FOUR FOR UNITY: Jeremy Scott’s show is generally a field day for the sidewalk-shooting photographers in search of celebrity arrivals and more offbeat trend watchers. Before the designer’s Monday morning show, a quartet of women was not to be missed.
Wearing varying degrees of pink, including items with some politicized messages, Kaye Washington, Shayla Hill, Labrea Gordon and April Tillman walked purposefully in unison on West 33rd Street toward the paparazzi. More than a few asked for closeups of the messages imprinted on the backs of their clothing. Hill’s hot-pink sequined jacket read, “Vogue Doesn’t Care About Ebony Issues,” and Gordon’s Barbie pink satin robe read “Don’t Shoot.”
Washington flew into New York Fashion Week from Louisiana, where she revamps vintage clothes such as the pink plaid suit and mini skirt that she was wearing. The need for greater diversity in fashion “is worthy of a statement,” she said, carrying a purse with lettering that read, “As if y’all care about black issues.”
The photographers on the street weren’t the only ones capturing the quartet. Filmmaker Curtis Williams was also at work, as he has been for the past two months. He is shooting a documentary titled “Fashion Weak.”
A resident of Houston, she and her sister Tillman (who paired an NWA T-shirt imprinted with “Compton” on the front and “#BlackLivesMatter” on the back, with a long pink quilted skirt) are stylists, who also have the blog Random & Chic. From Hill’s point of view, the fastest way to improve diversity is rooted in individualistic efforts, not a collective one. “Just take action instead of waiting for other people. Move ahead in your own unity,” she said.
Hill said the impetus for traveling to New York was to combine two passions. Excluding the few photographers who asked the women for the correct spellings of their names, their activism was largely visual. Hearing the many clicks of cameras, Washington said, “I love that sound.”