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If You Can’t Get Into the Fashion Club, Create Your Own: Wearing a Balmain Blazer, Alexander McQueen Skirt, and Givenchy Sharktooth Boots at Paris Week

I was THIS CLOSE to writing a post about how the fashion industry loves our culture but does not love us. I was naming names and providing receipts!
But instead of lead from a place of WTF, I decided to do all things with love, and talk a bit about the beauty of creating your own lane.

I’ll tell a little story. When I was 16 going to Paris, there was this club called Les Bains Douches. All the girls in my summer program would go. They were young, pretty, caucasian sisters, equipped with long hair, slinky dresses, and high heels. The sassiest thing I owned at the time was a high slit skirt from the Limited. At any rate, when I went with a male model friend of mine, they wouldn’t let me in. I couldn’t buy my way in. I didn’t have the right clothes at the time. My friend, who went to Les Bains frequently, said I wasn’t wearing the right club clothes. So one day I went back, this time with the right clothes–and my white girlfriends. We moved as one big group. The bouncer was willing to let them in through the crush of people, but when it came to me specifically, he put his hand out to stop me. My white homegirl had to hold onto my hand and yell at him, several times, before they finally relented and let me in. The security guard specifically did not want my black ass in there. It was a small situation, but it was significant. Didn’t matter who I was. Didn’t matter if I finally dressed the part. Didn’t matter if I was friends with the girls he welcomed with open arms. The answer was no because…I was black.

The fashion industry is the same way towards black press (magazines, newspapers, online mags catering to a diverse or largely black readership). In some cases, you can indeed buy your way in. Sometimes you can’t. And sadly, there is noone this go round holding me by the hand, insisting I get a seat at the table.

Inside, Les Bains was kinda whack. Techno music you couldn’t dance to. A dance floor with rhythmless people with limbs flailing and bumping into each other. All that nonsense at the door was just for show.

In a fantastical world, imagine if someone created their own club across the street. That welcomed everyone in who simply looked fly. There was good music, and lots of diversity. Not just the same type of person. Wouldn’t that be better than fighting to get into that whack ass club anyway?

In sum, children, I feel like there are barriers to entry. Always have been. Always will be. Create your own club. Make sure it’s poppin!
Love & Light,

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