issa fall lookbook
For those of you who have been following along, you know that my move to the West Coast was quite a large transition for me. One of the things that has made the transition out here easier has been connecting to the community of creatives here [especially in a city where seemingly all anyone does is talk about tech.] Like I mentioned a little while back , a lot of those creative friends were once just internet friends, and it’s been such a pleasant surprise to find a real community in what was once just comments on threads.
Meeting Renee and Taylor was no different. This idea all started with a DM, and before you knew it, the three of us spent a lovely afternoon shooting at the Garden at the Fairmont Hotel [for my fellow New Yorkers- you can think of the Fairmount like the SF version of the Plaza Hotel.] We took inspiration from fall colors-maroons to mauves-to textures-velvet to leather textures- to bring this you this look book.
Keep scrolling to see the magic we cooked up and to hear a little more from these fearless ladies and I about everything from why they love Fall to what go them creating content to begin with.
What do you love about Fall?
Renee: Honestly, I love just about everything when it comes to Fall. I love sweater weather, so as soon as fall comes around I’m excited to pull out my chunky sweaters and cardigans as the perfect layering piece. Also, I just love the color scheme. I tend to gravitate towards neutral colors, so olive green, burnt orange, and burgundy are the perfect pop of color to add to my wardrobe because they compliment so many other colors.
Rolanda: Well, I’m an East Coast girl, so Fall always meant layers- tights, skirts, over the knee boots. It’s when you can start breaking out the scarves and tweed jackets, and I love that. Having moved to San Francisco, my seasons are all mixed up. There’s no snow so that means no winter, and it seems like SF is either somewhere between spring and summer. But I guess I’ll give in and say that with the leaves falling it does feel like fall, and I’ve already started adding those autumnal pieces to my wardrobe
How would you describe your style?
Renee: Growing up, my style was more urban chic. Even to this day, you can still catch me in an oversized denim jacket with a v neck shirt, high waisted jeans, and some sneakers. (maybe moto boots to give it a little more edge) And I have to have a chunky statement necklace to top it off.
Rolanda: Growing up, my style was preppy and definitely directly influenced by my prep school’s dress code. And that still carries over now- I couldn’t love a white collared shirt, boyfriend blazer, and horizontal stripes (especially in navy blue) more. But my style has definitely evolved. Since having moved to San Francisco, I wear less color and way more blacks, whites and greys, more sneakers, and less heels [cause these hills are no joke.] So now, I guess classic is a better way to describe my style.
Taylor: My personal style is something that has changed and evolved with time. Right now, I would describe my style as tailored with whimsical touches. I love weaving in period pieces such as corsets or trumpet sleeves but the consistent theme is my love for layering and sharp silhouettes.
How would you describe the impact that WOC beauty/ fashion influencers have made to mainstream media?
Renee: Content creators like Maya (@shamelessmaya) Taren guy (now @lucidlivingtv), and Jackie Aina (@jackieaina), all OG youtubers, paved the way for a lot of content creators today and are part of the reason we have communities such #YoutubeBlack #BlackTwitter to unite us. Not to mention, we have amazing women like Issa Rae and Michaela Coel who created shows that represent the awkward, nerdy, black queens out there. Or Ava Duvernay who directs Queen Sugar which taps into intersectionalism within the black community. It’s refreshing to know that we have these dope queens saying “We see you. We hear you. We got you.” I can’t wait to see what amazing content creators / influencers follow in their footsteps.
Rolanda: I always come back to this quote by my queen of all queens Michelle Obama- “You simply cannot be what you cannot see.” I quite literally think that just by being, by existing, feeling proud, and continuing to put our faces out there is invaluable. I followed blogs back in the day when you had to comment on the bloggers page to find out where she got that cute top from [I’m talking OG blogger days], and none of those bloggers looked like me. And now, we are so fortunate that we can create our own platforms and elevate our voices, and we have trailblazing queens like Elaine Welteroth and Issa Rae, so that we can be seen and heard. And that, to me, is priceless.
Taylor: I wholeheartedly believe that the biggest, most influential trends in the fashion and beauty industries were created by people of color and urban culture. Thinking of Rihanna launching her own beauty line, for example, she was able to create something that some brands have never done – a wide variety of foundation shades that appeal to all people of all colors. She was able to consider our particular skin concerns – coverage, skin type and skin texture. She was able to, without having a background in fashion or beauty, use her platform to recognize our needs and wants in a way that is inclusive. I think Rihanna and others in the industry that create POC-friendly products are diversifying the industry with some healthy competition, which will have a really positive impact in driving those industries forward even more and providing representation for everyone.
What advice do you have for women of color that are looking to follow a similar path?
Taylor: I am relatively new to the “serious” blogging world but if I was going to give advice I would refer back to my comments about POC in the beauty and fashion industries; think of something that you want or need that hasn’t been fulfilled and achieve it. Chances are, there are others out there with the same needs and desires looking for answers too.
Renee: Anyone thinking about blogging or vlogging; my advice is if you can think of 5 different topics to create content… then do it! I’m still super new to the game, but the advice I would give myself back when I started is to know what you want your blog or channel to be about. And to stop being a perfectionist! The reason it took me so long to start was because I always got in my own way. I thought I needed the best camera, the best lighting, more high end clothes, my website is garbage, etc. Little did I know, my Iphone, natural lighting, and channeling the thrifty queen that I am is paying off. Being consistent and letting your personality shine through goes a long way. Just know there’s never a perfect time to start; just start now!