with Chi With a variety of critical topics related to breaking societal norms and stereotypes for people of color, one prominent way the Showtime series does this is through fashion, specifically streetwear. The show’s creator, Lem Whyte, took things a step further by upping the ante on creativity. Chi Highlighting upcoming fashion designers.
Instead of stocking her characters’ closets with luxury and well-known brands, White made it her mission to work with wardrobe stylist Mercedes Cook (pictured above) to give others a chance to shine. When you do this, the fashion on the show presents a great discussion. It’s not just about looking cool and fresh, but also about the subtle ways we can highlight POC, especially black creatives in our community for their talents. Hypobay Three fashion-slash-entrepreneurs—Andre Jones, Xaire Nixon, and Willin Kaphart—talk about their experiences having their designs and brands featured on Season 5 of the show, and why this kind of representation is important in fashion and media.
Jones, who founded Rabbit 3, a brand with a visual futuristic aesthetic, highlighted the important role black creatives play in society, which hasn’t always been properly acknowledged. “It’s about doing the right thing,” he said. “Black culture is at the center of pop culture; however, the black community is rarely given the recognition it deserves.
Above all, focusing on real talent instead of big names leaves room for inspiration. “It’s inspiring to see Lena so selflessly helping us gain visibility,” Jones added. “Hope your ‘big break’ arrives. Even if you go to Hollywood, hope your people come back for you. And I hope there are still good people in the world.
On the other hand, Nixon, founder of BLVCK SHEEP, uses design to tell a story. “As an artist-slash-designer, I pride myself on being creative and original,” he says, adding that he “likes to incorporate meaningful messages and cultural knowledge into my clothes.” For example, one of his designs in the show is called “The Sun Rises,” a trench coat that provides warmth in more ways than one. “Thank you for getting up every day, we all go through different obstacles and experiences in life,” he explained. “No matter what we go through, ‘the sun will rise’. So we need to cherish every moment, create memories for each other, stay healthy and do what makes us happy.
Rank CEO Capehart serves as an example of what’s often missing in fashion: women of the street, especially black female designers. As a woman, she brings a unique approach to her designs. “I tend to look at clothing from a gender-neutral perspective because we’re seeing the value in streetwear and luxury clothing,” she says. “We’ve seen brands like Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga put dresses on their male models, and we’ve seen artists like Teyana Taylor often take a more masculine approach to her feminine style. As a black female designer, representing a man and designing that style of clothing, opportunities like this are rare. .
Capehart reiterated the steps White is taking and how they will pave the way for others. “Lina gave me and many other black designers a foot in the door to get our pieces on the big stage,” she says. “Some new brands don’t always have the money for more marketing. Getting more eyes on your product is one of the hardest things to do as a new brand and this opportunity helped significantly. Not only are the items on the shelves, but the brands are also tagged on several occasions. This opportunity shows that you don’t have to be a big luxury brand to give other black and brown designers a chance.
Check out the sketches of Jones, Nixon and Capehart in Season 5 of ChiIt is currently airing on Showtime as well as the Instagram posts below.
These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.
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