It’s that time again: NYFW. It’s hard to believe this is my SEVENTH season since the birth of #NYFWNOIR. When I first created #NYFWNOIR I wanted to highlight people of color in the fashion industry that are the epitome of Black excellence and working diligently in a craft they love and one I wholeheartedly respect. I highlight people who are talented, not just popular with numbers. I wanted to highlight people of color with the same meticulousness and care that white designers and industry officials often get.
There have been many strides for inclusivity since I started and while NYFW undoubtedly is the most diverse of all fashion weeks, to me, it’s still not enough. It’s not enough to only have one or two Black models in your show (especially if they are only racially ambiguous or light skinned). It’s not enough to place one or two plus size women (who often aren’t even very visibly plus size) in your show. Your backstage should be just as reflective of the message of diversity and inclusivity you preach to the media. In discussions I’ve had, people have responded to the above statement, “but it’s better than before.” Yes, indeed, but now that they know better, better needs to be done. I’m calling not for inclusivity, but true diversity…for multiple Black models walking the runway, to be a norm, not a headline.
This is my first fashion week under my new title, Head of Fashion And Beauty Partnerships. What exactly does that mean? I’ll continue to manage and create (with help!) all Style & Beauty content for Hello Beautiful as well as our sister site, Madame Noire. In addition to this, I’ll partner with brands for authentic experiences and collaborations to the benefit of Black women in the fashion and beauty space.
While NYFW is always exciting, it’s quite stressful for the fashion designers, editors, writers, people working behind the scenes (often unseen) and more. From running all over NYC boroughs (hello, NYC, please make it cheaper and more accessible for people to show), to having to be dressed to the 9’s (nope, don’t have my lewks prepared, yup, it’s Day One), to burning the candle at both ends…it’s a lot. This year, Hello Beautiful and Madame Noire will be taking it all in stride. Our social media pages will bring you into the experience with us. And naturally, we’ll be supporting and rooting for everybody Black (said in my best Issa Rae voice).
If we haven’t RSVP’d to your show or you are a woman of color in the industry that needs to be uplifted, feel free to message me. You can also e-mail the team: ContactHelloBeautiful@gmail.com. We’ll be at shows but spending more time behind the scenes with the people that need the light shined on them. We’ll have daily galleries on Hello Beautiful and exclusive on both sites.
If you are new in the industry and happen to be reading this…KEEP GOING. Keep working. It can take years to be an overnight success. I spoke to celebrity hairstylist, Ursula Stephen while backstage at Harlem’s Fashion Show, her assistants literally DM’d her for a chance to assist. Do the work and shoot your shot.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy NYFW. From both of the sites, thank you for coming here first for coverage.
Head of Fashion and Beauty Partnerships, iONE Women’s Division
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