In the fashion industry, stylists exist almost exclusively behind the scenes, adding an accessory to a look they helped find, fixing a stray strand of hair, or adjusting one final strap before sending their client out to be photographed. Because of that, the creatives behind some of your favourite looks rarely get the attention they deserve — even less when they’re also members of the Black community.
In order to change that, a group of Black stylists, hairstylists, and makeup artists just launched the Black Fashion & Beauty Collective, a nonprofit organization designed to support Black creatives in the entertainment, fashion, and beauty industries who too often aren’t credited as they should be or given the same opportunities as their white counterparts.
A powerhouse trio is behind the collective: celebrity stylist Law Roach, who dresses the likes of Zendaya, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato; Aliétte designer and stylist Jason Rembert; and Lupita Nyong'o and Tessa Thompson’s hairstylist Lacy Redway. Jason Bolden of JSN Studio and Netflix’s Styling Hollywood will join on the board of executives, while Wayman & Micah, Apuje Kalu, Kesha McLeod, Rachel Johnson, Jessica Smalls, Nai’vasha, Ashunta Sheriff-Kendricks, and more stylists and makeup artists will become members of the newly launched collective.
“It’s almost like creating a black glam union,” Bolden told Business of Fashion about the collective. He described it as a “safe space” for creatives to discuss pay disparities, microaggressions they’ve encountered in their respective industries, and other discriminatory behavior that Black people in fashion and beauty are often subjected to. According to Bolden, it will also serve as a resource for up-and-coming creatives to gain insight on career opportunities straight from the experts.
“It’s us being able to own our Blackness and also let people know we’ve had enough and this is what it is going to look like going forward,” Bolden said to BoF.
In addition, the Black Fashion & Beauty Collective will be partnering with Chicago-based relief fund My Block, My Hood, My City in order to help the organization support Black-owned businesses that were damaged during Chicago’s protests.