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The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and several other Black people who were killed recently sparked protests in streets worldwide, and a movement on social media that saw fashion and beauty companies addressing its lack of representation and announcing plans to remedy its shortcomings. But, rather than wait around for companies to back their words with actions, an army of fashion and beauty’s biggest names is taking matters into their own hands with the debut of The Black Fashion and Beauty Collective.
Spearheaded by hairstylist Lacy Redway, celebrity stylist Law Roach, and stylist and designer of Aliette, Jason Rembert, the non-profit organization’s main objective is build a community of creatives—especially those who do behind-the-scenes work for celebrities—and provide them with resources to help them advance in their respective fields.
As the Black Fashion and Beauty Collective focuses on progression in the industry, the group also wants to work with fashion and beauty companies to correct its diversity issues. Black stylists, makeup artists, photographers and other creatives aren’t afforded the same opportunities as their white counterparts, or are often subjected to discriminatory behavior and tokenism behind the scenes. Last week, supermodel Joan Smalls shared her experience as a model in the fashion industry and her frustration with being tokenized.
“I don’t need validation from an industry that casts me as the token Black girl while ignoring my whole cultural identity. What I do need is recognition of the systemic issues—the issues that arise from top to bottom within the industry, from photographers not wanting to shoot me because there’s no need to shoot a Black girl to the magazines, brands, and agencies who continue to work with people of that mindset,” she said.
“It’s us being able to own our blackness and also let people know we’ve had enough and this is what it is going to look like going forward,” Jason Bolden, stylist and board member of the BFBC, said to Business of Fashion. The nascent collective is still figuring out membership but will partner with Chicago’s My Block, My Hood, My City to assist Black-owned businesses that were damaged during protests.
To learn more about the Black Fashion and Beauty Collective, visit their official site here.
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