The Funk Boutique: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is (Re)Making The Cut by Recognizing Fashion's Racism

The Funk Boutique: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is (Re)Making The Cut by Recognizing Fashion's Racism

'Fast Fashion' has new meaning with Heron Preston’s latest; TGU co-founder Veronica Webb rightfully gets her flowers; Aaliyah's legacy gets new merch.

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The Cut’s Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner attends The Cut’s How I Get It Done Dinner Presented By Porsche on July 28, 2021 in Malibu, California.
The Cut’s Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner attends The Cut’s How I Get It Done Dinner Presented By Porsche on July 28, 2021 in Malibu, California.
Photo: Phillip Faraone (Getty Images)

Is there room to change the fashion industry if nothing else in the world is changing? During Lindsay Peoples Wagner’s time as fashion editor of The Cut, she wrote an article titled, “Everywhere and Nowhere What It’s Really Like to be Black and Work in Fashion.” The viral survey of “100 Black individuals, from assistants to executives, stylists, celebrities, models, and everyone in between” was not only a testament to Peoples Wagner’s love of the industry, but how much the industry wanted to reject people like her.

Fast forward three years: After a stint as editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue (and two appearances on The Root’s TGU50) the 2020 The Root 100 honoree is now editor-in-chief of The Cut and making waves in the industry. She has openly laid out her agenda for the magazine in a letter titled “Is There Room for Fashion Criticism in a Racist Industry,” which was published on The Cut on August 30. According to Fashionista, Peoples Wagner has “made it clear that she wants to use her new platform to highlight difficult discussions about the industry’s shortcomings around race.”

“I wanted to expand the range of who felt welcome in our conversations and who saw themselves in our stories,” she writes in her 2021 letter and she points out the industry has yet to find a way to not be racist. The models on the runway are becoming more diverse and the billboards in Times Square no longer only feature white people, but Peoples Wagner knows it’s not enough.

Among those she spoke to for the piece is The Root’s Editor-in-Chief, Vanessa De Luca, who has seen how the industry has slowly fallen apart and become more and more hostile for Black individuals. “White people get a lot of chances to fail fast and keep it moving,” she said. “And we don’t always get that same consideration.”

Nevertheless, as Peoples Wagner notes:

The small moves fashion has made toward greater inclusion — even someone like me being in a job like this — have happened only because people are willing to have tough conversations. This fashion issue isn’t so much about “shaking the table”; we’re building a new table, one constructed on a foundation of respect for those who have come before us and for those leading us into the future. It is elevated, diverse, glamorous — and led by women of color.

Lindsay Peoples Wagner’s full letter can be read on The Cut now.

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The Cut Names 10 Iconic Black Models Who Should Be Household Names

The Cut Names 10 Iconic Black Models Who Should Be Household Names

Model Veronica Webb walks the runway during Nicole Miller New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery II I at Spring Studios on September 08, 2019 in New York City.
Model Veronica Webb walks the runway during Nicole Miller New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery II I at Spring Studios on September 08, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Bennett Raglin (Getty Images)

Speaking of The Cut, the outlet also recently reflected on how diversity has evolved on the runway. For instance, in the ‘70s, there was a clash between European designers and American designers for who ruled the industry, and from those battles emerged the first supermodels. On Nov. 28, 1973, there was a fashion show that was allegedly a showcase and fundraiser for the Versailles Palace, but “in reality, it was all ego,” notes the Cut.

Of the 36 American supermodels in the “Battle of Versailles,” only ten of them were Black—but they delivered “attitude, something no one had been delivering in traditionally stuffy and snoozy fashion presentations.”

Pat Cleveland was one of those models, but as The Cut reminds us, there are more Black women who have paved the runways of fashion. Accordingly, the outlet named 10 who should be household names, including Tyra Banks, Beverly Johnson, Beverly Peele, Deborah Shaw, Karen Alexander, Kara Young, Lana Ogilvie, Kimora Lee Simmons, and none other than co-founding editor of The Glow Up, Veronica Webb.

You can read more about each model on The Cut now.

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Love Is The Answer

Love Is The Answer

If you’ve ever contemplated what love is, Ciara is here to give you the answer. The Grammy award-winning artist and fashion muse launched her women’s ready-to-wear brand, LITA by Ciara on August 26. LITA (Love Is The Answer) is designed to reflect the chic, tomboy aesthetic the singer effortlessly brings to the table. The garments also seek to “embody the spirit of the rare and beautiful black king cheetah,” states a press release provided to The Root. Some of the pieces include an Armor Coat in faux fur, a 90s inspired Varsity Tour Jacket and Leader track pants in stretch leather. The ready-to-wear collection is now available at The House of LR&C as well as Nordstrom.com and select Nordstrom retailers. 3 percent of the net revenue will be allocated to the Wilsons’ Why Not You Foundation, which supports programs to empower young women.

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Silent Panda Makes History

Silent Panda Makes History

On Aug. 30, Tokyo Fashion Week began, and Silent Panda’s Samuel Taylor has made history as the first Black designer to present in the Tokyo collections. Silent Panda’s tech-infused ready-to-wear garments will debut during the upcoming New York Fashion Week as well. Taylor, a former baseball player, “merges his love of sports with tech,” per a press release provided to The Root. Silent Panda is not only a clothing line but a lifestyle brand, as well. Each garmet that walks the runway will have an accompanying QR code for viewers and consumers to scan, allowing them to simultaneously engage with the fashion and digital community.

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Designers…Make It Work

Designers…Make It Work

Tune in to Bravo on Thursday, Oct. 14 to see 16 new fashion designers start Project Runway’s Season 19 journey. The Emmy award-winning television program features alum turned luxury designer Christian Siriano, who will be returning as a mentor along with legendary editor, Nina Garcia, designer Brandon Maxwell and editor-author Elaine Welteroth (who just announced her departure as co-host of The Talk). Some of the guest judges this season include Taraji P. Henson, Christopher John Rogers, Wisdom Kaye and Billy Porter. Bravo is also debuting a new series, Project Runway: Redemption, where alums from seasons 17 and 18 are offered the opportunity to compete head to head against one another for $25,000. The show beings airing on September 9 and will run until Project Runway Season 19 begins airing on Bravo on Oct. 14.

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TIME100 Talks With Tracee Ellis Ross, Zerina Akers and Brandon Blackwood

TIME100 Talks With Tracee Ellis Ross, Zerina Akers and Brandon Blackwood

Image for article titled The Funk Boutique: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is (Re)Making The Cut by Recognizing Fashion's Racism
Screenshot: TIME100

The latest installments of TIME100 Talks features Emmy-nominated actress Tracee Ellis Ross, and Zerina Akers (both TGU 50 2021 honorees) and designer Brandon Blackwood. Per a press release provided to The Root, TIME100 Talks host Lola Ogunnaike sat down with Ross to discuss how fashion has influenced her life, the power of Black culture in the industry and all of the lessons she’s learned as the CEO of Pattern Beauty. Writer Caty Lang spoke with Akers and Blackwood on “how they believe the Black community has influenced aspects of fashion/branding and more.” In addition to recently making history as the second Black woman to ever win an Emmy for “Outstanding Costume for a Variety” for Beyoncé’s Black Is King, Akers is the founder of “Black Owned Everything,” while Blackwood discusses the processes behind his viral “End Systemic Racism” handbag.

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This New Merch Is Hot Like Fire

This New Merch Is Hot Like Fire

Image for article titled The Funk Boutique: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is (Re)Making The Cut by Recognizing Fashion's Racism
Photo: Marc Baptise

First, we got One In a Million on Spotify, and now Blackground Records 2.0 has dropped limited edition merch that is everything. In neutral tones including dark green and grey, the collection offers hoodies, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweatpants, sports bras and jerseys. It is a “nod to ’90s nostalgia,” per a press release provided to The Root. The merch ranges from $35-$95. If it doesn’t include a picture of Aaliyah’s face, the merch includes “One In A Million” scrawled across the clothes in different fonts. To honor the 25th anniversary of the album’s release and the 20th anniversary of Aaliyah’s passing, the merch is now available for purchase exclusively on Blackground Record’s website.

Image for article titled The Funk Boutique: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is (Re)Making The Cut by Recognizing Fashion's Racism
Image: Courtesy of Blackground Records
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Da Brat and Jesseca “Judy” DuPart Honored at Pure Heat Community Festival

Da Brat and Jesseca “Judy” DuPart Honored at Pure Heat Community Festival

Image for article titled The Funk Boutique: Lindsay Peoples Wagner Is (Re)Making The Cut by Recognizing Fashion's Racism
Photo: Courtesy of Pure Heat Community Festival

On Sunday, Sept. 5, legendary hip hop icon Da Brat and her fiancée Jesseca “Judy” Dupart will be honored at Atlanta Black Gay Pride’s 9th Annual Pure Heat Community Festival. The free event features different events and activities including a market and food vendors, live performers, entertainment and educational forums benefiting homeless LGBTQ+ youth and those impacted by HIV/AIDS according to a press release provided to The Root. If you didn’t already know DaBrat’s equally dynamic partner, DuPart is the incredibly successful beauty entrepreneur who launched Kaleidoscope Hair in 2014. What started as a small venture to help herself and her friends grew into a well-known beauty empire which can be found on the shelves of Walmarts and Targets according to Afrotech.com.

Hilariously, the brand even promoted—or shaded—their products with their own interpretation of Drake’s CLB cover on their Instagram.

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Shady Baby Takes On the City of Light

Shady Baby Takes On the City of Light

The #WadeWorldTour took the Wade family to Paris for Gabrielle and Dwayne Wade’s anniversary. While Gabrielle stunned in a pink ruffled Valentino skirt, someone else stole the show.

Can you guess who?

None other than Kaavia “Shady Baby” James, who was looking as shady as ever as she clung to her mom’s skirt. Kaav was in her own adorable dress and it’s been decided that we need a new Shady Baby book in the style of “Kaavia at Christmastime/at the Plaza.”

Additionally, Gabrielle posted a beautiful photo of the Wades’ two daughters, Kaavia and Zaya in front of the Eiffel Tower. Zaya has recently made some major moves in the fashion industry with a Gucci campaign of her own.

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A Crash Course in Concept Collection

A Crash Course in Concept Collection

Heron Preston is giving the term “Fast Fashion” a whole new meaning with his new concept collection with Mercedes-Benz. The collection is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the airbag and includes three conceptual men’s and womenswear looks made with “recycled airbag materials from Mercedes-Benz’s safety and crash-test area, as well as commercial merchandise designed by Preston which will be available via a giveaway on [GOAT],” per WWD. According to Preston, the partnership is both “exciting and natural.” The pieces inflate via little devices planted within each garment. The set for the shoot will be repurposed and reconstructed to appear as an installation at Berlin Fashion week from Sept. 6-8.

“Upcycling and celebrating sustainability have been my earliest approaches to design, since launching my collection, and I loved lensing a celebration of the airbags anniversary in this way to create a beautiful collection from recovered materials alongside some of their most advanced fleet of fuel-efficient and electric vehicles” - Heron Preston

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Diddy’s Daughters’ Dolce Debut

Diddy’s Daughters’ Dolce Debut

Dreams came true at Dolce and Gabbana’s haute couture show in Venice last week. The Combs daughters were invited to walk in the show, and it was “everything thing [they] could have imagined.” According to Vogue, twin D’Lila Combs said, “I’ve wanted to walk for Dolce & Gabbana since I was little. For it to happen was a dream come true.” All three expressed how much fun and joy walking in the show brought them and hope they will “be able to come back another year.” What was most memorable about the event for everyone was the homage it paid to the twins’ mother, former model Kim Porter, who passed in 2018 and openly expressed wanting her daughters to walk the same path.

As Vogue stated, Porter’s legacy truly lives on.

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