The culture of black has long been a powerful force in the world of fashion, with black celebrities blazing a trail in the industry and influencing countless trends along the way. From the classic elegance of icons like Diana Ross and Josephine Baker, to the bold and daring styles of contemporary stars such as Rihanna and Beyoncé, it has always been a major driving force in fashion.
Historical Influences of Black on Fashion
Throughout history, black culture has influenced fashion in a variety of ways. Many of today’s fashion staples originated from a 19th century Caribbean tradition of informal outdoor parties called ‘Jazz Brunch’. Black celebrities of the 1920s, such as jazz musicians and bandleaders, were heavily influential on fashion and style. The flamboyance and bold statement of these black artists directly impacted casual and formal wear in a variety of ways. Early jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, were often dressed in bold, and sometimes outlandish outfits, that were heavily influenced by their cultural roots. The 1930s saw the rise of public figures such as Josephine Baker, who was famous for her exotic, free-spirited style, and the elegance of black celebrities such as Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, influenced fashion and style.
Impact Of Black Celebrities On The Fashion Industry
Through the years, black celebrities have had a significant impact on fashion. By establishing their own personal style, as well as setting trends, black celebrities have played a role in shaping the fashion industry. Their ability to transcend cultural barriers, and connect with a wide audience, has played a major role in influencing fashion trends. However, the fashion industry has been criticized for its lack of diversity in terms of racial and ethnic representation. A study published in 2018 found that, out of more than 8,000 models featured in the top 50 fashion campaigns of 2017, only 19 were black. While there is an undeniable lack of black representation, particularly for models, the influence of black celebrities, who are often the faces of high-end fashion campaigns, can potentially help to diversify the industry.
By celebrating the unique style and creativity of black celebrities, we can create a more vibrant and diverse fashion landscape that is reflective of the beauty of the African Diaspora.