As I scroll and scroll through my favored online stores, my attention is completely grabbed, by all of the latest styles that I’m tempted to buy. I click on one, I click on another, I throw items in my shopping bags, I throw them out of my shopping bags, my typical process of elimination. (I know I’m not alone on this one lol)
This morning, I do the same thing, but instead I wasn’t looking for items to purchase, I was looking for statement sleeves styles to feature on my scheduled blog post, “6 statement sleeves to rock all Fall/Winter.” I personally love the statement sleeves look, and I wanted to highlight 6 of the styles, that I thought readers would really enjoy.
Scrolling through, and clicking from one site to the next, as I try to find the best examples of statement sleeve styles to feature. I’m finding great examples, but for some reason, they werent good enough for me to end my search. So I kept going searching, from one site to the next, trying to find styles that would speak to me. After looking for sometime, I found great style examples, and great pictures to feature, but I still was not satisfied. I began to questioned I wasn’t satisfied because moment of the items m, came from a thrift store, but then I said to myself that couldn’t be! Yes, I thrift, but I enjoy online shopping like the next millennial, especially if the clothes are nice, very stylish and even better, for an affordable price. Then it hit me, you know what,
“All the sites I looked on, have stylish wear for afforable prices.”
“All the items I found to feature were really dope, and I know all my readers would enjoy them.”
“But none of these sites show enough or ANY representation of the Black Diaspora. On majority of these sites, I rarely and hardly see people that look like me.”
But I love Fashion, I love this shit. It has granted me with style, which has allowed me to express myself without evening having to speak. And honestly, that is powerful to me! It’s my form of art, it’s my personal revolution, and I know it can serve the same purpose for many other people as well.
I love fashion, but the real question is, does Fashion love me?
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 about it. When I was younger, I thought perhaps it was difficult for Black people to get their foot in the door, because fashion was already a highly competitive field to get into. But with time, maturity and my own life experiences, I began to fully realize the major influence Black people have had for centuries on the world of fashion. I began to observe my style, and my overall natural ability to express myself through what I wear. The more I learned, the more I realized, and the more I observed, the more shit wasn’t adding up to me.
This past February, for my 26th Birthday, I had the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian African American Museum, in Washington DC. In 4 hours, I acquired an abundance of knowledge, that has lasted with me since. From one of the exhibits, I learned that during slavery, many slaves made 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-expression despite difficult and wicked times. As history travels, that ancestral influence has never left the Black community. If anything Black people have innovated, trendsetted and heavily contributed to the changed and scope of fashion. Black people have contributed signature looks, and several fashion icons to the world of fashion, many who were never fashion designers, or even in the fashion world, but who were prominent and influential creatives with a dynamic sense of style.
And I’m not saying other people have not contributed to the world of fashion as well. I’m not saying other races haven’t contributed to the growth of fashion as well, but don’t they get the shine that they deserve?
Dont they get the representation that they deserve?
If not all, don’t most?
Let’s be honest, let’s be real.
Here at Keytofashion.com, I want to share my personal insight with millennial women. I want to appeal to all races, but as a Black woman, striving to make a mark in the fashion world, it’s my 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.
I’m an individual who cares deeply about humanity, and I care deeply about others knowing that they matter. But just like other races need to know that they matter, so does mines. And I think anyone that supports me, should have no problem supporting that.
For the last two years, my journey to become a resale fashion entrepreneur has been filled with several ups, and many downs. Thrifting is not a realm of fashion that is very popular within the Black community. Although some of us love to thrift, it’s still something that a lot of Black people don’t know much about, or don’t engage in. But this is a realm in fashion that I want to make a mark in. I’m a futuristic thinker, I’m an innovator, and I strive to be a humanitarian on this earth, and this is a realm of fashion that allows me to fulfill all three.
Throughout this time, yes I’ve grown, yes oven learned, and yes I’ve been challenged, but I’ve also experienced several hardships due to the color of my skin. Last December I was fired, for the first time in my life, at my second job, as a Resale Fashion Buyer, from a very known store in Boston, as well as a chained enterprise throughout America. I was so appalled by the situation, that I took the situation all the way up to the EEOC ( equal opportunity for employers) where I spoke to a federal lawyer about the situation. After a 15 minutes conversation, which turned into a 45 minute argument, which turned into a 10 minute mentor moment, I was told that there was nothing I could do. The lawyer realized the situation was racist, he knew it wasn’t right, 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. I knew that termination signified that I was on the right path, but most importantly that I couldn’t give up ..so I started writing and planning for my blog.
Almost a year later, and here we are.
So Fashion, I guess it doesn’t really matter if you love me or not; because I’m here to Stay.
But mostly importantly…
I’m here to slay!
Black Statement Sleeve Blouse: Store: Savers ($10.99) || Black Frilly Jeans: Brand: Express ($10) || Store: Closet Mentor Resale Store. || Shoes: (A gift, that wasn’t thrifted)
Little note to readers: Readers I will detail that story about my termination in either a video or a podcast. Let me know what platform you would prefer below.
I hope I fulfilled my mission here, in making sure you all walked away with a takeaway. If I did, let me know your thoughts. I’m eager to grow a community here at Key To Fashion, but I can’t grow a community here, without readers like You.
Thanks for reading!