It seems that black people are at a pivotal point in the history of this country. The moment we live in right now is just as pivotal as the civil rights movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. The way we conduct ourselves in the wake of the merciless and unpunished killings of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and others by people in authority will either continue to set the course of the way other groups see us, or help turn the tide in the way we see ourselves.
There are countless individuals who feel powerless because of the way black people are being treated today and they, in their fear, become what seems to be fearless in their response. Not all actions have been good or effective at truly helping the situation, but there are those who are leading the way when it comes to protesting and making their voices not only heard, but count.
Art has long been a powerful tradition in the black community. From the spoken word, to music to fashion, black artistic creators have turned their frustrations into things that have a lasting impact.
One facet of society that has been greatly affected by the recent uprising of police brutality is the fashion industry. From Solange Knowles Ferguson halting the launch of her new shoe with Puma during this year’s black Friday to designer’s forever immortalizing the most well-known causalities of a justice system that seems to be made for everybody but the black man, fashion inspired by police brutality is making a declaration.
One of the leaders in this fashion statement is Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond. He wants us all to remember. He has used his platform to make a powerful social statement which he boldly showcased at the brand’s 2015 spring menswear collection. One of his tee shirts even donned the names of black men who have fallen unjustly at the hands of white men in authority. The “They Have Names” tee, although not officially in mass production, has already been worn by the likes of singer Usher and the head the Fashion Market Department at Cosmopolitan Magazine at the En Noir Show.
For some people, these displays of protest are ineffective and don’t really mean anything. But the truth is, by wearing it on your person for all to see, keeps the issue in the faces of those who truly have the power to change things. Now that’s fashion that really makes a statement.
What are your thoughts on those in fashion making statements? Do you feel it’s genuine? Is it needed? Let us know in the comments below.