In the year since Antoine Grégory launched Black Fashion Fair he has created an exclusive collection with Theophilio, shot editorial stories with AB+DM, launched an educational fashion program with FIT, and sold out hundreds of products on the initiative’s e-commerce site. He’s far from done though. Today, Gregory is launching Black Fashion Fair’s debut publication, Volume 0, a gorgeous collection of Black stories and talents supported by Warby Parker.
With three covers—Joan Smalls by Quil Lemons; Maria Borges by AB+DM; and Aleya Ali by AB+DM—all styled by Grégory, the 200-page publication covers Black fashion’s past, present, and future. Established brands like Wales Bonner, Mowalola, and Bianca Saunders are featured inside its pages alongside a new generation of talents including House of Aama and Khiry. Gregory takes readers behind the scenes of Pyer Moss’s debut couture show, dives deep into Raul Lopez’s recent success with Luar, and peeks behind the curtain of Hanifa’s runway show in Washington, D.C. In a poignant essay, Bethann Hardison remembers Willi Smith and Stephen Burrows; in another, Eric Darnell Pritchard delves into the many facets of Black style in America.
Those who know Grégory wouldn’t expect anything less than a exquisite document. The multi-hyphenate stylist-entrepreneur works closely with his community to champion Black potential. In his editor’s letter he writes, “What is fashion if we don’t tell the full story? What is community if we don’t include everyone? What is a seat at the table if the only chair you bring is yours? There is so much more work that needs to be done in highlighting Black designers in fashion as a meaningful part of the historical narrative and within context.”
Here, Grégory reflects on his first publication and what’s next for BFF.
Vogue: What have you learned running Black Fashion Fair? What are you proudest of?
Antoine Grégory: I learned how the word Black still scares people. I think the industry still sees Black designers and Black image makers as people who can only create for Black people. I think the industry still sees Blackness as a monolith. It is not.
I’m proud to have created something that is proof we do not exist as one singular idea. That we have a history that is rich and diverse even amongst each other. I have put my Blackness first and elevated what that can look like through Black Fashion Fair.
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