Antoine Gregory is a graduate of 2017 from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and a fashion stylist plus consultant along with being the brand director at Theophilio. He is also the founder of Black Fashion Fair, an online directory and marketplace dedicated to celebrating the past, present and future of Black fashion, culture and style. Through the Black Fashion Fair, Gregory has provided all the people of color in the fashion industry with an online platform to promote their art and talent.
It all started after a Twitter thread back in 2016, initiated by Antoine Gregory, which listed some of the Black designers that he believed the general population must be aware of, including names like Martine Rose, Grace Wales and Shayne Oliver. This turned into something bigger than anyone could have imagined at the time and developed into a movement to discover and bring recognition to the work of all Black people in the fashion industry.
Black Fashion Fair was founded in 2020, after the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter started trending and it became more necessary than ever to call out the deep ingrained systemic racism in most corporate departments but especially the creative industries.
Gregory recalls in most of his interviews how during his time in a FIT he became more acutely aware of the fact that there is a gross lack of portrayal of Black talent. There was no course during his time in a university dedicated specifically to the Style and Culture of Black people and neither of the contributions of the people of color to this Industry.
Now, just ahead of New York Fashion Week this year, Black Fashion Fair has released its first publication titled “Volume 0: Seen”. This almost 200-page long print has been made in an effort to increase the representation of not only Black culture and fashion but also for the Black designers, stylists, and basically all Black talent that has either already given too much to the creative industry or just starting to invest in it. It is the first magazine of its kind, ready to create its mark in history. When inquired about the incentive behind its creation, Gregory responded “I wanted to make sure that we have something tangible that preserved Black fashion and culture as it exists”.
This debut issue is all about creating a space for Black creatives in the industry, to aid them to thrive and put forward their most raw and purest art forms. It features the work of both upcoming and established big forces of the market, and gives them a platform to depict their visions without the sway of editors.
Some of the notable names affixed with this piece of work include the founder of Pyer Moss; Kerby Jean-Raymond, Sergio Hudson, some noteworthy photographers such as Amber Pinkerton, Quill Lemons and AB + DM, who have also shot the Black models on the 3 covers of the issue, Maria Borges And Aleya Ali, and Edvin Thompson of Theophilio.
When praised for creating this thing that is first of its kind, Gregory has responded that it certainly won’t be the last. He claims that this is only the first of his efforts in creating something that will last forever.