Young Women Stage “Fashion in Action!” Demonstration at
Wednesday Sep 15, 2010 – By Geneva S. Thomas For Clutch Magazine Online
I am happy to share a story of the ACTION taken by some of my friends, Colleagues and 1 of my Fashion Industry Mentors. Read On.
On September 9, the opening day of New York Fashion Week, a group of young Black women staged a silent demonstration. The 20-something ladies wanted to acknowledge the first time in their lifetimes that Essence magazine—a formidable Black women’s print beloved by scores Black girls for 40 years—does not have a Black fashion director. The group of professional and educated women, many of whom are fashion and media insiders, also stood in protest of the added fact that there are no Black fashion directors at any mainstream fashion or lifestyle publication.
Dressed in all black, the walkers carried signs depicting every fashion director in Essence magazine’s 40 year-old history. Large signs in bold font read “I Am Susan Taylor,” “I Am Kevin Stewart,” “I Am Harriette Cole.” Signs also read simply, “I Am A Black Fashion Director.” The demonstration was informed by the iconic 1968, “I Am A Man” march.
The walk began at the Essence magazine headquarters at 50th street and concluded at 63rd street in front of the Lincoln Center, the new home of New York Fashion Week...
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And the movement continues! New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs will host a panel discussion, “Fashion Takes a Trip to Post-Racial USA?”, featuring Esther Armah, Michaela angela Davis and Isolde Brielmair. The critical discussion will talk “progress, power, presence, diversity in the world of publishing and media” on Friday, September 17, 6pm at 41 East 11th St. at University Place 7th floor. CLUTCH will be there, and we hope to see our New York-based readers there too!
Photo Credit: The brilliant fashion photographer Marc Baptiste was on hand to document the tribute. Baptiste bestowed the images online exclusively with CLUTCH.