and Italian Vogue but she's most known for her award-winning blog, The Fashion Bomb, a daily destination for celebrity fashion, industry news and street style.
13. 13. Rachel Johnson
Boasting over 13 years of experience in fashion, Rachel Johnson is the go-to celebrity stylist for athletes like Serena Williams, Lebron James, Amare Stoudemire and more. Johnson, who hails from Englewood, New Jersey, recently founded her own wardrobe stylist agency, Thomas Faison.
14. 14. Kela Walker
An Emmy-nominated TV host and award-winning producer, Kela Walker contributes entertainment and lifestyle content to NYC Life, NBC, Getty Images and YRB Magazine, to name a few. When she's not interviewing such A-Listers as Alicia Keys and Denzel Washington, she's blogging about her personal style and shopping excursions at KelasKloset.com.
15. 15. Channing Hargrove
Currently the fashion reporter for Glam.com, Channing Hargrove's work can be seen at Vibe Vixen, Glamazonsblog.com, The Blay Report, AOL Black Voices and more. Besides writing for one of the biggest fashion websites around, she blogs about her personal style and experience living in New York City at ChanninginTheCity.com.
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