How Are Black Folks Redefining & Reclaiming Luxury? Elaine Welteroth Weighs In

Photo: courtesy of Elaine Welteroth.
"What does [luxury] really even mean?" asks Chelsea Sanders, co-host of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29's Unbothered. "Designer shoes? Bags? A trip? Getting flewed out? Is it a soothing bath? Some of your favourite Black-owned products?”
In the latest episode, the hosts explore all aspects of luxury, who gets to define it, and why we're entertained by look-at-me opulence — especially when it doesn’t do anything for underserved communities. 
Elaine Welteroth, Project Runway judge, former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief, and former co-host of The Talk, joins the conversation with her take on how Black people are redefining and reclaiming luxury. “For a lot of us, luxury is now buying Black. Luxury is investing in our communities,” she says. “I’m here for celebrities who understand the platforms they have and the importance of using their platforms to amplify Black designers, who for too long, have been iced out of luxury conversations — simply for lack of access.”
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Welteroth shouts out Black designers, including Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder and creator of Pyer Moss, who are showing up as their authentic selves and proving to be agents of change instead of playing by the establishment’s rules. Case in point: Jean-Raymond’s Pyer Moss Fall 2021 Couture show highlighting Black inventors. “He had Elaine Brown from the Black Panther Party," she says. "That moment, which opened the show, won’t be fully appreciated for years.”
To hear the hosts chat more about excess, splurges, and Black capitalism, listen to the full episode, below.  
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