Tell us about Black Designers of Canada, and why it was created.
The purpose for creating Black Designers of Canada, was to celebrate Black designers as well as offer business owners, retailers, buyers, stylists and others an all-inclusive on-going resource of Black talent to choose from. Since starting the BDC index, Black designers in the field of fashion, graphic, interior and software design have gotten countless opportunities in film, TV, fashion, press, etc.
How does your perspective as a Black Canadian shape your approach to design, style and fashion?
Whether our contributions as a whole have been credited or not, I’ve always been very aware of our contributions to style and the trends we’ve helped set. So, I’ve always tackled my approach to design with confidence.
What can the industry do to be more inclusive of the Black community and Black creators moving forward?
Simply put… Let us in! We’ve helped build the foundation and structure, so it would only be fair to invite us inside.
How can white and other BIPOC people support the Black community, in fashion & design, but also overall?
We are not charity. Actually, we are quite the opposite. We are not looking for a hand out, we are looking for a place at the starting line with the rest of our colleagues. I would also say… If you see something say something. The biggest compliment or support one can give to me and or the Black community, is to be courageous in the face of racism when we’re not in the room.
February is Black History Month – what are some organizations you would like to spotlight, and invite people to support, not just this month but year-round?
First and foremost, Black Designers of Canada, because we are always looking to support our ever-expanding Black designer community and secondly, Fifteen Percent Pledge is an important initiative that works hand in hand with what we are trying to achieve when we talk about equalizing our representation on store shelves.
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