We're Back! (Sort of)
Our newest project is ready for your ears...
It’s Kim here, founder of The Fashion and Race Database.
First of all, I’d like to address the obvious: We’ve been away for awhile. In December, I discovered that the database wasn’t sustainable and my energy wasn’t sustainable either. So we all took a break, and I took the whole semester off from my university this year. It was nourishing, and I realized just how depleted I was. Thank you all for your support through all of this–it came in the form of monetary contributions, “likes” and supportive comments on social media, and even direct emails and text messages. I’m so proud of the community we’ve built here.
In the meantime, I’m working on new funding strategies so that we can have our team back and regular content flowing again.
Now! On to some very exciting news that I have for you…
You may recall that we partnered with Tommy Hilfiger last year to begin a project where we bring to light the underrepresented contributions of Black people to the fashion industry (not sure if I went into that much detail with you, but that’s what we were cooking!). This was part of an objective at FRD that I’ve had for a few years–to encourage industry leaders to acknowledge that fashion education is vital towards building a more sustainable, diverse and respectful fashion system.
This project has been a year in the making, but I am so happy to finally share it. Today, The Fashion and Race Database and Tommy Hilfiger officially bring you a new podcast called, The Invisible Seam: Unsung Stories of Black Culture and Fashion. It’s produced by the brilliant team at Pineapple Street Studios.
The Invisible Seam: Unsung Stories of Black Culture and Fashion will feature compelling interviews with expert guests, including designers, academics, fashion historians, museum curators, stylists and artists. I am your host throughout this audio learning journey.
What makes this a dream come true is not just being able to co-develop and host something like this, but each episode description is going to list a mini syllabus that features resources on the database for listeners to deepen their learning! Most notably, we commissioned a set of articles from writers we love to be published in support of this entire project. To better understand how this works, I encourage you to follow the podcast.
So, can I get you on board with adding yet another podcast to your list?
You can listen to the trailer (released today) and subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts, and here’s a list of the episodes coming up:
April 20, 2022: NO BLUEPRINT: Sets the scene and establishes the root and reason for the show, with guests Jeffrey Banks and Romeo Hunte (Designers), and Ceci (Costume Designer).
April 27, 2022: RHYTHM & MUSE: A look into how the hip-hop community built its look on the margins of an unwelcoming fashion industry, before it became as universal and sought-after as it is today. Featuring Monica Morrow and Boz Bradshaw (Stylists), April Walker (Designer), and Elena Romero (Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology [FIT] and TV Correspondent).
May 4, 2022: STATEMENT PIECE: A deeper exploration into Black America’s connections with fashion and the relationship between what we wear and what we believe. With guests Miko Underwood (Founder and Chief Creative Director at OAK & ACORN), Angela Tate (Women’s History Curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture), Elizabeth Way (Associate Curator at The Museum at FIT) and Richard Thompson Ford (Professor and Author).
May 11, 2022: THE BEST, THE BRIGHTEST, THE DRESSED: This episode dives into how Historically Black Colleges and Universities have used fashion to show that Black culture is a mosaic, and to position Black Americans as tastemakers and leaders in what the world wears. Guests include Ceci (Costume Designer), Jasmine Guy (Actress and Singer), Darnell-Jamal Lisby (Fashion Historian and Curator), Monica L. Miller (Professor and Author), and Elizabeth Way (Associate Curator at The Museum at FIT).
May 18, 2022: THERE WILL BE NO MORE DOORS: In a world where Black artistry continues to be the blueprint for what the everyday person wears, we look to the future for inspiration in the present and as a way to make sense of the past. With Connor McKnight (Designer), Law Roach (Image Architect), Brandice Daniel (CEO and Founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row), Randy Cousin (SVP of Product Concept and the People’s Place Program at Tommy Hilfiger), Ade Samuel (Celebrity Stylist), Letesha Renee (Head Designer and Owner at Eugene Taylor Brand) and Aria Hughes (Editorial Creative Director at Complex Networks). The series is closed out by Zairion Lester, a fashion student and emerging designer who shares a forward-looking perspective.
That’s it for now, but I’ll check in next week with a reminder of the first episode, “No Blueprint.”
Yours in service and solidarity,
Founder, The Fashion and Race Database