If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Zandile Blay, you'll instantly see she's a force to be reckoned with. As the editor-in-chief of HELLO! Nigeria, editor-at-large at SCENE magazine, a fashion journalism professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School, and founder of the Africa Daily Group, she's a champion of global fashion, bringing the style and culture of Africa to the forefront of the conversation.
Having held a variety of positions at a lengthy list of reputable publications (The Huffington Post, Essence, and Paper, to name a few), Blay's thought process behind each move has always been the same: She is driven by pure passion rather than security or finances. Fortunately for Blay (and for us), each move has helped propel her own inclusive, international sartorial vision forward.
How I’m changing the game
“The knee-jerk answer is that I’ve always wanted to make the industry more diverse. I’m a journalist of color. I teach journalism at Newhouse, and I’m a faculty of color. But, that’s not the impact I want to make. I think diversity is an issue that’s going to work itself out. I say that because all things are driven by the audience. Helping to make the next generation of fashion journalism, true journalism — reporting and knowing your facts, not just using your subjective blogger style — is more important. Right now, we’re in the age of selfies; we’re not really getting to the heart of a good story. I think even if there are people that share my passion, as a professor, I can really make an impact with these students on a weekly basis.”
What sets me apart from my peers
"I’m sitting at the intersection of mainstream fashion and global fashion. Because I was a fashion editor and am currently an editor-in-chief, I am someone who is in the position to tell the story of African fashion through the mainstream lens and vice versa. My heroes will always be journalists like Cathy Horyn, journalists who have impacted how we understand fashion in the states and abroad."
How I find my balance
"Fatigue is my greatest daily challenge. My work life has grown too hectic for any established routines. But, the constant refrains in my schedule that anchor me physically, emotionally, and spiritually are prayer, family time, and moments of silence."
Romeo Hunte White Blazer and Trouser; Pierre Hardy Suede and Mesh Ankle Boots, $1,295, available at; LaQuan Smith Multicolor Blouse.
Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; Hair by Bethany Brill; Styled by Laura Pritchard

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