Since the 1970’s, fashion models of color, especially black men and women, have experienced an increase in discrimination in the fashion industry. In the years from 1970 to 1990, black designers and models were very successful, but as the 1990’s came to an end, the fashion aesthetic changed and it did not include black models or designers. In today’s fashion, black models, influencers, and designers account for one of the smallest percentages of the industry. There are many theories about this lack of diversity, that it can be attributed to the economic differences usually associated with race and class, or it can reflect the differences in arts schooling given to mostly black populated schools, and also blatant racism.
Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
There are many examples of cultural appropriation in fashion. In many instances, designers can be found using aspects of culture inappropriately, in most cases taking traditional clothing from middle eastern, African, and Hispanic culture and adding it to their runway fashion. Some examples are in a 2018 Gucci runway show, white models wore Sikh headdresses, causing a lot of backlash. Victoria’s secret was also under fire for putting traditional native headdresses on their models during a lingerie runway show.
Suggestions: There appeared to be only one line about Michelle Obama in the post. I felt the post title was a bit misleading, because it suggested it was more J. Crew and Michelle Obama, not J. Crew and the blogger. While the post title is great, a misleading post title can turn off new readers. I would suggest personalizing this post title, “How Michelle Obama turned me onto J. Crew”
Aiming to “amplify a greater message of unity, inclusion, diversity, and feminism in a fashion space”, Mara Hoffman invited the founders of the Women's March on Washington to open her show which featured modern silhouettes of utilitarian wear, described by critics as “Made for a modern warrior” and “Clothing for those who still have work to do”. Prabal Gurung debuted his collection of T-shirts featuring slogans such as “The Future is Female”, “We Will Not Be Silenced”, and “Nevertheless She Persisted”, with proceeds going to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Gurung's own charity, “Shikshya Foundation Nepal”. Similarly, The Business of Fashion launched the #TiedTogether movement on Social Media, encouraging member of the industry from editors to models, to wear a white bandana advocating for “unity, solidarity, and inclusiveness during fashion week”.
The Black Panther Party (BPP) was an essential piece of the Black Power movement that allowed members that were involved advocate for the African American race in different subjects like equality and politics. The BPP members wore a very distinctive uniform: a black leather jacket, black pants, light blue shirts, a black beret, an afro, dark sunglasses, and usually a fist in the air. Their image gave off a very militant like feel to it. This notable uniform was established in 1996, but a different uniform was still in place before; just the sunglasses and leather jackets. Each member wore this uniform at events, rallies, and in their day-today life. Very few members changed the essential parts of the outfit, but some added personal touches such as necklaces or other jewelry that was usually were a part of African culture. The Black Panther uniform did succeeded in intimidating enemies and onlookers and clearly sent a message of black pride and power even though the initial intention of this party was to communicate solidarity among the Black Panther Party members.
Often consumers need to be told what they want. Fashion companies have to do their research to ensure they know their customers' needs before developing solutions. Steve Jobs said, "You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it".
The four major current fashion capitals are acknowledged to be Paris, Milan, New York City, and London, which are all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and are renowned for their major influence on global fashion. Fashion weeks are held in these cities, where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences. A succession of major designers such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent have kept Paris as the center most watched by the rest of the world, although haute couture is now subsidized by the sale of ready-to-wear collections and perfume using the same branding.