Preparing for the next stage.
FRD is hosting "Saturday Coffee Chats" on IG Live; Delve into Afrofuturism and Fashion Subcultures in Japan; Revisiting Navajo Blankets & Moccasins; FRD Founder's new company means NO more excuses...
This week at the Database…
As we head into the month of November, all I can think of is that we are now just a couple of months away from launching “Phase 2” of The Fashion and Race Database! While I need to remain tight-lipped, prepare for some exciting things to take place, like:
New ways that you will be able to deepen your engagement with the database, which will involve new programming, and
the reveal of a new, collaborative media project, which will bring our thinking and research to a new “stage.”
But! Before we can reach that light at the end of the tunnel, we are “shooting our shot” with one final fundraising boost to close out 2021.
Here’s where you come in…
For the entire month of November, we have a goal of raising $20k, which will cover ALL of our remaining 2021 operating costs (including legal, bookkeeping and web development support). Most importantly, $20k will cover our staff compensation budget for the next few months.
Keep in mind, small social justice-related projects like this (and especially academic-related projects) aren’t able to generously compensate contributors, and I am proud that, through reader support and brand partnerships, we’ve been able to consistently support our team each and every month since FRD 2.0 began in July 2020.
Help us set a NEW standard for what the next generation of fashion researchers and critical writers deserve. I still believe that in these ever-changing times, it’s the fashion educators who will be leading us into a more equitable and sustainable world.
If you agree, then the magic number that we are hoping our readers and supporters can contribute is $25. Consider this: We have over 1,000 newsletter subscribers and nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram. If 200 followers contributed $25 each week, we’d reach our necessary goal this month.
If you can contribute more, great! Alternatively, you can take the “power in numbers” approach: Create your own informal fundraising drive for us within your community and contribute the amount that your group raised.
But of course, if you need to sit this one out, can we count on you to spread the word?
As our gift to you during this fundraising boost, I will be donating my time each weekend for a “Saturday Coffee Chat” on IG Live at 10am EST. These chats will take you behind the scenes of our work, and I’ll also sit down with some of the inspirational researchers, educators and creatives who you may have seen on the database. Our first coffee chat will introduce you to our very own in-house Researcher, Laura Beltrán-Rubio, who is doing the work of decolonizing fashion and diversifying Latin American fashion history.
Thank you for your support!
– Kim Jenkins, Founder
From the Library
Afrofuturism draws on Black history, mythology, and science fiction to liberate and imagine possible futures for people of the African diaspora. As this week’s readings explain, Afrofuturism offers opportunities to explore design solutions that are empathic, inclusive, and impactful, especially with relation to human experiences. More importantly, Afrofuturism provides a strategy with which to decolonize global fashion, both historical and contemporary, through its archives, discourses, representations, and narratives.
– Laura Beltrán-Rubio, Researcher
Fashion Subcultures in Japan
This week’s roundup highlights different subcultures seen in Japan. Renowned for colorful, quirky, and whimsical styling and displays, Japan’s subcultures are ostensibly not just a form of cosplay, but a lifestyle. From gothic lolitas to fairy kei and Chicanas, the sources in this reading list offer an abundance of visual presentations of these diverse groups.
– Alliya Lopez, Research Assistant
‘The Library’ and the ‘Reading List’ is where we collect and organize countless educational sources all in one place. Referenced by educators, students, fashion enthusiasts and curious minds, this multi-faceted repository provides an expanding selection of tools for learning about all matters connected to fashion, appearance, power and the impact of ‘race.’
Objects That Matter
Navajo blankets are carefully constructed textiles that embody a cultural appreciation for craftsmanship, innovation and individuality. Weaving is an important aspect of Navajo or Diné society and spirituality. Communities banded together to raise sheep and women took to the forefront as weavers. [...] Navajo weavings are remarkably created without preliminary sketches or outlines, each design is extremely personal to the creator.
– Adriana Hill, Former FRD Research Assistant
Moccasins are defined as soft-sided hide shoes sewn with no seams along the lower part. The hide is drawn up around the foot and sewn along the top, allowing for modifications such as legging attachments, inset vamps (hide that covers the space from the toe to ankle) and cuffs, both symmetrical and asymmetrical. Women were often in charge of making moccasins, with different members of the community taking responsibility for the different steps of construction.
– Adriana Hill, Former FRD Research Assistant
'Objects That Matter' gathers numerous fashion objects outside of the Western lens and provides a brief history, showing why they matter, as many of these items have been widely appropriated or referenced.
Kimberly Jenkins, Founder of The Fashion and Race Database, has launched a new endeavor that aims to educate leaders in the fashion industry and provide creative research support. Artis Solomon is an education consultancy that provides academic and creative solutions towards a more intelligent fashion system.
Over the years, there has been growing demand in the industry for change, and it has been undeniable that individuals with a background in history and cultural awareness can be instrumental in this push for positive change. We have seen countless instances of fashion brands being “called out” for preventable mistakes that illuminate their “blind spots” (or general ambivalence), and this creates further harm to communities that have been marginalized and exploited.
As an experienced educator, Kim created Artis Solomon as a way to bring the crucial lessons and resources that live inside the classroom to the wide arena of fashion, “connecting the dots” of common interests and concerns that exist between students, industry leaders and society in general. In a rapidly diversifying world where culture, politics and creative expression meet, Artis Solomon is prepared to guide us along the way, through critical knowledge and insight.
The discourse on fashion and race threads through a vast network of like-minded endeavors. ‘The Directory’ catalogues other sources of information and inspiration.
Hanbok: Dress of Korean Identity
In this free online event organized by the Korean Cultural Society of Boston, Dress historian Dr. Minjee Kim’s talk Hanbok: Dress of Korean Identity will explore hanbok, challenging the conventional definition of hanbok as ‘traditional’ or ‘authentic’ Korean dress. Shedding light on the birth of the term ‘hanbok’ as a modern coinage and the trajectory of material aspects of hanbok that have constantly been reformed and diverged into multiple different paths, and drawing on the ‘cultural authentication’ theory by Joanne B. Eicher, she will contend that hanbok has been rather modern than traditional, and culturally authenticated rather than authentic.
The event recording will be available at the Korean Cultural Society of Boston Facebook.
The Symposium will be live streamed on Thursday, November 4 at 7:30pm EST. To learn more about this event, visit our entry here.
A global network of events, conversations and opportunities will continue to evolve the discourse on fashion and race. ‘The Calendar’ remains on the pulse and keeps you looped in.
That’s it for now. Please stay safe and we’ll see you next week.
Yours in service and solidarity,
The Fashion and Race Database Team
Laura Beltrán-Rubio, Researcher
Alliya Lopez, Research Assistant
Gillani Peets, Research & Editorial Intern
Kendall Laws, Project Manager
Daniela Hernandez, Media Editor
Anthony Palliparambil, Jr., Content Editor
Kimberly Jenkins, Founder