Since 16, I have always known that the world of fashion was the place I wanted to be. Opulence, glamour and flashing lights took over the scope of runways from Alexander McQueen to Prada. Gorgeous models with 10-foot-long legs graced the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and W magazines. And television ads took over the industry’s lens through whitewashed paradigms that often claimed one form of beauty. 

As a young Black girl wanting to make it big in a lucrative industry, I saw the billboards of alluringly attractive women that were the epitome of European beauty standards and all that I was not. I often questioned why I hadn’t seen women that looked like me. That didn’t have the texture of a kinky curl or the slightest curve in their hips. The slightest bit of melanin wasn’t achieved if it weren’t for tanning cream, and skin that showed any form of Blackness was often photoshopped out of fashion and beauty campaigns. All in all, I did not see myself in a space that I desperately aspired to be in, and nevertheless, I still aspired to somehow change it anyway.