Restructuring Fashion From the Inside Out.
Ponder what it means to de-center luxury, explore the work of fashion scholar Hanayrá Negreiros, a new profile on Misa Hylton and more...
This week at the Database…
As our newsletter subscriber base grows, I want to thank you for bringing us into your inbox each week. Since the start of our newsletter last year, we have now added our “In the News” newsletter (which comes to you every other Friday), in hopes that you find our persistent research valuable in the realm of fashion. Specifically, our “In the News” newsletter delivers the latest roundup of news headlines mediated by the commentary of our very own Anu Lingala, and supported by our signature Library to provide you with further reading to better understand what’s going on today.
Recently, FRD Researcher Laura Beltrán-Rubio has settled back in from traveling to various countries as she expands her breadth of knowledge as a Latin American (fashion) history scholar. The latest reading list that she has put together for you, “De-centering Luxury,” continues to apply pressure to what is considered the “canon” of fashion history and refinement. On the topic of luxury, UK-based guest contributor Dan Hastings complicates our conversations surrounding Black women and representation in his opinion piece, “Reframing European Luxury.” Luxury and designer labels have famously excluded Black consumers, most notably in the case of Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day, who took a provocative approach to claiming ownership of luxury and prestige. The Black women who have played a key role in bringing luxury to the Black consumer has all too often been underrepresented, however. Guest Contributor Ameera Steward sets the record straight, bringing us an educational essay to our Profiles section entitled, “Fashion Architect, Misa Hylton.” As we continue to celebrate the contributions of women, our latest feature from The Directory introduces you to Nöl Collective, who work at “the intersection of feminism, Palestinian culture, ethical fashion, and social justice.” And finally, we spotlight another woman from The Directory, scholar Hanayrá Negreiros, whose work has been so critical in terms of Afro-Brazilian fashion, we’ve created a roundup of her research!
– Kim Jenkins, Founder
From the Library
The word “luxury” is often mentioned in relation to fashion. But, what, exactly, is luxury? While there might be a number of dictionary definitions for the term, the reality is that the meanings of luxury are constituted socially and vary depending on the context. This reading list offers five case studies that reveal different meanings of luxury that have emerged in specific contexts, past and present, from around the world.
– Laura Beltrán-Rubio, FRD Researcher
From the Directory X Library Spotlight:
Hanayrá Negreiros has a Master’s in Religious Science from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) and an undergraduate degree in Fashion from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM). Her research revolves around fashion and curatorial practice, focusing mainly on topics of the history of Afro-Brazilian fashion, art, and culture. Her main area of study is Black aesthetic, especially as they manifest through clothing, visual culture, religion, and family memories.
‘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.’
Essays & Opinion
Reframing European Luxury: The Exclusivity of the Black American Brand Ambassador
According to Bakima, African American women benefit from American imperialism even though they’re Black: “Outside of the US, Black American women remain American first. They embody a kind of soft power and worldwide dominance. [...] When the team is made of white Europeans, the best version of blackness that conveys dream and beauty to them is the African American one.”
– Dan Hastings, Guest Contributor
‘Essays & Opinion’ delivers thought-provoking research and analysis along with provocative takes on timely or underrepresented matters.
Fashion Architect, Misa Hylton
In addition to styling Mary J. Blige from her first album up until today, Hylton was also behind the iconic looks of rapper Lil Kim. [...] Her one sleeved, purple pasty jumpsuit worn to the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, allowed Hylton to “get into my creative bag." Their collaboration catapulted both hers and Hylton’s careers.
– Ameera Steward, Guest Contributor
‘Profiles’ provides an abbreviated knowledge of racialized and/or minoritized individuals who have shaped the history and business of fashion in the face of structural racism and adversity.
Beginning as a community-based initiative to bring people together over shared struggles, we have grown into a collective dedicated to illuminating the extremely human nature of fashion and politics. Nöl Collective is far more than just a fashion brand: We work at the intersection of feminism, Palestinian culture, ethical fashion, and social justice.
At Nöl, we manufacture our apparel and accessories with small family-run businesses and women’s cooperatives across the West Bank and Gaza, supporting local production, talent, and craftsmanship.
The discourse on fashion and race threads through a vast network of like-minded endeavors. ‘The Directory’ catalogues other sources of information and inspiration.
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
Daniela Hernandez, Media Editor
Anthony Palliparambil, Jr., Content Editor
Kimberly Jenkins, Founder