Let’s face it: 2020 has been a year of letdowns, and the fashion industry is no exception — especially when it comes to matters of race. As a Black editor, I’m sick and tired of the general refusal to follow through on promises and simply do what is right. Following George Floyd’s murder, countless brands rushed to social media to share sentiments of solidarity. My inbox was flooded with emails titled, “Our commitment,” “We stand with the Black community,” and, my personal favorite, “We pledge to do better.” For someone who’s worked in fashion for eight years and experienced discrimination both firsthand and from afar, these so-called “promises” sounded like a broken record. They were performative, lacked emotion, and, frankly, felt like they were after one thing: my coin. As I dealt with the trauma and grief of losing yet another innocent Black man, supporting newly woke brands was something
In a year where the global fashion industry has faced its biggest ever racial reckoning Kamala Harris, the first black and south Asian vice-president, has elevated the names of black designers by wearing their clothes on the biggest public stage possible.
By wearing fashion labels Pyer Moss, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson during last week’s inauguration events, Harris was aligning the new administration’s commitment to diversity with the fashion industry’s attempt to move past systemic, historic racism into a new era. A new era where designers of color get the same opportunities that their white counterparts have had for years.
“When it comes to inauguration events, black designers have been almost exclusively absent,” said the author Ronda Racha Penrice, “so it was nice to discover that the fabulous outfits [were] created by black designers.”
The concept of “the new” was seen directly on Tuesday when Harris attended an
The turmoil of the last twelve months seems to have eliminated trends from fashion, with moods and desires almost impossible to track on a global scale. But one phenomenon still seems poised to dominate 2021: vintage clothing, or “archival fashion,” as the cognoscenti call it. (Funny, that, because “vintage” was developed as the snob’s alternative to “used” and “thrifted.”) Archival, a notch above vintage, is distinguished by the piece’s place in fashion history–it appeared on the runway, started a trend, or has been highly influential. And most importantly, it was created by a historically significant designer.
The pandemic and a new environmental consciousness among young people helped kick off the archival fashion boom. But there’s also a sensibility among Gen Z and Millennials that archival fashion is a way to signal taste and conscientiousness. (If HF Twitter is anything to go by, Gen Z’ers are particularly obsessive about ‘90s
Just imagine working in an industry that doesn’t accept you. That’s how former fashion editor and curve model Lauren Chan felt for nearly a decade. “I showed up to work everywhere from the Glamour offices to the set of the Today Show and fashion weeks around the world, and my smaller peers wore designer clothing, while I was relegated to cheap fast-fashion,” she says. Recognizing fashion’s size inclusivity problem and doing something about it was long overdue. Chan, who identifies as plus-size herself, blazed her own trail by walking the runway for Chromat — in a swimsuit, no less — and accepting the horrific online vitriol that followed with grace and humility. (She’s since modeled, sans clapback, for luxury e-tailer 11 Honoré.) For her latest endeavor, Chan made the move from strutting and editing to full-fledged designing. Her new brand, called Henning (a play on the word “hen” that’s meant