When I was asked to write about Black History Month, a month when we celebrate Black folks’ many contributions to the world, I immediately accepted. At first, I thought about highlighting those who’d been overlooked or underrepresented in fashion, but as I began my writing process, I decided I wanted to go another route. I wanted to acknowledge the Black history that is being made at this very moment, right in front of our eyes — because honoring our predecessors means making space for each other and continuing to pay it forward.
Cue Black Fashion Fair, a platform founded by stylist, Black fashion connoisseur and futurist Antoine Gregory. In a short time, BFF has been able to pull off many feats, including editorials with noted photographers AB+DM, a partnership with Brooklyn Sewing Academy, e-commerce with offerings from over 20 Black designers and more.
This week saw the release of Black Fashion Fair’s Volume 0: SEEN, the first print issue in a publication dedicated to presenting and reimagining the Black fashion image through the lenses of Black creatives. How historic is that?
Take one glance at the issue and you can see the amount of care and importance that went into the storytelling. From the rich, weighted pages to the bold and inviting typeface, informative interviews, poignant essays and styling, an idea was conceived and executed in such a way that displays the excellence Black Creatives can achieve when given the opportunity.
Volume 0: SEEN, produced with support from eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, comes at a significant moment in time for fashion. While we now have more Black designers and creatives than ever before, invested care into the development of Black brands has felt fleeting. BFF aims to change that.
While Volume 0: SEEN is an exemplary display of what Black creatives have to offer, it is also an educational tool. It touches on everything from trailblazers like Dapper Dan to historical occurrences like “The Battle of Versailles” and cultural staples like Vibe magazine. It also shows a unique way forward by documenting the journey we are on now.
The message is loud and clear: The future is now and, as always, Black Creatives are leading the pack.
Happy Black Future Month, indeed.
Black Fashion Fair’s Volume 0: SEEN is available now at BlackFashionFair.org in three different covers.