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brandsTuesday, October 26, 2021

Our Black Community Celebrates Black History Month UK

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Black History Month provides us with the opportunity to celebrate our creative, tech-savvy community of Black individuals, as well as the innovative Black designers that perennially remain at the forefront of fashion. To respectfully acknowledge the instrumental contributions of our Black employees, it’s paramount that the rest of the company takes a step back to listen to their voices. 

 

So allow us to introduce you to five of the finest, most inspiring members of our Black community. Take it away, Tiffany, Theo, Christine, Kyle and Larissa. 

 

Theo Robinson (@theorobbo) (Him/He)

Personal Stylist at FARFETCH

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month means acknowledging the contributions that generations of Black people have made within the country. To me, that means commemorating the contribution my grandparents – Jamaican immigrants who are part of the Windrush Generation – made to Britain. 

 

Who is your Black style icon?

One of my biggest Black style icons is A$AP Nast: there are similar elements between our styles. We share an affinity for spacious pants, shirts and sweaters and we both have a tendency to wear Japanese brands such as Homme Plissé Issey Miyake and Comme Des Garćons Homme Plus. I would label Nast a trendsetter as his style is unique. He wears whatever he feels like wearing – it’s very free.

 

Another Black style icon of mine is TyLynn Nguyen. Tylynn’s style is minimal yet sophisticated; she refrains from purchasing voguish pieces and instead invests in timeless items.

 

Who is your favorite Black designer? 

My favorite Black designer is Nicholas Daley – I love the way he amalgamates community, culture and craftsmanship. In case you’re not familiar with Daley, he's a London-based designer who intertwines his Jamaican and Scottish heritage by combining reggae aesthetics with Scottish textiles. 

 

Do you have any words of advice for young Black individuals looking to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

The best piece of advice I can give is to gain as much experience as you can, never give up and continue to work towards your goals because you’ll get there eventually. Along the way, there’s bound to be setbacks, but every experience in life is likely to teach you something.

 

Theo's Edit of Black Designed Pieces

Larissa Duarte (@Rissarocha) (She/Her)

Social Media Executive based in FARFETCH

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is a time when I pay homage to my ancestors and honour their hidden contributions. It’s also a time that I reflect on my experiences, discuss the hardships of being Black with the rest of the community and celebrate Black love, Black success and Black culture.

 

Who is your Black style icon?

My Black style icon is Rihanna, a woman who dominates the music, beauty and fashion industry. Rihanna exudes confidence and expresses her mood through her style. She inspires manifold individuals, including me, by celebrating her roots and giving back to her community. 

 

Who is your favorite Black designer? 

This may be a controversial answer, but Kanye West is my favorite Black designer. It’s so inspiring to see a Black person shake up the industry. Plus, I’m a bona-fide sneakerhead, and I can’t get another of his Yeezy sneaker designs.

 

Alongside Virgil Abloh, Kanye West pushed streetwear into the high fashion sphere. Streetwear began in the Black hip-hop community and has been appropriated by numerous brands ever since; so it’s satisfying to see that Black designers are still the spearheads of the streetwear scene.  

 

Do you have any words of advice for young Black individuals looking to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone; connect with new people; learn new skills; always ask questions. Nothing is out of reach. The fashion industry is not an easy ride; there will always be times that people try to knock you down, but don’t sweat it, you’ve got this!

 

Larissa's Edit of Black Designed Pieces

Tiffany Fraser (@hey_tiff) (She/Her)

Senior business assistant at FARFETCH

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

It's a space given to people of Black heritage to do with it what we please. Every year, we choose a different theme that allows us to celebrate Black power. 

 

I hope Black History Month leads to Black history and Black greatness being shared and spoken about more widely; eventually, I hope we reach a point in which Black talent is recognized and celebrated loudly outside of the month of October. 

 

Who is your Black style icon?

  • Sade: I love how Sade portrayed minimalism at its finest. She emulated the ‘less is more’ concept so elegantly, and her simplistic style accentuates her natural beauty. She shows how stripping back the dramatics allows your essence to shine. Because of Sade, I fell in love with the idea of a simple turtleneck.

 

  • Erykah Badu: Erykah’s style is fearless, brave, authentic, and, above all, eccentric. It says, ‘I am a leader, an individual and I’m comfortable with being me’. I would say Mother Badu has influenced me in more ways than one, but when it comes to fashion I would say she has shown me that you can be Earthly and glamorous at the same time.

 

  • Iman: Iman’s style is regal and chic. Iman has influenced me to channel my inner goddess when going for a glam look. 

 

Who is your favorite Black designer?

Olivier Rousteing is my favorite Black designer for many reasons – he’s brave, innovative, fresh and current, to name just a few. 

 

Olivier Rousteing’s designs are like a work of art because they’re luxurious, intricately detailed and manifestly made with magic. He’s captured so much excitement across the years with his designs for Balmain, and he’s also captured our hearts with his transparency about his personal search for identity.

 

Do you have any words of advice for young Black individuals looking to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

Put yourself out there and don’t hold back as you have to be brave to chase your dreams. Every experience is an opportunity to learn, a chance to improve. 

 

Additionally, it’s key that you show up as yourself, as authenticity will open doors for you. People are more likely to buy into you as a person than your abilities. No one can resist a good heart, courage and confidence. Always remember that your energy is everything.

 

Tiffany's Edit of Black Designed Pieces

Kyle Le Monaco (@kyleomonaco) (He/Him)

Style advisor at FARFETCH

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

To me, Black History Month is an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of Black history. Most especially, it's a time to share stories of our achievements instead of those that focus on colonialism and racism. By engaging in our history, we gain a better understanding of the present. 

 

Who is your Black style icon?

Grace Jones. Why? One word: fierce. She’s the epitome of embodying one’s authentic self; she’s a boundary-pushing role model. Rather than visually influencing my style, she’s influenced my sartorial attitude. And, above all, she’s reminded me that the only person limiting yourself is you, so it’s a requisite that you pay others no mind.

 

Who is your favorite Black designer? 

Currently, I'm in awe of Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond who merges the worlds of streetwear and couture. He’s assertive and unapologetic – a designer with a mission to tell stories of our Black history we may have never heard before. 

 

Do you have any words of advice for young Black individuals looking to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

The fashion industry is enormous. Navigate your way through it until you find your passion. Work hard, and remember that you are just as equal, just as worthy and just as important as everybody else. Own it and own yourself.

 

Kyle's Edit of Black Designed Pieces

Christine Paul (She/Her)

Content designer at FARFETCH

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black history should be celebrated all year round, but we should embrace Black History Month as a time to celebrate our ancestors and culture. It’s vital to remember the Black leaders that improved the reality of our future. 

 

Who is your Black style icon?

Grace Jones is my ultimate Black style icon. She is a visionary, and her style, like her music, was, and still is, revolutionary. I often think about the iconic photos of Jones shot by Jean-Paul Goude – they’re fabulous. 

 

Other music stars that inform my style are Aaliyah, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys and Ashanti. Can you tell I’m a millennial? 

 

Who is your favorite Black designer? 

I can’t pick one, but I’d say my top four are Grace Wales Bonner, Heron Preston, Virgil Abloh and the trio behind Daily Paper. I love feeling comfortable in streetwear, which is why I believe you can’t go wrong with an oversized hoodie, dress and trainer combination. 

 

Do you have any words of advice for young Black individuals looking to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

Keep breaking down barriers. If one door shuts, another one will open. There isn’t a limit on what you can do, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

 

Christine's Edit of Black Designed Pieces

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