Let’s distinguish ‘fashion’ from ‘style’ today. When it comes to ’style’ and ‘styling,’ we are talking about the everyday practice of constructing a ‘look.’ ⁣When we put together our look, it involves a series of decisions that are informed by our upbringing, our community, our mood, our experiences and how we wish to be ‘seen.’ ⁣

The construct of race complicates the way we style or ‘fashion’ ourselves each day, as our decisions in how we look may challenge or comply with dominant narratives that influence us. Though, of course, some of us may be ambivalent and say that we don’t put much thought into the way we look. ⁣

Yet when it comes to the Black, lived experience, there is much to be said about the way dress and hairstyling is critical in making a statement, building community and refining one’s self-definition. ⁣

Thierno Ndiaye, pictured here, is a model, fashion designer, and actor

Omar Victor Diop/Galerie Magnin-A, Paris. Thierno Ndiaye seated for a 2012 portrait, from the portrait series “Le Studio des Vanités”. Part of ‘The Dandy Lion Project’ by Shantrelle P. Lewis⁣.