For years, many reduced the role of a fashion blogger to one who just talked about their clothes. However, the past few years have brought an influx of political, racial, and social awareness, and many African-American fashion bloggers have found that they can’t separate their work as a blogger from advocacy for change in their communities. Different calls-to-action, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, have pushed many fashion bloggers to use their platform to not only speak on what it means to be a person of color in the world today, but to convey that fashion is not a superfluous thing, rather, it’s a representation of one’s culture.
In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting nine Black fashion bloggers who are redefining what it means to be an influencer and using their voices to uplift the black community.
@AshleyDunnStylist: “When I’m looking for pieces for my clients and or myself, I love shopping Black-owned businesses. I Love Tracy Reece, Brother Vellies, William Okpo, the list goes on. It’s especially important for me to support women owned brands/companies, because as an African-American woman and entrepreneur I know the struggles in starting and running a business.
My style is influenced by color, structure and feel. I love everything about the Black woman’s style during the ’70s: Diana Ross, Willona, Donna Summer, I could go on. This culture definitely inspires my style. There is this aura about a Black woman that inspires me to push through adversity, to keep going when I feel like giving up. That’s what I grew up seeing.
To me, Black history is everyday.” – Ashley Dunn
@AwedbyMoni: “My job as a fashion and style blogger is to show my followers that regardless of what we see on the major runways, we are stylish, fashionable, and beautiful. If society refuses to make us visible, we have to do it ourselves, and celebrate our creativity and style.
I love to people-watch, and get my inspiration from the slightest details. People, furniture, the weather, are all things that influence my personal style. In celebration of Black History Month, I will be creating a hashtag celebrating being black, beautiful, and proud. So look out for the #InAweofBlackbeauty highlighting some of my favorite looks.” – AwedbyMoni
@JAdoreFashion: “I grew up in Nigeria and I was exposed to several ethnicities and customs. This molded my awareness to the importance of diversity. When I started blogging and sharing my love of fashion and styling, I realized I needed to take an approach that promotes my background while empowering diverse ideas with regards to my personal style and life experiences. Diversity is crucial and indispensable in the fashion industry, and should be a goal for every enthusiast.
My style represents me and what I stand for as a person. This year, I will be taking a different approach to celebrating the Black History Month; I plan on learning and studying the lives of at least five historical African and African-American female trailblazers and pioneers. I want to use them as an inspiration for my personal growth and development.” – JAdoreFashion
@SimplyCyn: “Diversity might be even more important in fashion due to the power, influence, and reach the industry has. I think fashion is best when it is a true reflection of our society, the diversity in race, size, color, gender expression etc.
Every month to me is Black History Month. I will say that this month especially there’s some stuff I’ve wanted to do, mostly around being a more informed individual. This includes: watching 13th by Ava Duvernay, taking my friends to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens (before my attorney gig, I actually worked as a museum tour guide there for a few months), reading The March Trilogy with my nieces, and of course Target First Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum.” – SimplyCyn
@MonroeSteele: “Our young people need to see representations of themselves. I think that is really the biggest factor in including minorities in fashion. I hope I’m contributing to diversity in the fashion industry just by being here, blogging, writing and doing what I love. I hope that people especially black women and girls take notice. We do have a voice in fashion. We are the most imitated race on this planet, from fashion to cultural appropriation.
A lot of things influence my style or what I wear. Mainly it’s my mood. I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram and some of the amazing women I follow. I am celebrating Black History Month by supporting black businesses and art. I’m going to check out The Studio Museum of Harlem as well as The Black Fashion Designers exhibition at The Museum of FIT.” – MonroeSteele
@FindingPaola: “There is not one standard of beauty, and there is not one way to do things. Diversity means that we all exist. My work celebrates strong women, while focusing on black beauty, culture, and colors. I talk about magic and strength through my work because you have to be pretty magical and strong to make things happen in a world that constantly tries to shut you down.
I’m a vintage lover who’s not afraid of color. I get moved by the styles of older Haitian women who wear red lipsticks and linen suits, vintage Harlem, traditional African wear, menswear, Eartha Kitt’s poise, Grace Jones boldness, and Nina Simone’s soulful demeanor.
I celebrate black history daily. My office and home are surrounded by artwork by black artists. I read a book by a black author monthly. I live in Harlem, so every time I step outside is a celebration. I’m currently reading Harlem is Nowhere by Sharifa Rhodes-Piff.” – FindingPaola
@KarenBritChick: “For me I don’t wear my color on my sleeve. I know what color I am and so does everyone else. By focusing purely on fashion and my style, I see that as my way of inspiring black women to feel exactly the same way. You are who you are first, and your style will appeal to anyone who can relate to you, regardless of your skin color.
I feel like I already honored Black History Month last year when I went to the incredible African American Museum that recently opened in Washington DC. I plan to return later this year, so that will be my continuation of honoring a time that to me, extends beyond a one month acknowledgement.
Everything influences my style and everyone. People like Iris Apfel to Solange to old school Lauren Hill to people I see in parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan. In short, it’s a mix but it really boils down to those who are different and show that they love to mix it up.” – KarenBritChick
@Stylebyada:”Fashion is art; it’s not a heritage that belongs to one demographic. It should be open to numerous interpretations regardless of background, culture or race. It’s not about the trends, it’s not about the heavy price tags, it’s not about what A and B says or what majority believe, it’s about bringing my interpretation to the table, it’s about inspiring others.
My style is influenced majorly by how I feel on a daily basis. Confidence, mood and the right fit go hand in hand in making a great outfit that’s suits you perfectly. From looks on the streets to all that’s happening in social media and fashion magazines, it’s everywhere! Fashion is fast paced which is very exciting because to me it means anything is possible, don’t restrict your thoughts…that alone is very inspiring.
Being an inspiration to a lot of black women is more than I can ever ask for. Black History is part of my everyday life so never does a moment go by when I will not be flying high the flag of my black heritage. ” – StylebyAda
@CranberryTantrums: “As a blogger, I try to contribute to the slow-growing diversity by supporting other minority bloggers or brands. By promoting the ‘girl boss’ image through my style, I hope to inspire other women and young girls that look like me to pursue a career in fashion, should they have the interest.
I have a penchant for creating classy chic looks with an edge, so I seek inspiration from the runway to street style and everything in between. In February, I plan to remember and appreciate the civil and career accomplishments of the black community- both past and present. Most importantly, to educate myself on ways to get involved in making sure those liberties are not infringed on, for the black community as well as for other minorities.” – CranberryTantrums