Sinclair’s Black History Month
This year's theme for Black history month is about “sisterhood.” The definition of sisterhood is to show strong affection and support for those who you share commonalities with. This Black history is about paying homage to the Black women who have been overlooked for their contributions and talents. And celebrating those women who continue to make tremendous impacts over several industries whether it is politics, beauty, or entertainment. Despite the adversities black women may face in their field of work black women continue to push boundaries.
One of the recent Netflix series that highlights black women's achievements is the ‘The Black Beauty Effect.’ The Netflix series celebrates all things black beauty from navigating through the history of cosmetics to the evolution of black hairstyles. The series highlights several inspiring black women, that have made an impact in the beauty industry, we hear from Lisa Price founder of well-known natural haircare line Carols’ Daughter. Price shares her firsthand experiences as well as give us historical context regarding Black beauty. In the series Price mentions black women were the primary support, that lead to her success in the personal hair care market.
1890 – 19th century
The Fit-extraordinaire. Fitting your way to buy your Freedom. Constructing a new path and leaving a trail!
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was the first black women fashion designer in the 1860s. She was a personal dress maker for Abraham Lincoln’ wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. She was a former slave born in Virgina; and due to her unequivocal skill as a seamstress she was able to buy her freedom for her and her son and later became known for her extraordinary fit of her garments and activist and a confident to Mary Lincoln.
Barrier-breaking in mid century couture. Considered one of America’s most significant designers, Ann Cole Lowe was influential in paving the way for African Americans in the fashion industry.
Anne Lowe was a well-established fashion designer from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was the first African American to do so and was known for dressing women from high society. One of her most well-known designs was the ivory silk taffeta bridal gown worn by Jacqueline Bouvier, former wife of John F Kennedy in 1953. Unfortunately, she never received accolades for her designs due to prejudices. She later started a business; Anne Lowe designs, her work is still being showcased today in exhibitions.
As much as it is nice to have month celebrating Blackness and black people. The achievements and breakthroughs made by black people particularly women keeping on theme should be acknowledged all year round and cannot be confined into a month out of the year.
I could not conclude the article without hearing from the creative director of Sinclair London herself on her experiences as black woman in the fashion industry and how her experiences have shaped her.
Interview – Alicya Sinclair (Creative Director)
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in fashion?
‘I would say understand your customer, what their true pain points are and also understand what your offerings are and what you bring to the table?’
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a businesswoman?
‘Having the right network of experts, you can turn to for guidance of challenging times in business.’
When you think of black history month, what comes to mind?
‘It's a time to really stop and celebrate achievements of those within your network but also to provide historical facts of those who invented some of the greatest things in the world that we may never have known.’
The most important takeaways and advice from the Alicya Sinclair would be to understand your customer and having the right people around you who can assist you on your journey in the fashion industry. Sinclair would like to homage to some incredible women from her network and #PassTheBaton onto both René Byrd & Melissa Rocastle.
The British born multifaceted singer and song writer. René Bryd is proudly part of the Sinclair family as our Brand Ambassador. René was number 1, 4 times in a worldwide independent chart.
René Byrd says -
“I pass on the baton to Keri CEO and founder of Amschela luxury bag designer for her rise to starting her business to starting her business in her kitchen to be worn by celebrities and graced London Fashion week on several occasions. Kym Mazelle forms the USA first lady of house who is a friend and has been a mentor in the music industry who success span decades.”
Melissa Rocastle is Assistant Vice President AVP, partnership manager at Barclays and my successes for this year would be having a successful year working on the banks 1st year as official bank partner to Wimbledon. Melissa honours and say -
“I will pass the baton on to my sister Monique for her continuous work with Leaders Club and Dorienne Thomas who has recently qualified in Personal Styling with an Advanced Diploma & Certificate in Player.’
We commend both women for thier successful achievements. #PassTheBaton is a way for Black women to show their appreciation and acknowledgement of one and another, reiterating the idea of sisterhood.
Written by Jessica Adamson