(Shot by Johnny Fonseca)
T-SHIRT: East End Thrift Store
PANTS: Beyond Retro LABEL
BACKPACK: Beyond Retro LABEL
SHOES: Converse x Comme Des Garçons - DOVER STREET MARKET
HAIR: Kinky Straight - Miyi Hair (Wig made by Mother)
New hair, new levels of self esteem, new sass! I've been looking for a new hairstyle for a while and came across Miyi Hair, who do really great hair extensions. I'm all about the hair drama and owning my space so of course a 20" closure combined with a 24" and x2 30" bundles would be killer! When brushed out, the hair looks VERY real. Only downside is that I often get a lot of interested people touching my hair without asking me.
This is a very direct message to people who feel entitled to other people's space, especially white people: no matter how familiar you think you are, when you see a person of colour with hair that interests you, please do not touch their hair - especially without their permission. We are not fluffy animals. It is rude, dehumanising and shows a lack of respect for personal space. I promise: it is very possible to express your admiration without treating us like otherworldly creatures. As a person of colour who has spent my entire life holding back from snapping at self-entitled hair touchers, I have finally had enough. I'm sure you would feel the same way too if you constantly had strangers or even colleagues diving into your incredibly beautiful, silky, shiny, straight hair whilst firing questions at you about how you get it to lay so straight and smooth. You'd feel a little odd, wouldn't you? You'd feel a little disrespected by people invading your space without respecting you enough to ask you. No amount of 'banter' can displace respect for personal space. If you feel attacked by this message, it is time for you to relax, breathe and check your privilege because this is not an attack - this is me speaking on behalf of all the women of colour who have had to deal with daily micro-aggressions; who have had to hold back from reacting in order to avoid being painted as 'angry'; who have had to say 'yes' when asked 'can I touch your hair?' when really, they want to say 'no' but they don't want to create any tension in the workplace. If you have a black friend, why not actually just listen to their experience to UNDERSTAND, rather than listen to reply with a justification that only silences them? Your ignorance doesn't make you a 'bad person'. Your conscious lack of effort to rectify it does.
Now, onto my rainbow pants and cute backpack! I got these really awesome pants from a really cool vintage store called Beyond Retro. If you haven't heard of it, they have stores in Shoreditch, Dalston, Soho and Brighton so if you would ever like a good old vintage spree, I would personally recommend it. Recently, I've been getting into sustainable clothing and came across Beyond Retro's LABEL range which is all hand-crafted entirely from reclaimed materials. I really love the idea of my clothes having their own stories; it creates a sense of sentimental value. Not only am I taking part in preserving the planet by reusing, I am also taking part in saving a lot of garments from going to landfill - 600,000 to be precise! As a vintage shopper, I really love having clothes that people can't really find anymore. It makes me feel like I've got something even more valuable. With Beyond Retro Label, because each item is completely unique, once you get it, it's gone! If you'd love to give the store a shot, I'd actually recommend the Shoreditch store (Cheshire Street) because I actually saw Alexa Chung come in and buy a few sparkly tops a couple weeks ago and apparently, Rihanna's visited this particular store too! *wink wink*