Newsletter 01: An introduction to FRONT ROW MEDIA
I hope you’re all well, considering everything which is currently going on around the world. Firstly, I would like to welcome you all to the first edition of my monthly newsletter.
This month, I briefly discuss my recently launched business FRONT ROW MEDIA, whilst also sharing the logo for the first time. On 19 March 2020, I took the plunge registering my business. For those who don’t know (yet), the name of my business is FRONT ROW MEDIA: an online fashion media company, which aims to narrate the stories of local fashion creatives in South Africa.
Moving forward, I will utilise this fashion blog as a platform to express more intimate thoughts – ones which plague me as a black fashion student, writer and entrepreneur.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter and keep in touch for the next edition in July. If you have any form of feedback (good or bad), please reach out and contact me to share 🙂 – It really helps!
This is why it initially looked good – but eventually felt wrong
When I started off my fashion freelance writing career back in 2018, I was contributing work for online fashion retailer Spree’s The Thread – which was their online fashion website. At the time, as a recently registered freelance fashion writer, what mattered most to me was understanding the global luxury fashion industry and reporting on it; in essence, exploring my fetishised pre-conceived notions surrounding the novelty of expensive clothing and the community which fosters it.
Representation and inclusivity certainly still mattered to me, but I regrettably wasn’t consistent with myself and therefore, unable to personally hold other luxury brands accountable as well.
For example, when I wrote about Demna Gvasalia’s first Balenciaga collection (Fall-Winter 2017) here, the most important aspect for me was the actual garments and the theme behind the collection. As “inspiring” as I found this to be at the time, the sheer lack of black models casted within the collection displayed a clear disregard for creatives of colour. Towards the end of last year is when I reached my saturation point – I needed to make a meaningful contribution towards my immediate world of fashion.
At that point, I realised the wealth of black talent which existed within the global fashion industry, such as designer Aurora James of fashion brand Brother Vellies and fashion editor IB Kamara of i-D. I looked even closer to home, and realised the wealth of local emerging fashion brands which are contributing positively to South African fashion culture.
Click here to read the first ever FRONT ROW MEDIA interview, with Anita of Afrogrunge.
Building inwards first
FRONT ROW MEDIA is definitely not an idea which developed overnight – this has been a collection of lessons learnt from a series of successes and failures over time. Enrolling as an honours fashion student has undoubtedly contributed positively towards the formation of my business, and to my overall confidence as a fashion entrepreneur, and creative.
Looking back, midway through 2019 is when my recalibration phase kicked in. Fashion began to feel so much more personal and intimate to me; and a large part of that involved supporting local fashion creatives who have interesting narratives to tell, just as I do. The idea of blindly supporting the westernised luxury fashion industry began to feel exceedingly unrealistic and silly, with some of my previous work personally feeling naive and trivial (I now know that this is not the case).
My commitment to working with local fashion creatives in building our network
The current COVID-19 global pandemic has acted as a catalyst for various forms of change. Personally, the net-effect of the pandemic has motivated me to finally create this community of fashion creatives and consumers, all connected by the golden thread of collectively aiming to contribute positively towards South African fashion culture – our fashion culture. I am so excited to share these valuable stories and lessons with this fashion community.
Until then, stay safe and please continue supporting your local fashion creatives and businesses – we all need each other now more than ever.