On September 2, Atlanta Black Pride is hosting a fashion show with local LGBTQ Greek organizations featuring local black queer designers. The show is led by a new board member and friend The voice of Georgia Tiana Clay promises to be a diverse and incredible event.
“This fashion show will rock your socks off,” said Amber Moore of Atlanta Black Pride. The voice of Georgia. “You see transgender people, gay men, lesbians, studs. You see a reflection of that in the artists and designers, in the crowd, in the entertainment and in the models.
One of the designers featured in the show is Alexandria, commonly known as The Thrift Jesus. She is a self-taught designer who has been in the industry for the past three years. She attended last year’s fashion show and welcomed the invitation to attend a second time, saying it was an uplifting and encouraging atmosphere.
Eras that influence The Thrift Jesus’ work are the 70’s, 90’s and early 2000’s when black excellence and aesthetics were the fashion design. Some of the brands that inspire her work include streetwear brands Fear God, Chrome Hearts, and Pierre Moss, as well as Hanifa, a fun, colorful brand with sexy, yet eccentric clothing that has modern silhouettes with a 70s flair. These inspirations should come as no surprise if you look at her body of work. Her previous designs can best be described as regal, but this upcoming collection is a complete 180-degree turn, “high street meets thrift store”.
As a bisexual woman, queerness influences her design; She creates with inclusion in mind.
“I know different body types and people want to be represented by their looks,” she said The voice of Georgia. “Style [serves as] Freedom of expression, especially for the queer community. I want to make the community proud by creating designs that make them feel unique and powerful.
Alexandria’s love of secondhand and vintage clothing helped fuel her brand. As the name The Thrift Jesus suggests, sustainability is an important aspect of the brand. She is a fan of second-hand shopping and vintage clothing because of the creativity of the designs and the quality of the clothes, and she tries to incorporate those vintage sensibilities into her brand.
You can shop her clothes at pop-ups around town, but in the past her work has been shown at Pink Zebra at Little 5 Points, Merge Company at Phipps Plaza, Mutiny Artworks at the MET Atlanta, Citizens Supply in Ponce. Market, and on her website, thethriftjesus.com (currently under construction, but due to be completed by winter). She is currently looking for commercial property in Midtown to open her own boutique, so be on the lookout! You can find her on Instagram @thethriftjesus and on Facebook for updates on all her drops, pop-up appearances, and future boutique updates.
Her advice to other black queers looking to break into fashion design is, “Find your voice and let it work through your design. Tell a story with every set and don’t let people who don’t understand your vision undermine your faith. You’re not for everyone, and that’s okay. “
The Atlanta Black Pride Fashion Show will be held at 120 Ralph McGill Blvd from 7–9pm. To learn more, visit atlantablackpride.org.