African Culture

The 6 Black Fashion Icons You Should Know

André Leon TalleyAndré Leon Talley

Black Fashion Icons You Should Know

These big names in fashion are contributing to expanding the representation of the African American community within the industry.
From fashion to finance, minorities are vastly underrepresented in positions of power and influence. Although the style industry has made significant progress in recent decades to raised represent the African American community, it still struggles to make sure that brown and black faces seen on the large screen.

Think about it: Of all the supermodels that have established a reputation for themselves, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks are the sole two African American women of influence, which is just too small as compared to the amount of white supermodels who have continuously worked as cover stars for the world’s most coveted fashion magazines, like Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Wear Daily.

On the editorial side, André Leon Talley, the former assistant of Diana Vreeland and longtime creative director and contributing editor for Vogue, is that the only African American person to succeed in such rank within the famous fashion magazine.

Recent appointments made by executives at LVMH and Conde Nast, however, are turning the trend around. Not too way back, Edward Ennninful was appointed Editor-in-Chief at British Vogue, and Elaine Welteroth landed the position as Editor-in-Chief at Teen Vogue after working as a senior editor for several years.

Moreover, Virgil Abloh recently became one among the three graphite designers at the French fashion house Louis Vuitton, working because of the artistic director for the brand’s menswear collections.
With minorities becoming increasingly prevalent and landing powerful positions within the style industry, here are six essential names of African American people in a fashion that you simply should keep track of to remain au courant these sartorial landscapers.

J. Bolin

J. Bolin biography
J. Bolin

The Dallas-based celebrity stylist J. Bolin is arguably one among the foremost celebrated ones within the apparel industry, whose bulk of clientele are movers and shakers in the DFW area. However, it isn’t rare to seek out him at exclusive events, either.

J. Bolin styles many of the red carpet and award show look that you simply see in the magazine. More specifically, artists like Tasha Cobbs, LaToya Luckett, and lots of other celebrities seek Bolin for many, if not all, of their fashion advice.
The stylist aims to cultivate close, healthy relationships together with his clients, which is clear from his social media. J. Bolin, if nothing else, is undoubtedly the people’s stylist.

Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh

Recently appointed by LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy) as men’s artistic director, Virgil Abloh is undoubtedly a trailblazer within the apparel industry. His engineering background and obsession with architecture have greatly influenced his creative approach to constructing garments and running a business.

Abloh, additionally to being the top designer for a French fashion house, is that the founding father of the American-based streetwear brand Off-White. The designer aims to bridge the gap between streetwear and haute couture, proving through his collections that the two can coexist and make a sustainable market.

Abloh stresses his fascination with disruption in art and culture and manages to employ that inspiration in his runway collections effectively. Together with his approach to fashion and Vuitton’s fashion history, the director’s work is going to be watched closely by fashion-insiders.

Shiona Turini

Shiona Turini
Shiona Turini

Shiona Turini is far and away one among the first active, approachable, and accessible faces within the apparel industry. Born in Bermuda, she continues to hold a way of humility that has contributed significantly to her rapid rise within the realm of haute couture.


After graduating from Hampton University with a degree in Mass Communications, she moved to NYC and hit bottom running as a PR Coordinator for French brand Yves Saint Laurent.
Since then, she’s established herself as a number one expert within the apparel industry by working as a senior editor, director, stylist and consultant for a variety of prestigious brands and publications. Additionally, Turini continues to be relevant by taking over projects like Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.”

Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful
Edward Enninful

The Ghanan-native designer Edward Enninful immigrated to Ladbroke Grove, London, together with his parents and siblings. Much of his creative inspiration and desire to enter the style world stemmed from his childhood, watching his mother work as a seamstress.
Like many other successful fashion powerhouses, he saw this early exposure to fashion as a symbol that he, too, should pursue an identical field. However, Enninful didn’t continue style within the same way his mother did, diversifying his work into a variety of fashion-related areas.

Although he’s currently the Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, Enninful got his start by modeling and assisting Anna Wintour at American Vogue. Additionally, at 18 years old, Edward Enninful was appointed the style director at the i-D magazine, making him the youngest fashion director to serve at a world publication.

Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth
Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth, known for her huge Afro and outspokenness, is one among the foremost socially and politically active fashion professionals. Although she recently stepped down, Elaine is that the first and youngest African American woman to take a seat at the helm of a Vogue publication.

Before her appointment as Editor-in-Chief at Teen Vogue, Welteroth served as a beauty director and senior editor at the magazine for several years. During her tenure at Conde Nast, Welteroth worked to make sure the visibility of black and brown faces within the magazine.

Unlike many other professionals within the industry, Elaine is intentional about using her platform to empower minorities, and more specifically, minority women. Her intentionality has led her to become a task model for women around the world, and there’s more to return from her within the future.

André Leon Talley

André Leon Talley
André Leon Talley

Despite his age, André Leon Talley, until recently, was the foremost important person of color the style industry. His positions with Warhol, Diana Vreeland, and Anna Wintour have given him the platform to shape the scope of the style industry in numerous ways.

Moreover, he’s established himself as an arbiter of taste, allowing him to function as a method consultant to a variety of celebrities and supermodels. Seeing as if he had broken the ceiling as an African American creative director at American Vogue, Talley has long pursued his endeavors, from working as a fashion correspondent for the Met Gala to performing on his film, “The Gospel consistent with André Leon Talley,” which is predicted to debut next month.


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