This 11-Year-Old Designer Is Taking The Industry By Storm

On Sunday, Kheris Rogers presented her Flexin’ In My Complexion clothing line at the Museum of the City of New York with two different shows. At 11-years-old, Rogers is the youngest designer on the New York Fashion Week calendar — in fact, she's the youngest to ever show during Fashion Week, and she took to Twitter to celebrate her feat. “I just made history as #NYFW youngest fashion designer ever!" she wrote. "I am only 11 years old and made it while encouraging people to love their skin.”
Rogers was inspired to start Flexin’ In My Complexion when she was in first grade. There were only four other Black kids in her class, and Rogers was bullied because of her skin tone. “The other kids did not want to play with me or be my friend because of how dark my skin was,” she tells Refinery29. Though Rogers transferred to a more diverse school, she didn’t have an easier time making friends. “I was now being teased by people in my own race,” she continues. “I was getting called names like 'burnt biscuit,' 'dead roach,' and was told that I 'had been left in the oven too long.' Going through this inspired me to begin Flexin’ In My Complexion, because black comes in so many shades and they all are beautiful.”
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To help spread her message of inclusivity, she decided to show her clothing line during Harlem Front Row (an event that’s billed as “the multicultural equivalent to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week”) with three other models of different skin tones, showing there's not just one ‘beauty standard.’
Rogers has plans to launch her fall/winter collection soon and wants to continue to build a community (that includes Lupita Nyong'o!) around people who are proud of the skin they were born with. “I am just glad that I am able to inspire others that it does not matter how old you are," she says. "It is never to early or late to chase your dreams and to always stand up for what you believe in.”
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