Growing up, I often heard that it was difficult for Black People to make a mark in the fashion world.

At times, it sounded damn near impossible the way people would rant and rave about it. 🙄

But I’m sure many Black People have heard those words before. No matter what field they are trying to pursue.

When I was younger, I thought perhaps it was difficult for Black People to get their foot in the fashion doors. Because fashion was already a highly competitive, and challenging field to get into.

But with time, maturity, and my own life experiences. I soon realized the major influences that Black People have had on the Fashion World for centuries. I also began to observe my own personal style. And my natural ability to express myself through what I wear. As well as the personal style of my family members. And close friends.

The more I learned. The more I realized.

The more I realized. The more I observed.

The more I observed. The more shit wasn’t adding up to me.

I have questioned the lack of representation of Black People in Fashion for sometime now. Every time I scroll through my favorite online sites. I rarely see enough Black representation. And truthfully, it’s upsetting to me, because it’s a false narrative.

Last February in 2018, for my 26th Birthday. I had the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian African American Museum, in Washington DC. And let me first start off by staying that it was an amazing experience 🙌🏿. I’m definitely going again.

In only 4 hours, I acquired an abundance of reflective knowledge. That has lasted with me since.

From one of the exhibits, I learned that during slavery, many slaves made their own clothing. So that they could showcase their dignity and self-expression.

Clothing, but in modern terms Fashion, was used in slavery as a creative weapon to demonstrate ones self-respect. And inner-creative despite difficult and wicked times.

As history travels, that ancestral influence has never left the Black community.

Even in Black Activist groups such as the Marcus Garvey Garveyites. Or the Black Panther Party. Fashion was used to symbolize unity amongst the members. And to create a unified self-expression.

Even Black Public Figures, Musisical Legends, and Icons have contributed signature looks to the fashion world. Many of them weren’t even fashion designers. Or in the fashion world per-say. But they were simply innovative trendsetters. And influential creatives with a dynamic sense of style.✨

As a Black woman. Striving to make my own mark in the fashion world.

I feel like it’s my personal responsibility to shed light on the Black experience.

It’s my responsibility to push for more representation.

And it’s most importantly my responsibility to be that representation.

I need to be the change, that I wish to see.

For the past two years, my journey to become a resale fashion entrepreneur has been filled with several ups, and several downs. But I’ve learned ALOT, and most important I’ve grown ALOT.

Thrifting is a realm of fashion that is known. But it’s not that popular within the Black community .. yet.

Although there are Black People who love to thrift. Just as much as I go. Or even own there own resale fashion stores. It’s still a realm of fashion that a lot of Black People don’t know much about. Or have not engaged in yet.

But this is a realm in fashion that I want to make a mark in. Which is why I started Key To Fashion.

I wanted to educate people first.

Start to revolutionize the way people see resale fashion &  their own fashion.

Grow a Brand.

Build a community.

Before ….I work on implementing a vision. ✨

I’m a futuristic thinker. A creative thinker. And a individual who wants to simply be a humanitarian on this earth.

And Resale Fashion allows me to fulfill all three.✨

But along my journey, I have experienced hardships due to the color of my skin.

Last December I was fired, for the very first time. At my second job, as a Resale Fashion Buyer.

I was one of the top buyers in the store I worked at. And I had only been working there for a few months. And that was the owners issue.

Upon my interview she specifically asked me why did I want the job? And I told her because I was eager to learn more about the resale fashion industry.

But she didn’t realize how hungry I was to learn. I mean I told her it was my experience job. So of course I joined the team, to do my best.

As the owner though, she didn’t want me to come in, and do a better job than her. Which I could completely understand from a bosses point of view.

But as a leader, it was hard not to, when she was never there.

Leaving teenagers ranges 16-18, to supervise themselves. A failing business. And each other.

I was already working at a non-profit. And working closely and heavily with 55 teenagers. So being teenage my co-workers at this particular job. I naturally gave off that supportive mentor vibe.

They would often ask me clarifying questions, or for support. Not only because I was the oldest. But because they truly needed support. And they weren’t properly getting it.

So I was highly, I mean HIGHLY appalled when I was wrongfully terminated. And I took the situation to the EEOC (equal employment opportunity commission).

I conversed with a federal lawyer about the situation. Which mind you ….it was only supposed to be a 15 minute conversation.

A 15 minutes conversation. Turned into a 45 minute debate.

That ended in a 10 minute mentor moment.

By the end of the conversation, I was being told that there was nothing he could do.

Yes. He knew it wasn’t right.

Yes. He knew the situation was racist.

But he concluded that due to the “at-will act”..

The manager had the right to fire me “at her own will”

I was furious. But at the same time I was motivated af after that termination.

I knew that termination signified that I was on the right path. But most importantly that I couldn’t give up.

So I began pre-writing. Researching. Visualizing. And planning for my blog. As well as writing down my long term goals for Key to Fashion.

A year later. And here we are.

So Fashion, I guess it doesn’t matter if you love me, or my Blackness after all.

Because I’m here to Stay. 💯

But mostly importantly…

I’m here to Slay 🙌🏿🔥

Look Details✨

Black Statement Sleeve Blouse: Store: Savers ($10.99)

Express Black Frilly Jeans: Store: Closet Mentor Resale Store ($10)

Shoes: A Gift 💕

Final Note: One day I will share more details about my termination story in a video. I will keep it professional, but I will also keep it transparent. 💯. I do believe that it will motivate other people. And I also believe it will allow you all to learn more about my journey.

I hope I fulfilled my mission here, in making sure you all learned something here. And that you are essentially leaving this post with a takeaway. Let me know what your takeaway is below.

Thanks for stopping by! I’m eager to continue growing a community here at Key To Fashion.

So don’t forget to subscribe below & join us✨

XoXo 💕

Key Michel✨

 

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