All Articles Tagged "black fashion"

Our Struggles & Triumphs Through Fashion

March 29th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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The National Museum of African American history, which is scheduled to open in 2015, is currently in the process of curating an exhibit that will highlight the strides of African American women. But they’re doing so in a very unique way, through fashion. They’ll show how black women have fought to achieve their dreams by featuring the clothes they were while fighting. For instance the exhibit includes a dress Lena Horne wore in one of her many films, pictured above and below. The dress was donated by her daughter.


Check out the video below to see which other pieces of clothing will make it into the exhibit:

Black Fashion A Focus at New African American Museum For Women’s History Month:

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Sneak Peek: FASHIZBLACK’S March/April “Orangemania” Cover

February 23rd, 2012 - By MN Editor
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The print publishing industry has been treading in murky waters for the past few years.  But even in this seemingly dark climate, some pubs, specifically mags, are still willing to get their feet wet and launch print books—thank goodness.

Originally an online only read, French glossy FASHIZBLACK joined those ranks recently, making a big splash with their premiere print issue that featured a high fashion brown hottie in a killer red couture look on the cover.

Find out when and where you can get the issue at

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French Elle’s ‘Black-geosie’ Article Causes a Stir

January 24th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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It’s come to be expected that people will miss the mark when discussing black people, but with so many examples of what not to do, you can’t help but wonder why people still don’t get it.

Nathalie Dolivo, a writer for French Elle, is catching a lot of heat for a blog on black fashion power that, in a nutshell, attributes the “recent” rise in black American’s fashion sense to Michelle Obama and the adoption of “white codes” of fashion. She wrote of the first lady’s influence:

“For the first time, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged [only] to its streetwear codes.”

And like so many writers attempt to do, Dolivo coined her own phrase to describe the representatives of this street to sanctuary transformation: “black-geoisie,” a play on the French social class, bourgeoisie.

“If in 2012 the ‘black-geoisie’ has integrated all the white codes [of fashion], they [do so not] literally. [There] is always a classic twist, with a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a ‘créole de rappeur’) reminiscent [of] the roots. It [has] shifted, [it is] new, desirable, powerful.”

So basically we’ve traded in Baby Phat, RocaWear, Apple Bottoms, and the House of Dereon for Michael Kors, H & M, Zara, and Marc Jacobs, and thrown on a black power necklace to set it all off. I guess we should just be glad black-geoisie is less offensive than n****b****.

What’s most unfortunate about the article is that it makes black fashion political. Aren’t we allowed to simply experiment and try new things without it being an adoption of white fashion? Race never needed to enter the discussion from the point of influence.

The article itself is ironic because black people are often seen as the fashion trendsetters, noticing some style we’ve worn for years suddenly showing up on the runway and being labeled as chic, like headscarves or Vogue Italia’s Slave Earrings. I suppose we could consider that an attribution to black culture but I’ll pass. The thing is no one calls out white people for their adoption of black style, and how they flip it to suddenly be the “in” thing for the masses, but now this writer seeks to strip our style from us and appropriate it to white people and the one black woman they believe to be respectable in the United States, Michelle Obama.

Several of French Elle‘s readers fired back with comments showing their disapproval for Dolivo’s assumptions that before 2012 “we dressed in hay and burlap bags” and remarking that “Black women are beautiful and elegant, [and do] not need magazines to tell us what to wear, we dress with taste and class and we have always done” but there hasn’t been a response from the mag, and I’m not sure one is needed.

What this article draws out more than anything is the significance of the first lady. It’s a shame that it took Michelle Obama to show up on the scene wearing a Jason Wu ballgown or a J Crew sweater for the rest of the fashion world to realize black folks have diverse style, but I hate to think what they’d write about us if they didn’t look to her as the one icon of chic style among black women.

How do you feel about this article? Do you think it was harmless or somewhat derogatory?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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The 5 Best Black Fashion Tumblrs

November 3rd, 2011 - By Danielle Kwateng
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By Danielle Kwateng
Best Black Fashion Tumblrs

Many of us self-proclaimed fashionistas need constant style inspiration when window shopping and flipping through magazines ain’t cutting it. The easiest option is to keep a tab open on that internet browser to get our style search on. But with about a million online magazines and blogs, a great option is to check out fashion-focused Tumblr pages that show the latest trends in an artful way. Tumblr is an incredibly popular short-form blogging platform on which blacks in fashion are flourishing. If you’re stumped on where to go first, check out our five favorite black-run Tumblr fashion sites to keep you seriously steeped in black style knowledge.

Beyonce Rocks Teetering Trend: Alain Quilici Payson Skate Boots

November 3rd, 2011 - By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
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Beyonce: Alain Qulici Skate Boots

The web is all aflutter this morning over the picture you see above. The beautiful — and pregnant Beyonce — stepped out yesterday in the latest must-have fashion accessory: Alain Quilici Payson Skate Boots. These amazingly beautiful shoes are hot and unique, with similar styles having been spotted on other fashionable celebrities like black celebrity stylist June Ambrose. But the question is: should a woman with child be wearing a pair of shoes that could so easily result in a trip and fall? Especially so early on in the pregnancy? According to US Magazine, these bodacious booties are a towering five inches! (And cost $1,180…)

Our black celebrity gossip partner Necole Bitchie had this to say:

After the debate of whether Skate Boots were even hot yesterday, the last thing we’d expect to see is a pregnant woman keeping her balance on those unique heels.  Beyonce was spotted around Manhattan yesterday afternoon, bundled up in a red jacket, leopard print scarf and pair of brown Alain Quilici Payson Skate Boots.  Unlike the DSquared2 Skate Moss Lace Up Boot, the heel on this boot looks much more sturdier and is probably as easy as walking on a normal wedge heel.

Check out a close-up of the shoes:

Alain Quilic Lace Up Boot

Check out more Beyonce pics (and if you are lucky cop the shoes!) at Another shot of B:

Beyonce: Alain Qulici Skate Lace Up Booties

I don’t know.  These look a little precarious. Of course, unlike the regular pregnant woman, Beyonce has her beefy body guard’s arms to fall into should anything go awry. Perhaps for that reason alone, she is actually within the limits of safety. (If it were me, I would just have my body guard carry me everywhere — pregnant or not. ) Those are some hot shoes, regardless, so I can understand her wanting to step out in style.

It’s important to keep your Hot, even if you are with child. Do you agree?

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Must Have Fall Blazers For a Hot New Look

October 23rd, 2011 - By Erica R. Williams
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Fall Blazers: Cute Fall Jackets

Blazers are  those classic, chic pieces that can transition from day to night wear. Over the years, blazers have become  must-have items. Every year we’re re-introduced to classic blazers and exposed to new designs, like last years’ popular studded shoulder blazers that were donned by an eclectic mix of fashion lovers. From the over-sized look of boyfriend blazers to the the chic appeal of those with embellished sleeves, blazers are now staple items for fall. This season, filling your closet with an assortment of blazers will ensure that your wardrobe is nothing short of fabulous, even on your off days. Check out these selections, and make your favorite picks.

Africa to Fashion World: Respect is Due to Your Muse

October 13th, 2011 - By Danielle Kwateng
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By Danielle Kwateng

Africa Deserves Respect from Designers

In the abundance of the beatnik monochromatic tones of the 60’s, Yves Saint Laurent was inspired to take another route in his spring/summer collection of 1967. After being fired from Dior and creating his own private label five years before, he felt that his mark on fashion had to go in a distinct and artful direction—that direction led him to Africa. Sticking to the same formula of streamlined, androgynous silhouettes — popularized by models like Twiggy at the time — Congolese wood beads, sea shells and animal-teeth-shaped beads rarely used for Haute Couture were now in his collection.

But this was not the first time African cultural aesthetics had been the inspiration behind European work. For centuries designers, painters, musicians and even culinary enthusiasts had and have taken elements from the continent and used them for their benefit.

The debate of fashion exploiting Africa has always been an interesting topic to me. In a recent post on Racialicious, writer, Rafael Flores discusses this anomaly and the ways the fashion community can embrace African culture without being exploitive. Flores notes that designers like Thakoon donate a portion of their collections’ proceeds to specific causes in the region they take inspiration from.

My perception of African culture has always been that it is—in all forms—so unique and one-of-a-kind that any attempt to mimic it is an obvious reflection on its untouchable authenticity. But the masses and numbers seem to disagree with great press garnered by Louis Vuitton and John Galiano of Dior for their inspired work. The New York Times recently said of Donna Karan’s Spring-Summer 2012 line,”Africa is calling for those designers who want to offset streamlined modernity with something more earthy and tribal. Donna Karan has always had an instinct for crossculture, it was not surprising to see her describing neckpieces mixing wood and Lucite as part of a ‘tribal-tech’ drama.”

The Daily Juice: The White House Defends First Lady

October 5th, 2011 - By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
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Michelle Obama

Sponsored By:


And in my own life, in my own small way, I’ve tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. That’s why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us – no matter what our age or background or walk of life – each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation. -Michelle Obama


  • First Lady Michelle Obama is under attack for the cost of her June goodwill trip to Africa — and the White House defends her. {ABC News}
  • Hermain Cain calls himself “black walnut ice cream” on Fox. {Mediaite}
  • Hank Williams, Jr. is “sorry if he offended anyone” by his remarks about President Obama. {USAToday}
  • Obama signs key bill to keep the government functioning. {NPR}
  • The first African-American reverend has been chosen to head the Josephite Catholic order. {The Washington Post}


  • Kimsha Artest explains why she left “Basketball Wives L.A.” {Entertainment Rundown}
  • Nas confirms that an Amy Winehouse song was about him. {Hip Hop Wired}
  • “Playboy Club” starring Naturi Naughton already canceled! {Bossip}


Stay juiced-up today!

Show ‘Em A Little Leg: Fall Fashion Finds

August 28th, 2011 - By Toya Sharee
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As the weather turns a bit crisp you’ll soon start to see jeans and trousers slowly take over the store shelves, but don’t run to cover those legs just yet.  The great thing about autumn besides neutral tones and knee boots is that it’s usually a slow transition from warm weather to chillier temperatures and that in-between time is a great time to style your stems.

Check out this gallery of fun fashion finds to show off those legs!

Gap's Top Designer Gets the Boot

May 6th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — A year ago, top Gap designer Patrick Robinson stood alongside Oprah Winfrey and Vogue Editor Anna Wintour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art overseeing the New York fashion industry’s most prestigious gala.  Thursday, he was out of a job. His departure after four years of lackluster results was yet another sign of Gap Inc.’s failure to breathe new life into its namesake brand, which peaked in the mid-1990s.  It also underscores how difficult it can be for a retailer to set itself apart with jeans, T-shirts and other staples that can be found everywhere.  Mr. Robinson’s appointment in spring 2007 received considerable fanfare. His resume boasted stints at Perry Ellis, Anne Klein and Giorgio Armani, as well as a degree from the Parsons School of Design. He was named one of Vogue Magazine’s 100 rising stars in 1996.  Mr. Robinson notched some successes, including a revamped line of jeans that was critically and commercially well-received. But overall, improvement didn’t materialize. Same-store sales at Gap brand’s North American stores declined for 14 of the 16 quarters of his tenure.

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