Not seeing myself represented in fashion marketing has fueled my life’s purpose


According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles and Fashion (T&F APPG), nearly 90% of those polled for the report said that fashion industry images do not depict a range of different bodies and identities. . While 87.5% said they did not feel represented in advertising campaigns, fashion shoots or on the catwalks. Black and brown consumers remain at the end of the stick within the representation, despite being the most populous group of people to support fashion brands. “African American consumers are 31% more likely than the general population to spend $500 or more on a handbag,” according to Nielsen Surveys.

Black people, in particular, have fought a double-edged sword when it comes to feeling seen, heard and appreciated in a world that has always sought to dislike them. It basically drives us to do more through our appearances and participate in the endless world of fashion consumption, although it doesn’t represent us.

“Clothing, from luxury brands to mid-market brands, has been a lever for social mobility and has shown that you can afford the lifestyle you lead. Big brands and logos were essential to express this. Especially if the white gaze was skill,” Kimberly Jenkins, Ryerson Professor of Fashion Studies, told BOF. “Consuming has become a function of self-identification for blacks. I can’t change my black skin, but I can change anything else.


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