From designers to models, women have always dominated the fashion industry. As diversity expands and as we see body inclusion start to become the norm on runways, we wanted to take a look at the women who are shaping fashion into a space that can be enjoyed by anyone. These women are artists, models, and designers, and without them, the world of fashion in 2021 would look a lot different than it does now. Here are our favorite 2021 changemakers:
Khrysty Ana (@khrystyana)
Founder of nonprofit The Real Catwalk, Khrysty Ana rose to prominence through modeling and has since used her voice to amplify models of all shapes, forms, colors, and abilities. The organization provides modeling workshops and makes modeling accessible to those who are interested but might not otherwise have the resources. The Real Catwalk also provides mental health resources for models, something often overlooked in the industry.
Mira Mariah, or Girlknewyork as she’s widely known, is an artist in Brooklyn, NY. She started as a tattoo artist, inking up celebs like Ariana Grande. Mariah has moved across mediums, collaborating with jewelry brands and clothing labels to make her hyper-feminine designs come to life. She lost her leg when she was younger and talks openly about the experience, lifting up those people with disabilities who weren’t represented in the art world before. She recently collaborated with Nike on a release, and she still works at the tattoo studio where it all began.
Aurora James (@aurorajames)
Aurora James is the designer and founder of Brother Vellies, a sustainable high-end label that uses traditional African design practices. James’ pieces are timeless and modern at the same moment because they have to be - she fights for the slow fashion movement in order to make fashion a more sustainable industry. Along with this goal, James is an advocate for equal economic pay, starting the 15% Pledge, which calls on big-name retailers to devote 15% of their shelves to Black-owned businesses.
Ziwe is a comedian based out of NYC who took over our early pandemic but having frank conversations about race with Instagram’s biggest influencers. Ziwe might not be a designer herself, but she’s shaped the way we see professional women intersect with everyday fashion, customizing her outfits for virtual comedy shows and coming out with some of the best photoshoot content from 2020. Ziwe blends comedy and fashion together in a way that’s never been done before, all while tackling big topics about race and identity.
Danielle Prescod (@danielleprescod)
Prescod is a former Fashion Editor at Harper’s Bazaar who isn’t afraid to dish out her insider takes on the industry. She and a coworker left to start their own consulting business called 2 Black Girls, which aims to inform clients about fashion in general and lift up Black women in the industry. She’s also honest about the burnout women in fashion face and aims to change that in the future.
These women are inspiring in the way that they’ve shifted our fashion culture for the better while creating content we want to consume. They have fundamentally improved fashion, and we anticipate big things coming our way from them in 2021.