The New Publication Showcasing Black Fashion, Style and Culture

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Black Fashion Fair: Volume 0: SEEN
Black Fashion Fair: Volume 0: SEEN

With contributions from Quil Lemons, Grace Wales Bonner and Kerby Jean-Raymond, Antoine Grégory’s Black Fashion Fair: Volume 0: SEEN aims to “preserve Black fashion, style, and culture as it exists”

A new publication documenting the style, beauty and culture of Black fashion has launched, making space for and exploring the talents of Black designers, photographers and creatives in the industry. Out today, Black Fashion Fair: Volume 0: SEEN is the first, ultra-limited edition print issue birthed by founder, curator and editor-in-chief, Antoine Grégory. It reimagines the essence of the Black fashion image through the lens of those in the community with a collection of special editorials; some revisiting and celebrating prominent moments with Black fashion, while others introduce and uplift new names.

“For Black designers to thrive they require spaces, fellowship and community,” says Grégory, who also acts as brand director at Theophilio. “Black Fashion Fair is a manifestation of all of those things. I wanted to make sure that we have something tangible that documented and preserved Black fashion, style, and culture as it exists.” 

The arrival of the publication was first announced in September 2021, building anticipation and fostering a community of Black talents and those they inspire. The debut issue features three cover stars, each shot by budding Black photographers who have recently carved a name for themselves in the luxury space: Maria Borges and Aleya Ali, respectively shot by AB + DM, and Joan Smalls shot by Quil Lemons.

At nearly 200 pages, Black Fashion Fair: Volume 0: SEEN is designed as a coffee table-style keepsake, delving deep into stories centering the likes of Kerby Jean-Raymond’s historic Pyer Moss Couture 001 collection and looks from Edvin Thompson of Theophilia, CFDA’s Emerging Designer of 2021. “I really wanted to take into account the cultural and artistic production emerging through Black designers and Black image-makers,” explains Grégory. “I wanted to be sure that I gave them agency through this project. That is not something they’ve always had the privilege of having over their image.”

When enlisting collaborators, Grégory sought those who shared his vision and excitement about the future of Black fashion and its overarching role within the industry as a whole.“Fashion has the ability to transform space. I wanted to work with people who were excited about that possibility.”

Prioritising those on the rise just as much as established talents, Grégory’s contributors include everyone from Brandon Blackwood, Grace Wales Bonner and Rikki Byrd, to Bethann Hardison, Aria Hughes, Byron Lars, Mikelle Street and Brooklyn White. Quil Lemons, known for his beautiful photographic exploration of Black communities, is another noteworthy name attached to the project.

“The launch of Black Fashion Fair is a sign of hope,” says Lemons, whose cover story with Joan Smalls exudes Black excellence. “I had to be part of this historical moment in fashion.” 

History is exactly what the landmark publication aims to build and preserve, with essays, interviews and visual stories conveying Black representation in fashion, and what it means to be seen in a tangible manner.  “What I want people – everyone – to take from this is that Black people have always contributed to the canon of fashion,” says Gregory. “And that our contributions deserve being documented and preserved.”

Black Fashion Fair: Volume 0: SEEN is out now.