However, it is a much deeper and more complex topic. Thus, it is what fashion exemplifies, which is in fact a dominant social construction with very real tangible effects. Fashion seems to put celebrities, influencers and the wealthy in an automatic position of superiority, as we are conditioned to believe their conceptual validation, knowledge and their style of dress illustrates as a benchmark for society.

Therefore, anyone that defers from that notion is seen to be wrong or inferior. This is fortified in many aspects of life such as wealth, education, wellbeing.. the list goes on. It is extremely interesting when we explore fashion in regards to people of colour and how it manifests within us also, due to the fact that we are not in anyway exempt from the social conditioning and messaging.

When the topic of fashion is reviewed, it is quite often assumed that we are talking about the latest trends or style of clothing alone.

Denise Graham
Featured image of Ibironke Oluwaseyi Asepo of Seyi Jones Fashion

Many things that we are exposed to and/or get a sense of in the mainstream, comes from the perspective of western culture. The way that a considerable number of immigrant parents have also internalised a lot of this, reinforces this idea.

The strong desire for human beings to fit in and have a strong sense of belonging explains the pressures to assimilate towards the western culture. This is usually because we know it is our western side that is more likely to be accepted. Some of this is subconscious as our bodies take control by aiming to eliminate the threat, and so this is where micro aggressions and mental well being comes in and why concepts around issues such as Imposter Syndrome take on a whole new meaning for us.

It is very common for individuals from an underrepresented identity to think that they are not enough… There is a strong importance to express our true authentic self through fashion. This is what sets us apart from others and gives us a sense of pride and belonging. Mix your personality, environment, practicality, culture and uniqueness together, to form a style that screams authenticity. When you are able to do this, you change your relationship with fashion forever. Don’t let fashion define you, define fashion. The world is changing, so why not use this time to reinvent yourself.


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