For NYFW Spring 2017, only 13.29% of the models were black and 30.3% were models of color.
This season was anticipated to be the one of most diverse fashion weeks in history.
CFDA CEO Steven Kolb and President Diane von Furstenberg’s health initiative letter to NY designers featured guidelines to ensure that they prioritized diversity and selected more models of color to walk the runway (as noted by TheFashionSpot). Only a few designers actually did.
Statistics reveal that racial inclusivity in the fashion industry is a major issue and drastically declining.
Amanda Moore-Karim is aiming to change that with her own publication, Luxy Haus.
Originally from the outskirts of Chicago, she moved to NYC in 2016 to dive into the industry as a fashion merchandiser.
While living in NYC, she developed a desire to become an artist and is now the creative director of her own fashion brand AmandaLuxe.
Luxy Haus, will be the answer to a problem that has plagued the fashion industry for years.
Amanda has launched a Kickstarter for the socially responsible fashion publication which, will focus “on the quality of black influence and empowerment [and] highlight the presence of minorities in the industry.”
It will also “be a collective of creatives of color and their work as well as accompanied literature to address certain underlying issues among the fashion industry and society overall.”
We caught up with Amanda Moore-Karim, founder and creative director of AmandaLuxe, to discuss her new editorial zine Luxy Haus, self-care, racial politics and the representation of creatives of color in the fashion industry.
- Describe the ‘aha’ moment when you decided to produce Luxy Haus.
I started focusing on self-care things – taking Lavender and Wild Orchid baths, meditating on my creativity and restlessness, and reading The Secret (don’t laugh).
The Secret is something I keep on my nightstand and has been with me for almost 5 years. It’s a very useful tool to use in almost all aspects of your life.
Re-reading the novel allowed me to entertain the idea of the ‘law of attraction’ and really allow amazing things to come to me.
So, I’d have to say the idea to produce Luxy Haus was attracted to me. During my time of reflection and reshaping, I just said out loud “I want a magazine.” It’s really the only explanation.
- Has it always been easy for you to create exactly what you visualize?
Yes and no? I like to illustrate my visual concepts with mood boards and different color palettes so I can stay true to my original vision. So, for the most part, the visual concept always pulls through – the external factors are usually what redirects my perfect picture.
Things such as wardrobe samples not arriving on time, agency model availability being altered at the last minute, and booking space.
Overtime, I’ve been able to adapt to change during the creative process so it doesn’t spark up my anxiety as much as it did in the beginning.
- What are your thoughts on the representation of creatives of color in the fashion industry right now?
I think most designers and brands really do aim to be inclusive in the representation of creatives of color whilst other are more flagrant.
For me, it’s more annoying how the industry poaches on our culture without recognition of our influence.
It’s frustrating how much people of color have voiced their opinions on Bantu knots and cornrows being used on white models with no sense of credit to Africa and its Diaspora, and brands STILL continue to do it.
After Marc Jacobs used it in his show SS15, Valentino did it for Pre Fall 2016 and then Chanel for their Spring 17 campaign. Even indie fashion magazines accept stories with this and it’s baffling!
At this point, it comes off as mockery and it’s just so unfair.
Why are brands and designers too prideful to acknowledge Black influence? What is it about our strong light that intimidates you?
- During your research on producing a fashion zine, was there anything that surprised you the most? Any new discoveries?
Well, we all know the traditional media industry is decaying. Most major publications such as Vogue and Allure are reshaping their platforms to solely digital and pushing their print issues out of circulation.
The cool thing I noticed is the renaissance of print publications with the independent magazine industry.
People still long for the nostalgic feeling of collecting tangible artifacts – records, magazines, buying art and photography to hang in their homes.
Indie publications recognize that so they give a new sense of what print is by giving us something unique and abstract. Something to collect!
Also, with the indie industry on the rise, there are a multitude of publications where readers can find the most relatable content and latch on to it. Mainstream media covers an array of topics while independent magazine have a niche they cater to.
Creating small readerships is the key and that is something that ignited my interest to really dive into creating my own piece of work.
- Why is it important for you to make racial politics a focal point of this project?
Most people are inspired by people and ideas – I’m inspired by experiences.
As a Black woman striving to find a name for myself in such a crass, cut throat industry, I tend to experience situations that ALL people of color in this field can relate to.
I find that it is my responsibility to address these situations through art – giving something relatable to my fellow peers and let them know it’s okay to talk about it out loud.
- What do you hope people will take away from Luxy Haus?
There are three potential consumers I want to target: the fashion fanatic, the conscious person of color, and the hidden minority. I want all of these types of people to look at this publication and feel.
It doesn’t matter if they feel something different – the fashion fanatic may feel the visual presentation of the work being published while the conscious person of color and hidden minority are vulnerable to the aim of addressing underlying topics related to the racial construct of the industry.
I want people to anticipate the topics and the stories I aim to produce and I want them to be satisfied every time.
I hope people see Luxy Haus as something thought-provoking, tear jerking, and something that they can collect every quarter to put on their nightstands.
Support Luxy Haus on Kickstarter and check out the promo below: