Aug 12, 2013

I consider myself a fashionista.  I mean I love everything about styling and design.  I look at styling as my art.  I can look at a shirt and come up with several outfits in my head as it relates to that shirt.  I never played dress up as a kid, but now that I'm an adult I feel that all I do is play dress up and it's so much fun.  But with all that being said, I've never been a label whore.

I've never been a person who had to have a particular bag or a certain shoe in order to feel trendy.  That's just never been my thing.  Don't get me wrong, I own some red bottoms and a couple of Manolos and Zanottis but that's because I actually loved the design of the shoe and not the name of the designer who made the shoe.

I'm a conscious shopper.  I don't buy clothes from designers who don't market their stuff towards people like me.  If you don't think its important to have people who look like me model your clothes then why should I feel the need to give you my hard earned money.  I don't have anything to prove to anybody.  I think this is the concept behind Bethann Hardison's drive to use social media to call out designers who don't use a diverse casting when it comes to their runways.

Here is how the New York Times reports Ms. Hardison's call to action:

Beginning at Fashion Week in September, Ms. Hardison is organizing a social media campaign to bring public scrutiny to specific designers who do not use black models. By making consumers aware of the designers who do not embrace minorities on the runway, she said, “I wonder if that would make them have second thoughts about buying the shoes, the accessories and the bags.”
While her plans are still being developed, Ms. Hardison said that the seemingly indifferent responses among companies to complaints of tokenism and lookism have become too insulting and destructive to ignore. And Iman, at times speaking so passionately that her comments were unprintable, said it was time to protest “by all means necessary.”

The fact that we have to take these types of steps in order to get these major fashion houses to recognize our beauty during this day and age is still astonishing, but it is what it is.  I'm just of the belief that I'm not going to beg you to want me.  I think we should put those designers on blast that don't think their clothes look good on black skin and keep it moving.  We need to stop giving them our money.

The black community in America alone is in control of billions of dollars in discretionary spending and we need to give that money to people that value us as customers.  Obviously some of these fashion houses don't value us and we shouldn't want their goods.

So will you be supporting Bethann Hardison's call to action?  It's time we put our money where our mouth is.

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