I am a streetwear designer who believes in equality, diversity, and inclusion. For my graduate collection, I really wanted to explore such a personal and emotional topic which has affected me for all of my life. Being a black woman comes with many struggles, many stories and so much pride and I wanted to depict this throughout my work.
As a proud West Indian woman, with Bajan and Jamaican heritage I think it’s important to design for people like me. Art has always been a passion of mine which I have been able to showcase through my graduate collection. My designs full of colour and prints made using the words from the stories of my friends, and prints made from images of their faces. My collection ‘I AM’ is a collection that shows representation, pride and empowerment raising awareness for Misogynoir. My garments are transformable and dual purpose allowing black women to wear their stories with pride.
After gathering my initial research, I could see that we all shared similar fears and experiences of microaggressions, stereotypes, harassment, degradation, humiliation, and discrimination. When you are a black woman, its hard to go a single week without being reminded that the world hates you. Misogynoir, the term used to describe the unique discrimination faced by black women, gives this discrimination a name, allowing people to identify it, and be aware of how it effects black women.
My collection further explores the stories of black women, and is almost a campaign to spread awareness, so that black woman across the world know that they are important, know that they matter and so that the world treats us as such. My project includes protests, photography, artwork, textiles, and printmaking alongside my pattern cutting skills. The oversized silhouettes inspired by streetwear worn by powerful black women at the recent BLM protests in London.
The Standout garment for my project is my banner jacket. The jacket originally used as a protest banner, which was recycled from old textile materials, is now a dual purpose, transformable jacket, created so that black woman can wear their stories, their statements, and their emotion with pride. My print is developed from the powerful quotes and words from myself, friends, and family. Silhouettes, embroidery and prints of my friends faces to accentuate and celebrate the beauty of their black features. I’ve commonly used reds, blacks and greens, which are the three colours that make up the black liberation flag. These colours are bold, they stand out and they signify strength. I’ve also featured different shades of brown, this is to highlight the beauty of our melanin, no matter what shade. My objective is to uplift, empower and inspire people all over, and let black women like my self know that they matter.