with Chi Among various important 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.
Rather than providing luxury and well-known brands for her characters’ wardrobes, White made it her mission to give others a chance to shine as she worked with wardrobe stylist Mercedes Cook (pictured above). 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 designers-slash-entrepreneurs — Andre Jones, Zaire Nixon, and Willin Kaphart — talk about their experiences having their designs and brands featured on Season 5 of the show, and why this type of representation is important in fashion and media.
Jones, who founded Rabbit 3, a brand of visual futuristic beauty, spoke about the important role black creators play in society, which isn’t always well-received. “It’s about doing the right thing,” he says. “Black culture is at the center of pop culture, yet, the black community is rarely given the proper recognition it deserves.”
Above all, focusing on real talent instead of big names leaves room for inspiration. “It’s inspiring to see Lena selflessly reaching out to help us gain visibility,” Jones said. “Hope your ‘big break’ is within reach. Hope your people come back for you even if you go to Hollywood. And hope there are still good people in the world.”
BLVCK SHEEP founder Nixon, on the other hand, uses design to tell a story. “As an artist-slash-designer, I pride myself on being creative and original,” he says, “likes to incorporate meaningful messages and cultural knowledge into my clothes.” For example, one of his designs at the show was a coat he called “Sun Wai Wai Wai,” which 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 explains. “No matter what we go through, the sun will rise.” So we must always take care of it, make 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, a man presenting and modeling that style of clothing, opportunities like this are rare. .
Capehart reiterated the initiatives White is taking and how they can pave the way for others. “Lena gave me and many other black designers a foot in the door to get our pieces on a bigger stage,” she says. “Some new brands don’t always have the money for more marketing. Getting more eyes on your brand is one of the hardest things to do as a new brand and this opportunity has helped significantly. Not only are the items featured. On the segments, but the brands are on multiple occasions. They were tagged in. 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’s currently airing on Showtime as well as the Instagram posts below.
These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.