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When your "OWN ppl" Shade you...Why tho?

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

The series of declaration-listed above-started with the 12th. It was a trigger setting off memories of the years I've dealt with "my own [black & brown] people", in the fashion industry and why so many of them choose/chose to over look me (and my brand) at every opportunity-when they could have assisted instead "dissing a brother". Even with my list of accomplishment (+ the years of making in roads into the fashion industry), I could not figure out why-MY brothers and sisters choose not to help.

I remember...

Once in the late 70's I went up to Essence magazine w/my portfolio in hand...I showed my portfolio and they showed me the door...and not so politely either. I remembered the receptionist/window girl saying "come back when you're on 7th avenue".

My thinking was, you are a black magazine, surely you are using black designers...HA! (little did I know-not really).

Yes I was bummed about it but I wasn't thought was I can show you better than I can tell'll see.

Once I worked w/a stylist for years-lending her clothing for free or whatever her small budget could provide. Also I gave her more than what her clothing rental could provide. I was "a sure thing", her words not mine (but mine also) and she knew she could always count on me. She would chill at my my food...drink my wine....smoke etc.

One day she snags a big R&B singers tour and instead of renting a bunch garments from me, she ask me to make a bunch of clothing...for free....because it was so & so's tour and it would be good press for me. BUT wait for it...she had a budget FOR the wardrobe! As time passed her rep grew and grew...she's mega now and has been for years and not one time-has she put me on...BUT the white upscale labels get all her love.

There were the meetings w/black owners-about injecting newness into their urban brands/companies. Each time...they wanted ownership of my "brand name" (the name I've worked hard to protect) or they wanted the lion share of the profits...or BOTH.

There were the trips to participated in a black fashion events or shows-where they wanted me to pay my own airfare and they would comp the room for 1 night (you would come in do the show-stay overnight-then leave the next day by Noon or 1p). If I needed an assistant-they couldn't accommodate "such and outlandish request" from me...only for me to find out-they were just selective in which designers that offered to pay ALL of their expenses...Not to mention they were profiting from ticket sales and using your brand name-to secure other talent, patrons, sponsors etc...

There were opportunities from black investors, who wanted everything...while offering up pennies...expecting me & my talent, along with my brand name-to do ALL THE HEAVY lifting!

Once I had my work featured in an online magazine. I worked w/a talented photographer & model and we created an exciting editorial-which the magazine published. About 2 or 3 years later, I create more editorial magic...reached out to said magazine editor and was politely told, by they editor (with a little stank on it) they DON'T publish a SINGLE designer in a fashion editorial. I wasn't defeated...but a couple of days later I thought about the previous time they published me-then realized, he blow me off and THAT was a straight up LIE.

I have always finding myself SMMH wondering...Why we as a people can't do better?!?

Then I start creating (while mapping out my next move) because "I am still standing and making a living out of what I LOVE!!!"

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