Written by: Jennet Jusu (@TheJusuQuench)
In her opening remarks at Fashion For All Foundation’s The Black Experience in the Fashion Industry-The Way Forward, Michaela Angela Davis underlined the importance of making space, having space, and taking up space. “The space that holds us is important…” Davis said to the audience.
Moderated by Teen Vogue’s Editor in Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the moving discussion focused around problems, solutions and most importantly the solid agreement within the fashion industry that the ‘Black Experience’ is needed, and should be acknowledged more. Panelists Constance C.R. White, Dapper Dan, Solange Franklin, Emil Wilbekin, Ali Richmond and Hannah Stoudemire, was an exchange of rich knowledge and experiences that intertwined for the greater good. The Industry needs to create even more dialogue about what’s best in creating change for our presence to be further felt, and respected.
To follow such sentiments, renowned and award-winning journalist Constance C.R. White spoke about the importance of having a ‘double conscious’. Like W.E.B Dubois found most important, you have to live in two worlds and navigate yourself through both in order to find a solution, build a bridge and thrive, as well as survive. Legendary fashion designer and haberdasher Dapper Dan added that “We can’t have segregated fashion and expect to move on”, either. From discussion of monetizing work in the industries of building a platform as black people, to getting in the door and building opportunities to help those behind you, the most important stuck, that was said by Constance C.R. White again:
“Everybody is invited to the party; that’s diversity. But every has to dance. That’s inclusion.”
It’s much more work to do, Bombers and Bombshells, but with much help I think we’re off to a good start. Thoughts?
Image credit: Fern Mallis