When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from within.
The Black struggle is a never-ending, always-forward journey. The right for autonomy over self has invariably been something we have fought for and is much bigger than the Oscars not recognizing our talent. Oppression is systematically rooted and storytelling is on the road to freedom. Black people are magic. We always have been. We always will be. Reflecting on the quote above: “When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself,” I felt the need to create a platform to celebrate and advocate for people of color in fashion. People, this is our fashion platform: #NYFWNoir
It’s been a wonderful experience to begin the New Year as your Style & Beauty Editor. I’m excited to not only present you with stellar, thought-provoking content around style, beauty, and wellness, but also to introduce you to compelling fashion, people, and concepts.
New York Fashion Week started this week and I’ve been impressed by the dynamic nature of people of color in the industry. From a model to a fashion buyer to a consultant to an entrepreneur … I have seen so much. I often hear from readers, consumers, and the grapevine (aka social media) that there are not enough of “us” in the industry. I hear you. I see you. I feel you. Your comments do not go unnoticed.
While I definitely agree there can be more of us in the industry, I am proud of the Byron Lars, the Julee Wilsons, the Undra Celestes, the Nikki Ogunnaikes that are fearlessly holding the light for the next generation of fashion leaders. These individuals, to name a few, by their mere talent, force others to recognize their own talent. They are doing the work, even when no one is looking, and move into spaces where their presence ultimately creates opportunities.
For New York Fashion Week, we are officially launching #NYFWNoir. We piloted this idea last September featuring the ever talented LaQuan Smith and Charles Harbison, two designers who we love (and so does Beyoncé!).
#NYFWNoir is a celebration of Black people in fashion, who are doing the damn thing. You will see features telling you the stories of the people who are at the top, as well as stories of those who are on the rise. You will meet makeup artists, hairstylists, and stylists — the people behind the scenes. #NYFWNoir is creating a space for us to be celebrated, recognized, supported, and showcased.
#NYFWNoir will be the quickest way for you to see some of the most stellar talent in the industry. If you are in the fashion industry and reading this, please support the movement and use this hashtag as you capture us creating in our element.
At a show and run into a friend? Use #NYFWNoir for that Instagram photo. Are you a blogger and capturing your street style? Use #NYFWNoir (who knows, you might see yourself regrammed or even on our site!). Are you a fashion designer of color? This hashtag is for you. Are you an editorial assistant pulling everything for your boss? The hashtag is for you, too.
To our loyal readers: my promise to you, not only for fashion week, but also for this year, is to bring you engaging content in a fresh way.
You will be very proud at what #TeamBeautiful has created.
May you learn. May you be inspired. May you be encouraged.
#TeamBeautiful is in formation for YOU.
Danielle James | Style & Beauty Editor