While protests are a great way to fight for change, you can also fight systematic racism in your day-to-day life in small, yet helpful ways. To do that, you need to help give Black people a lasting platform on which to create art, share their thoughts, and document their experiences. Some ways to do that is to frequent Black-owned businesses, continue donating to organizations trying to end systematic racism, and follow as many Black creatives and influencers as you can.
Instagram and other social media apps were founded on the idea that they would create an even playing field for people to share ideas, but most of the top influencers on YouTube and Instagram are white. A platform on Instagram can be life-changing. It opens new doors and gives one’s entrepreneurship and ideas a whole new audience — so why shouldn't Black influencers be able to reap those benefits to the fullest? By promoting and supporting Black people, even in something as simple as following them on their social media platforms and engaging with them, you can help raise up voices that are often pushed aside.
All this said, it’s time to diversify your feed. Highlighted here are some seriously stylish fashion influencers that have been trendsetting since their start on Instagram. Whether you want fashion inspiration, a new MUA to follow, or to fill your timeline with some serious joy, there's an amazingly talented Black fashion influencer you should check out:
Slip Into Style
If you love unique and bold 'fits, Ellie Delphine’s extremely chic pics are for you. No matter what occasion she’s dressed for, this influencer’s pics are always sharp and colorful, with a certain high-fashion quality.
Gabi Gregg has been in the fashion game since 2008 and has always used her voice to create more spaces for plus-sized women of color. She’s collaborated with Swimsuits for All and Playful Promises, so for those who like to shop during their scroll, Gregg's got you.
Aleali May mixes classic streetwear with an Afrofuturism style to give her looks an ethereal, sci-fi feeling. In everything she wears, it’s easy to imagine her on some distant planet or time.
Jari Jones made history when she became the first trans woman to produce a film nominated at the Cannes Film Festival. Jones is also an actor, model, activist, and so much more. Her Instagram is a collection of both her artistic work, editorial pics, her activism, and some classic, stylish pics — all of which will be on your vision board STAT.
Vashtie Kola is a music video director, DJ, designer, artist, and more. Her unstoppable creative energy comes through in everything she posts. Her Instagram balances glimpses into her life alongside seriously glamorous shots.
Essie Golden is a plus-size model and body positive advocate. And all of her outfits, while always on point, have an amazing level of attainability, so she’s constantly giving out endless outfit inspo. Her captions also read like mini-blogs, which gives her posts a mini-magazine feeling and fosters a sense of community.
If you love watching Instagram Stories, Candace Marie’s are edited like no one else’s; it’s like a whole new level of artistry. Her selfie face has this piercing quality to it that makes me want to never stop scrolling through her pics.
Akwaeke Emezi is a non-binary author and video artist. Each of their photos radiates a quality of warmth, possibly helped by their infectious smile and unabashed authenticity. Their captions are all like mini-diary entries, so you can truly feel like you’re following your friend.
NYCxClothes (Shelcy and Christy Joseph)
Following this account is like a two-for-one deal, because it’s shared by sisters Shelcy and Christy Joseph, who are writers and digital consultants. All of their photos have a candid vibe to them with some gorgeous still lives sprinkled in. Their Instagram is a total aesthetic experience, and their captions are thoughtful explorations of their experiences and feelings.
You may have enjoyed Jazzmyne Robbins’ work before, as she’s a video producer for BuzzFeed and is featured in countless videos about fashion, beauty, and body positivity. Whether she’s totally glammed up or relaxing in her bedroom, Robbins consistently looks like probably the coolest person in the world.
Paola Mathé’s entire Instagram page is like that of a glossy fashion magazine. All of her pictures look like they’ve had an entire camera crew and stylists behind them. But her feed obviously isn't the only work of art she creates and curates. She's also the founder of Fanm Djanm, which creates beautiful head wraps and fosters an empowering community of strength.
Ren Gray’s grid is a stunning embodiment of sophistication and the intersection of fashion and art. Her outfits are always perfectly tailored and sharp, yet the silhouettes deviate from the norm in the most exciting, unique ways.
Few people seem to have as much with bright, sunny fashion than Nifesimi Akingbe. For more than just inspiration, Akingbe also posts videos giving real fashion advice. By following her, it’s almost like having a stylist right by your side.
Juliana Huxtable is a trans woman who essentially does it all: from DJing to modeling to writing poetry to being an artist. Her aesthetic bounces between her cerebral art to simple mirror selfies, and each post is more exciting and thought-provoking than the next.
Ohemaa Bonsu goes straight for color when it comes to her makeup, and if it's not the most stunning thing you've ever seen, then I don't know what is. If you love to push the boundaries and experiment with makeup, you'll be in good company following Bonsu.