Fashion from the minorities for the elite


Annabelle Gentling

Santa Fe students show off their style.

Annabelle Gentling, Howler Staff Writer

Let’s talk about fashion, because we all like to be fashionable from time to time. We like to show off our different flair and styles that affect our culture and mainstream media. 

Lately, it feels like the only way you can show fashion is in a way that looks rich. Society is looking for big-name brands and different high-end fashion deals. Essentially, people want to look rich. They want to look put together and the desire for people to be jealous. 

Searching fashion leads to headlines such as: “How to dress richer, Richest ways you can look, How to dress like a millionaire”. However, if you look closer you will see that the rich are wearing things lower class people and different minorities were made fun of for wearing from the start. 

These fashion choices range from box-braids and durags to Kimono robes and Henna. Other examples made popular by minorities are brands like Champion and tracksuits to long nails and colorful jewelry. These choices in fashion are staples of our cultures and identities, this fashion makes us who we are. But those fashions trends seem to be making it onto mainstream cultural runways and high-end labels. This doesn’t make sense. 

And maybe this wouldn’t be such a big problem if designers were catering to the audience they took it from but they’re not. They are catering to the elite, the majority of which are caucasian. We can see examples of this through the Kardashians who sport box braids and like being seen as an exotic white women. Additionally, runways are copying high-end Asian fashion and Middle Eastern make-up trends. 

This trend in fashion doesn’t seem to be slowing down. There will always be influencers and modeling themselves to look exotic from the Brazilian butt lift (Hispanic appropriation), Fox-eyed surgery (Asian appropriation), to big lips (Black appropriation). 

Minorities are fighting every day to re-claim and call out fashion labels to give credit to the people they are taking this from. Everyone should be aware that they’re wearing others’ fashion culture and be respectful of that, whether that is wearing long colored wigs courtesy to black women or to wearing Chinese dragon shirts. 

We are all wearing pieces that have made others who they are. We can celebrate without stealing, we can love without profit and we can call attention without canceling.