Luxy AF: A Convo with Amanda Moore-Karim
Amanda Moore-Karim is a Brooklyn-based independent wardrobe stylist who is committed to promoting inclusivity in the fashion industry. Her new project, Luxy Haus, is adding to the canon of Black-centric indie fashion magazines, joining newcomers like Hannah and Neu Neu. Karim's quarterly publication centers the influence of Black creatives and social issues in the editorial world.
Increasing representation in one of the biggest industries in the world is a task that rests on trust and collaboration. Community-building of this scale can only happen if one puts care into the interpersonal relationships between creators, innovators, and businesses alike. Karim understands this wholeheartedly, and when we spoke with her about her ventures she was quick to shout out as many of her collaborators as possible. The network she has created in New York and beyond is expansive, but she made sure to note the members of her "all-star team": photographer Mark Clennon, (whose work you'll find in CRWN's Love Issue) makeup artist Engelina Wibowo, jewelry designer Anita Jacob and visual artist Ashley B. Chew.
In an industry so fundamentally intertwined with exclusion, Karim makes sure to celebrate even the small steps made by the industry's major players:
"From Diane von Furstenburg addressing the importance of diversity in runway shows in the CFDA Health Initiative Letter in 2015 to Chantal Fernandez’s article on top brands who culturally appropriated in 2015 via Fashionista, it’s small attempts such as these I believe people of color should latch onto. It’s very rare we get such mainstream platforms like Teen Vogue tackling all grounds of the socio-political landscape. So noticing the little things like Zac Posen rocking a #BlackModelsMatter tote or Gucci’s PreFall 2017 campaign featuring only models of color reassures me that we may have a long way to go, but there is definitely still hope."
While these glimmers of hope are reassuring, it is this current push in Black-owned print media that has forced the opening of multiple paths for models, artists and designers of color. Publications like Luxy Haus speak to the needs and desires of Black consumers — an area where white-owned editorial fashion magazines continue to drop the ball.
"Holistically," says Karim, "the fashion industry has a long way to go! There are still casting agencies that tell young models of color that they 'already have' a model of Latin-American descent, or that they 'have enough Black models in our book.'...As long as individuals, brands, and companies involve themselves in this very necessary activism and remain steadfast, the ideology of inclusion has the ability to prosper.”
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Cover image by Laurent Chevalier.