FIND YOUR TRIBE AND THRIVE!
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
The time in Fashion is NOW to change the Narrative and make room at the table for others that don't look like you.
The Fashion Industry can be a bit Elitist at times and very often lacks Diversity in Age, Gender, Race and Social Economic status. It is the one thing that disheartens me and has caused an internal struggle within me as I push the envelope for continued inclusion. Having a seat at the decision making table is profound and can set the stage for changes that can open doors for so many of us as Designers of color! I am an African/Russian Designer and the Globe is my Clientele, so please don't try to fit me into a box that makes you more comfortable. I often get frustrated when people see me and immediately try to put me in the "You are a Black Designer, so you must ONLY design for Black people". This is something that must be talked about and addressed as it has a profound effect on the perception and subsequent growth of a brand. No one would dare assume that of other brands but yet feel compelled to use it as an excuse to quantify our impact on the Fashion Industry. Even in Fashion, actually especially in Fashion, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity matter! The World is my Selling ground and I will not be relegated to just one part of the World.
“ As a Designer of color, I plan to change the narrative at important, decision-making tables and bring a positive and authentic perspective of what Women of Color need, want and desire from the Fashion community.”
Being a Designer of Color, I have a great responsibility and passion for serving as a beacon of hope, a ray of light for little black and brown girls all across the Globe. When they see me, hopefully they will see themselves and know that they too can break through this Fashion glass ceiling and start a brand of their own. This Social impact in invaluable and something that I have even now begun to explore. Three years ago, I started the First Fashion Design camp in Arizona called "Design U" or Design University! This camp is open to young girls ages 8 - 14 and teaches them the fundamentals of Fashion design including illustration, color theory, basic sewing and construction. In addition to my impact on young girls of color, another measurable social impact I can have is on the Fashion Industry in general. As a Designer of color, I plan to change the narrative at important, decision-making tables and bring a positive and authentic perspective of what Women of Color need, want and desire from the Fashion community. Design University Sessions are administered in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Arizona, Cactus Pine Chapter. We will host (3) sessions this summer. To register, head on over to www.girlscoutsaz.org and find the Design University Fashion Camp sessions being offed starting in June of 2019.