“Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”-Jessie Williams
Black Girl Magic is in full effect this fashion week season. More and more brown skin tones are being highlighted and celebrated on and off of the runway. Despite the industry’s fascination with all things melanin, the reality is, there is an epidemic going on in our country. An epidemic that grabs the attention of the masses only for a moment, and is hushed upon shorty after. The loss of lives at the hands of police brutality has left many to feel hopeless in a country that displays all things hope.
Meet the ladies of Slay for a change, Creator-Shayla(@Randomandchic), April Joi(@AprilJoi), Kaye(@SlaymsKaye), and Labrea(@TheFancyGoddess).
This campaign is an unapologetic movement created by fashion goers who took New York Fashion Week by storm this week. After being pictured with June Ambrose on her Instagram page, the ladies sent social media into a frenzy. Appearing all over my explorer page, I couldn’t wait to highlight these fashion revolutionary’s and pick the brains of these fearless influencers. Shayla explains, “Slay for Change is an idea that has been formulating for over a year after the death of Sandra Bland. This idea was reignited by the death of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. Fashion for my has always been my voice. And I felt the best way I could show my outrage, pain and disappointment was through the fabrics of my clothing.”
-Creator, Shayla Janel. “Vogue doesnt care about EBONY issues”
We were concerned to know if the girls felt any apprehension or fear before introducing such a bold movement NYFW. Shayla says, “I was very afraid! In fact it was the girls that calmed me down and held my hand. I was especially afraid when I wore the never forget penguin jacket with the names of the victims of police brutality. But fear has always intrigued me and motivates me.”
Shayla’s September 11th Penguin jacket reads, “Never Forget-September 11th” painted in white on the top half. The jacket also features the names Trayvon, Sandra, Oscar, Alton, Mike, Freddie, Walter, Tamir, Philando, and Korryn printed on the bottom half. All were victims of police injustice.
Dare to be heard, without saying a word.
Written by Tysha White
Fashion seasons like the New York Fashion Week seasons are set to bring influence. Often times, as fashion professionals, we are side tracked by labels, antics, and collections. This sidetracking sometimes causes us to lose sight of the the daily troubles that we face that are constantly swept under the rug. “This movement was actually all documented for a film that both my sister and myself are producing. It’s a documentary entitled,Fashion Weak. It brings the issues of fashion and racism to the forefront. And explains what it feels like to be a black woman who loves the art of fashion,” Shayla says.
Handbag reads, “As if y’all care ’bout Brown issues.”
The ladies took a daring approach, shoving reality down the throats of those who may never understand what minorities go through as a people. Yes, we’re fashionable, we are trendy, we are brown, and we are beautiful, but we are oppressed, we are tired, and we want to be recognized.
“I feel like it’s a industry that utilizes our celebrities, our culture, our style but seem to be silent about our issues. My hope for this movement was to keep the conversation going. I wanted to let the world know I’m still thinking about all of them. Sandra Bland and I graduated from the same college. At around the same time. I will never forget her!”
What do you guys think of the “Slay for a Change” movement? Leave your feedback below!