Black History Month is a great time to stop and reflect. A crucial time to commemorate those who have come before us, and those fighting for justice and equality in this current moment in history. A lover of history, and more specifically, American history, I have long marveled about people who have dedicated their lives to a cause which seek to create a more just and equal society. While history tends to remember the victors – as the old adage goes – I always look for the fighters in the margins; those speaking their truths and shedding light on oppressive systems in any way they see fit. Their strength, courage, and oh, their vigor, has opened doors for people like myself to walk through. As a Caribbean American, I take pride in the how far race relations (in an American context) has developed, and I remain hopeful for how it will manifest in our everyday interactions in the future. Given my dreams of one day becoming a fashion and/or style editor for a major publication or content website, Black History Month is the perfect time to shed light on those in the fashion industry who have shattered glass ceilings, opening up space for the future generations of talent to shine through.
André Leon Talley (Vogue’s former editor-at-large)
The former Vogue editor, often considered Anna Wintour’s right hand, has the personality, grace and wisdom one may suspect from someone who has worked for such a renowned magazine. Over the years, Talley’s fervor and passion has continued to amaze and inspire, through and through.
Edward Enninful (W magazine’s fashion and style director)
“These [Jimmy Choo] shoes would be fabulous” the fashion and style director of W magazine whizzed on, as I (the intern) packed items away in a clothing duffle while sitting in the fashion closet. Enninful’s work has graced international editions of Vogue, and if you’ve ever seen the documentary, The September Issue, you’ll know just how meticulous and dedicated he is.
Chioma Nnadi (Vogue.com’s fashion news director)
The current fashion director of Vogue.com, the British fashion journalist has previous experience working for the music focused publication, The Fader, so you can imagine how vast her cultural references are. Her inimitable style, gracious nature, and succinct writing style, have placed her on the forefront of the industry.
Shiona Turini (Fashion Consultant; Cosmopolitan’s former market director)
Known in the industry as the QUEEN of crop tops, the former market director of Cosmopolitan is accessible and relatable for anyone looking to break into the fashion industry. Her inimitable drive and openness via her social media accounts and past interviews she has done, is a testament to just how far hard work can get you.
June Ambrose (Celebrity Stylist)
Stylist. A mother. Free spirit. Risk Taker. To beat the expression to the ground, there is seriously nothing this woman ostensibly can’t do. Personally, when I feel overwhelmed or like my sense of self is drifting, Ambrose provides a great reference point. You should always take life for what it is, have fun, and live freely – and that’s exactly what Ambrose has done in all of her years as a stylist.
Julia Sarr Jamois (i-D magazine’s senior fashion editor)
First off, have you seen her hair? Besides giving us all major hair envy, the fashion editor-at-large of i-D magazine surely knows how to pull an outfit together, whether for herself or a fashion shoot. Most importantly, Jamois has inspired me to love my hair and to embrace the wild and unconventional.
*Photographs link to their original source