AUSTIN, Texas — Fashion trends come and go, but the original trendsetters often go unacknowledged. That's why Austin’s Black community is making sure credit is given where it’s due.
As part of KVUE's celebration of Black History Month, we met up with several local fashion experts to explore the significance of fashion in Black culture.
"You can’t even speak about fashion or style without Black people," said a local man known as "Legend Already Made," whose eccentric wardrobe goes unrivaled in the Austin fashion scene.
“We’re in a space where everyone wants to be an influence and a lot of times, the purpose of the mission gets missed and swept under the rug,” said Keirsten Lynnette, a wardrobe stylist and creative director. “And, in actuality, a lot of Black women and men started a lot of stuff. And we deserve to get the credit.”
Major fashion trends worn today by different cultures started within the Black community, including streetwear, long acrylic nails and big jewelry. But when the people who started the trends wore them, they were met with criticism.
“At the time when we did it, it was deemed ghetto, ratchet or untasteful,” said Alika Harris, owner of Acrylics by Alika.
“Our ancestors died teaching us the blueprint of freedom. It’s time to live to show them we heard them,” Legend Already Made said.
The style mavens have made it clear: being overlooked is out. Now proud Black entrepreneurs are making a fashion statement by reclaiming their culture.
“We’re taking back our grand, and we are being seen,” said Antaris Jackson, co-owner of A1 Beauty Supply. “Just because you’re a person of color, you’re young, you’re a minority, whatever the case may be, you can still do it.”
See how these trendsetters are adding to the style and diversity of Austin’s fashion scene by visiting their Instagram accounts.