This month, everything you missed is actually what we’ve all been missing for far too long— the remarkable BIPOC artists, designers, musicians, brands, and creators of all mediums that influence, shape, and define our culture. By Gabrielle Vaillancourt
To preface: I give this list to you, readers, in no particular order, with the understanding that it could never totally encompass the absolute dexterity and skill of BIPOC creators around the world. In this time of great change and uprise, HALOSCOPE is focused on amplifying the voices of the Black community. That’s why this month, everything you missed is actually what we’ve all been missing for far too long - the remarkable BIPOC artists, designers, musicians, brands, and creators of all mediums that influence, shape, and define our culture. The creators we haven’t given due credit to - and who we must begin to. I encourage you to share your own favourite BIPOC creator’s work, to support their endeavours and educate yourself on how much of our music, fashion, film and culture we truly owe to them.
If we’re going to talk about sustainability in fashion - which we always are, it must be recognized that the designers who re-work, rather than simply producing from brand new materials, are the most important step before purchasing new “ethically made” items.
almost.on.time designer Kayla Sade takes pre-owned clothing and catapults the pieces into an entirely new context - corsets. As self-described, AOT’s pieces are “the perfect blend of femme and street.” AOT completes custom orders as well as regular website drops. Each piece feels fresh and modern in its own light, with the quirky appeal of knowing there’s a unique story behind the garment. It’s the perfect connection between contextual value and sleek style - never too back-of-the-Value-Village-rack; always the perfect ratio of cool girl to grassroots. You’ll never find the same eclectic appeal in an Urban Outfitters or a Brandy Melville shop. It’s the dynamic of knowing you’re buying something original, from a skilled designer, which cannot be matched with any box-brand.
002. Ama Lou
Granted, Ama Lou is nothing new. The RnB queen has been pumping out smooth hits since she was a kid, and the world’s been fascinated for quite some time now. But I never promised obscurity - only what you might have missed. Lou’s soft and breezy vocals paired with her contemporary beats result in tracks that feel like the summer heat and espresso over ice. Sultry, cool, radiant - the listening experience of her EP Ama, who? is pretty much unparalleled. For real, it’s my morning wake-up, work from home, and evening chill soundtrack. I can't get enough. Lou said in an interview with Earmilk, "I think when I was younger I would pull more from the outside world to create concepts, I would piece stuff together. But as I get older my writing is getting more specific. I really understand the importance of writing in a perspective specific to me recently,” Each one of Lou’s tracks feels like peeking into a snippet of her life - never the whole picture, rather a small piece of a warm memory, just enough to draw us in completely to the next track. Check out her music on Spotify, and her short film DDD which accompanied Lou’s EP of the same title.
003. Simply Cie
Managed by Gleam Futures, Cierra Nia is an LA-based style influencer who’s feed has recently rocked my Pinterest. Seeing the same blazer-over-bike-shorts-and-a-gold-chain combo has gotten pretty dry - there’ll be none of that on @simply.cie. The influencer’s looks feature tons of stunning layers, graphic nails and bling, and colourful statement pieces from independent designers. Her style bridges the gap between indie, street, and contemporary luxury fashion, for an entirely fresh and fun feed that’s gained her a 255K following. In addition to her IG, Nia maintains a Youtube channel where she shares her thrifting, skincare and social media advice.
Honestly, the greatest part of following @simply.cie is how many incredible new designers I’ve discovered - from the previously mentioned almost.on.time to Rua Carlota’s patch pieces made exclusively from dead-stock, Nia’s strongest appeal is that she is a true trendsetter, discovering and showcasing fashion talent before it hits the mainstream.
Kamyiis Mclean is an NYC based fashion and editorial photographer whose work makes my jaw drop every time. In addition to creative directing and styling all of his shoots, his use of movement, tone, and playful structure creates photographs that feel like gazing at portraits in a gallery. It’s not hard to imagine any one of his photographs as a painting, and Mclean’s ability to not only capture fashion but to juxtapose it in a way that fills you with a sense of wonder is what I find so utterly captivating about his photographs. Mclean’s work has been featured in Vogue Italia’s Best Of edit, and you can check out his IG here.
005. Ashamed Magazine
Ashamed was founded by Halima Jibril in 2019, designed to be a space exclusively for women and non-binary BIPOC creatives to share their opinions, work and stories. Alongside the flux of BLM movement information, there has been much social media discussion surrounding the importance of BIPOC having spaces without white people to express themselves - Ashamed achieves exactly this. Besides the fact that their IG feed and homepage are designed to be a literal scrolling rainbow, the success the magazine has achieved and their exponential growth since their founding proves that they’re providing a platform which was sorely missing.
A few of my favourite pieces include Ava Brook’s photographic criticism of the white-washed nature of editorial culture, Zara Afthab’s analysis of the NYC Met’s Camp: Notes on Fashion exhibit, and Nilo Khamani’s Op-Ed on the toxicity of the social media persona. I encourage you to spend some time reading through Ashamed’s website, to read and really absorb the un-censored perspectives of BIPOC youth around the world.
Once again, this short compilation of just a few of my favourite BIPOC creators in no way quantifies the massive influence Black artists have on our culture - but it’s a personal start to recognizing and uplifting the work and voices of those we all owe so much to as consumers of music, fashion, art and writing. HALOSCOPE stands in solidarity with the BLM movement, and we recognize that as a company and as individuals who value Black art and culture, it is our responsibility to build diversity and uplift Black voices in our endeavours. We encourage our readers to continue actively participating in the fight against injustice, now and beyond the media cycle. ✰