TAI Blog Post 2

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ABOUT TalkAboutIt was first birthed in 2015 to be a space for adolescent girls to talk about what affects them and how they can create solutions and be a support to each other. I have always wanted to encourage other people and allow them to voice their feelings free of judgment or condemnation. TalkAboutIt not only allows me to do this through topics of Faith, Fashion, and Life experiences but brings together a community of people to share their POV on these things as well. I am looking forward to chatting with you, Let’s Talk.

SPEC IAL than ks I would like to thank all the featured black business that participated and I hope this brings about numerous opportunities for all of you! Let’s Talk.


The surge of black fashion and beauty creatives coming together

to bring awareness to the issues they face in a eurocentric industry has been nothing shy of amazing! As a person with a passion hopes to soon enter the fashion industry, I wanted to give my opinion on some of the new developments and initiatives that have taken place. I also wanted to highlight some small black businesses that I think you should be on the lookout for. Let’s talk.

When pressure is applied, diamonds are made.

The pressure and tragic events of COVID-19 and racial injustices

have caused creatives to question the sociology of every industry. Many high dollar brands and publications have been outed for their discriminatory behavior and poor treatment of their black customers and counterparts in the industry. Vogue, V Magazine, and several other publications have been outed by former employees who shared their stories of being passed up and unheard when it came to content, promotions, and overall representation. Stores like Zimmerman and Anthropologie face scrutiny for being very discriminatory against their workers and its customers. Zimmerman was outed for making it nearly impossible to have black employees due to their presentation guide, which mostly included white and Asian women. The guide prohibited braids, top knots, and plaits; commonly known to be worn by black women. Anthropologie created a guide on how to deal with the black shopper, who they titled “Nickys� when they entered the store; basically breeding a culture of racial profiling. But, if you follow fashion news scandals, you know this already. I, personally, am not a big fan or Anthro or Zimmerman but I know many who are, so seeing that this was going on behind the scenes really makes me wonder about some of my favorite retailers. It shouldn’t be a shocker that racism has its horns in the beauty and fashion industry; which keeps black entrepreneurs, designers, models, and photographers from reaching greater heights. Nevertheless, this has caused many black creatives to finally manifest what they have discussed as a need for our industry; which is not just diversity but equity (and not just equity but true inclusion).

I have been overwhelmingly consumed by how many black fashion and beauty brands have existed but are not able to get the social awareness or support that they deserve. That’s all changing with the numerous amount of initiatives and councils created amidst this pandemic. Celebrities like Beyonce’ who is known for her constant celebration and support of everything black even chimed in to bring awareness to black brands. Her Black Parade showcase, curated by celebrity fashion stylist Zerina Akers, is dedicated to showcasing various black businesses. Zerina Akers also created an Instagram (which now has 113k followers) named @Black.Owned.Everything, showcasing black brands featuring categories like skincare,jewelry, clothing, and more. There has also been a surge of Amazon-like platforms, the Nile being one of the few, which allows you to search for a product and shows various black companies that make it. On the industry side of things, individuals have created several initiatives like The Kelly Initiative, named after Patrick Kelly; the late 90s designer known for his efforts to reclaim blackface and he was also the first Black American to ever be accepted into the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter in Paris(the governing body of the French ready-towear industry for my non-fashion buffs). This initiative was created to call out the CFDA’S(Council Of Fashion Designers of America) allowance of “exploitative cultures of prejudice, tokenism, and employment discrimination to thrive.” Also, to petition them to ensure transparency, accountability, and diversity at all levels in the fashion industry. In addition, several other organizations formed like the Black In Fashion Council. They have dedicated themselves to the advancement of blacks in the beauty and fashion industry hoping to create a space where black creatives can be open and honest with the guarantee of equal rights.

So far, they have partnered with companies like Conde Nast(responsible

for Vogue), Tommy Hilfiger, and Glossier(popular millennial/gen z beauty brand) who are all dedicated to the advancement of black creativity at all levels. To see the industry professionals finally pushing back on the fashion industry creating their own paths, makes it easier to see my dreams as possible. I really hope these big industry names are genuine and serious about helping out us creatives. It would suck for this to be yet another trend. Upon graduating high school I had made up in my mind three things I would do in my fashion career. 1. Create an eCommerce site (similar to Moda Operandi) inclusively for black luxury brands. 2. Be a major contributor to one of the first HBCU art schools 3. And launch an on-going fashion program in my hometown.

All of these hopes can seem nearly impossible when trying to enter

the industry as it is now, but knowing that there are creatives ahead

of me constantly changing the landscape makes these goals seem more attainable. So in the spirit of this great stride, I would like to showcase my own version of the Black Parade by listing a few brands of my fellow SCAD peeps and overall black creatives that inspire me in the theme of fashion and beauty!



re A DY TO W E A R & e v en i ng ameenaabduldesign blvck wells Silhouette studios sheebangs briana danyele nelly co belaire and co STYLEDBYnaida Kashmir vintage

te x t i le man i pulat i on crochet by K CHELSEA B CREATIONS kadi flory

beauty smudge cosmetics dnasty nails

*Click the social and websites

tes to shop the brands!!*



@koteset https://www.kotestore.com

KOTE is a retail store founded by sneaker/accessory designer,

Brent Hopkins in 2018. KOTE (Kings Of The Earth) sells a range of its own apparel on its online store. KOTE is the name given to the figure head of the brand that is used on its products. KOTE recognizes the king in everyone. No matter where you come from or what you’ve been through you’re still a KOTE. King.


Two best friends decided that there was a part of new Orleans

that the world needed to see. Thus, shive new Orleans was; created with the intent of showing you the rituals and rhythms of the city. shive new Orleans is a lifestyle designed from the foundation of our resilience. It’s hereditary.

@mingstreet https://www.mingstreetofficial.com

MING is a conscious brand

that thrives on the principles of BLACK culture in order to cultivate minds and tell a story through abstract designs.


Chelsea B is custom

crochet apparel designer from the South-side of Chicago, IL. Chelsea B has recently combined her love for streetwear fashion and crochet skills to develop the Unisex Brand V. MUCH Apparel expected to officially release September 11, 2020.

@selfmade_swavvy https://www.selfmadeflav.com

SelfMade Flav Clothing was established on April 27th, 2018

by Mailik White native of Jenkinsville, South Carolina. The name SelfMade represented everything he stood for and helped bring the dream to life. The logo was inspired by the rapper Nipsey Hussle with the checkers flag, which to Mailik symbolized a winning mentality. The snake was brought onto the logo creating its own meaning contrary to the meaning others give them from individual perspectives. The purpose of the brand is to influence others to create a life that’s custom for you and only you.

@leakset https://leakset.bigcartel.com

My Name Is Raekwon Butler From Ridgeway,SC When I was about

15 I grew to love fashion it’s one my favorite hobbies till this day I felt like it was destined for me to have my own brand of clothes just designing as a whole I always dreamed of doing that My Senior Year In HS I came up with my brand name Leak$et Leak is another word for Drip most people use I felt that leak was unique in a way & Set Just Means Your Look is Established never can be recreated my brand represents having your own style n embracing it everybody has they own look u shouldn’t be afraid to embrace your style.



@ ameenaabduldesign https://www.ameenaabdul.com

Ameena (Maryum) Abdul-Hakeem is an emerging fashion designer from Waterbury, Connecticut, based in Atlanta, GA. Ameena established Ameena Abdul Design in 2018. Ameena values women’s empowerment, girl boss culture, diversity, and creativity. She believes every woman should have a high-quality curated wardrobe that communicates the strength and power she possesses. Ameena Abdul Design is dedicated to producing luxury chic and tailored garments for the ever-ambitious woman with creative vision and elevated taste.

“From personal experience, I’ve learned that just when you feel like giving up, God comes through with the ULTIMATE breakthrough. So, let’s keep holding on for a little while longer, ours is yet to come.”

@BLVCK_WELLS https://blvckwell.com

i wanted to create a brand that solely catered to a black

audience. Our people have been stolen from for so long, I wanted to create something that didn’t just continue to take, but would pour back into us, something that would make us better, greater even. Within the next 5 years, Blvck Well Limited Co. will truly be the well for all things BLVCK. It will be a place black people can come to restore themselves whenever they’re feeling drained from just existing in the unjust world that we live in. Blvck Well will be a place our people can come to gather resources for building their own brands, learn our REAL history, keep up with the latest news, and see each other in a positive light. At this point, we have to learn to take care of each other and continue to build ourselves up.

@ silhouettes_studios https://www.simplysheldon.com/silhouettesstudio

“What I would like to be known, is it takes time, dedication, focus, and determination! Lastly, when no one else believes in you, you must believe in yourself!� Created by sheldon hudson, silhouettes studio is a custom apparel brand that caters to every size,shape of women from every walk of life. With careful preparation Sheldon creates pieces understanding the needs and wants of her clients.

@shopsheebangs https://sheebangs.com

sheebangs is contemporay

e-commerce brand curated for edgy, artsy trend-setters. the brand strives to embody inclusivity, transparency, and representation. The sheebangs vibe is fearless. a mix of modern and historical silhouettes, femme fatale and tomgirl, tailored and athleisure.

@ brianadanyele https://www.brianadanyele.com

As an activist creating good

trouble in the world, designing inspires me to press on. I feel encouraged to be on the right side of history emphasizing equal rights for all human beings. I am driven by igniting and inspiring creativity in others. I get joy from fueling people’s passions and making everyone feel like they are somebody, because they are. Now more than ever kindness can really do wonders in the world and I hope to leave a positive impact wherever I go. For more information about my projects, paintings, fashion illustrations or custom design work please contact me.

@ nelly_thedesigner https://www.nellyco.net/new-page-1

Shunelle Porcena was raised in

South Florida. From a young age she knew her calling was to be a designer, an innovator, and an influencer. Her ability to create for the contemporary man/woman is outstanding. Specializing in ready-to-wear with an illustrator background, Shunelle is known by her peers for her keen eye for styling, her use of surface manipulation and an array of textures as well as her broad use of hardware and embroidering in her designs.

@ belaireandco https://shopbelaire.co

Belaire & Co. LLC is a black owned

boutique established by ZaRea K. Our purpose is to ensure that women are purchasing with confidence as well as bringing their closet to life. All of our pieces are hand-picked and on trend with the latest fashion. Belaire & Co features products such as two-pieces, bodysuits, as well as dresses!

Come shop with us!.

@ styledbynaida https://styledbynaida.com

styledbynaida was founded in 2016 by

naida rutherford as a Non- profit thrift boutique that provides fashions at a cost-conscious rate. Also giving back to the community by preparing college students and high risk communities for corporate America.

@kashmirimanivintage https://www.depop.com/kashmirimani/

Kashmir Vintage is a small

consignment shop created my designer kashmmir imani created in 2020. the pieces are hand-picked and curated offering the quality vintage and trendy pieces.







textile man


@crochetbyk iamknicole https://www.smudgebyknicole.com/crochet-by-k

Kori Nicole, CEO of Crochet By K and Smudge Cosmetics LLC. is a black female entrepreneur and full time content creator for Instagram and YouTube. Crochet By K features hand made clothing, where she specializes in shag jackets, along with home products, baby items, and more! Smudge Cosmetics LLC. features handmade lip gloss, lashes, lip scrubs, body oils, essential oils and more. Smudge Cosmetics LLC. is also a wholesaler and helps other people start and maintain their lip gloss businesses. Both businesses are based out of the Atlanta area. She also just launched her podcast: Hello It’s Me, IAmKNicole which is available now! This platform will be utilized to share her journey as an entrepreneur and a content creator in hopes to continue inspiring others to pursue their dreams. (smudge in beauty section)

@chelseabcreations https://www.etsy.com/shop/chelseabstore/

Chelsea B is custom crochet apparel designer from the South-

side of Chicago, IL. Chelsea has always had a love for fashion and fine art but it was not until she picked up her first crochet hook that her creations were brought to life. Since then, Chelsea has been featured in 8 art exhibitions, including 7 located in Savannah, GA. Her most recent features were in the 2018 AESTHETIC Market art show, SCAD’s 2019 Fibers Open Studio, the 2019 Chicago Fashion Week show and a featured artist/ instructor at Nike Lab’s Student Workshop December 2019 .

@kadiflorystudio https://www.kadiflory.com

I’ve had a deep love and appreciation for materials since I was a young

girl, living in Africa. Coming from Sierra Leone to the United States, I had this dress that was made out of an African wax resist print. I had never owned something so beautiful. I was in awe of the elaborate prints, the waxy texture of the fabric, and the bright colors of the material. And from that point on I was fascinated by fabrics and materials. Knitting is an intrinsic part of my work’s philosophy, creating highly textured hand knit one-of-a-kind textiles which speaks for themselves and create synergy between traditional and modern craft.

My creative process emulates that fascination and love for fabric and material. I start first with sketching out a simple silhouette, and then I immediately begin to forage scraps of materials and spontaneously find ways to form them into a new fabric or create an entirely new material out of what I have collected. My process is very additive, always collecting and combining, knitting, beading, felting, embroidering, painting, pint and pattern and essentially imploring whatever technique that requires me to create the finished product. My designs exude functionality, timeless elegance and incorporate a human touch into the aesthetic.

In terms of theme and concept, a lot of my work explores the concept of the awareness of impermanence. As someone who has experienced so much change and even more so, life-altering change, I am drawn to the idea of welcoming impermanence and learning to be accepting of life’s constant flux. The ethereal quality of my work, the neutral tones, and cocoon-life forms all represent the idea of welcoming the temporary, and embracing the ephemeral. Currently, I am working to establishing myself as a textile designer with a clear artistic vision and unique and recognizable brand. I have worked with fine artists, freelanced with interior designers, and collaborated many a time with various fashion designers. I do not want to limit myself to just the fashion industry, but to work in the film, fine art, and textile industry as well, exploring the possibilities of material and fibres, and seeing where the exploratory nature of my work and my love of fabrics will take me. -kadi flory



@dnastybeauty https://square.site/book/MC4HD2Z8QN18R/dnasty-beauty-temple-hills-md

“My name is Destiny, I’m located

in the DMV area. I’m a nail artist who’s pushing towards licensure, and I’ve been doing nails since April. I’m an advocate for all things beauty and I love creating and making my clients look and feel their best! Please check out my Instagram page @dnastybeauty and book here with any questions: https://squareup.com/appointments/ book/MC4HD2Z8QN18R

Thank you !



Kori Nicole, CEO of Crochet By K and Smudge

Cosmetics LLC. is a black female entrepreneur and full time content creator for Instagram and YouTube. Crochet By K features hand made clothing, where she specializes in shag jackets, along with home products, baby items, and more! Smudge Cosmetics LLC. features handmade lip

gloss, lashes, lip scrubs, body oils, essential oils and more. Smudge Cosmetics LLC. is also a wholesaler and helps other people start and maintain their lip gloss businesses. Both businesses are based out of the Atlanta area. She also just launched her podcast: Hello It’s Me, IAmKNicole which is available now! This platform will be utilized to share her journey as an entrepreneur and a content creator in hopes to continue inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

Follow my Social Media & ISSUU!

@talkaboutit.tai Talkaboutit.tai TAITalkAboutIt

the end I hope you enjoyed this!! if you know of other small black brands please feel free to email them to me so I can check them out!! tayjastrickland@gmail.com