Welcome to The Funk Boutique, Your Weekly Window Shop for Fashion and Beauty Drops

Welcome to The Funk Boutique, Your Weekly Window Shop for Fashion and Beauty Drops

Illustration for article titled Welcome to The Funk Boutique, Your Weekly Window Shop for Fashion and Beauty Drops
Photo: JustFab

Here at The Root, we celebrate Black excellence of all kinds—and so much of that excellence is embodied in the ways we influence and interpret fashion and beauty. Since The Glow Up’s founding, we’ve done deep dives on fashion and beauty in addition to a range of content centering the issues of Black women and femmes, but imagine this: You’re walking down these virtual streets and stumble across something called “The Funk Boutique” (so named for the iconic 1992 bop). Obviously, you have to stop in, and what you find is a collection of some of the best and recently released fashion and beauty finds Black creators have to offer.

Since we’re still living in a global panorama, we’re stuck with browsing the digital versions of these collections, drops and happenings, but that doesn’t stop us from finding them and celebrating the Black excellence—it’s abundant!

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Kelly Rowland x JustFab

Kelly Rowland x JustFab

In October 2020, Kelly Rowland announced her debut design collaboration with JustFab, after years as a an ambassador for their Fabletics line. Rowland’s first collection dropped on March 1, 2021, featuring a diverse collection of clothing and accessories such as tube tops, bodycon dresses, blazers, heeled sandals, sneakers and boots in pastels and neutral tones.

According to WWD, the collection itself was designed at the beginning of quarantine and inspired by the power of Greek goddesses. Rowland told Harper’s Bazaar that with respect to power, she feels “[women] are constantly fighting for that, for ourselves, for each other, for another generation, for the most simple things.” The collection is meant to help build the mentality of power in women and allow them to grow into their best selves.

“Every designer has a muse. When I began designing my collection for JustFab, I was struck by the unique situation around me,” said Rowland, adding: “With the world facing unprecedented times and on my own pregnancy journey, I was captivated by the miraculous power of women. The muse of my collection was not an individual—it was all women: their power, their creativity, their beauty. This collection was inspired by strong women with style, designed for strong women with style.”

— Kelly Rowland via JustFab

Illustration for article titled Welcome to The Funk Boutique, Your Weekly Window Shop for Fashion and Beauty Drops
Photo: JustFab

But also, can we talk about Ms. Kelly Rowland’s iconic pregnancy moments in the promotional photos for this drop? She slays in each and every photo, in all colors, all styles. She’s just doing the damn thing–that thing being powerful, beautiful and Black.

Nykhor, Warrior Collection Muse
Nykhor, Warrior Collection Muse
Image: JustFab

The “Warrior Collection” is the first of three to be released this season. The “Creative Collection” and “Grace Collection” will drop on April 1 and May 1, respectively.

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Meena Harris Burns for Bridgerton

Meena Harris Burns for Bridgerton

I Burn For You
I Burn For You
Image: Phenomenal x Bridgerton

Unless you have sworn off the internet for the last three months, you know something about Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix series Bridgerton. As it turns out, Meena Harris, CEO of Phenomenal, New York Times bestselling author and the niece of the one and only Kamala Harris burns for Bridgerton—which is why on February 24, a little over a month after Netflix confirmed the show had been renewed for a second season, Harris dropped her Phenomenal x Bridgerton sweatshirt line. The collection features iconic quotes from the show such as “Dear Reader” and “If There Is A Scandal I Shall Uncover It.”

And clearly, it’s not just us—Shonda Rhimes wishes to be entertained herself.

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Investing in Black Fashion Is Investing in Black Futures

Investing in Black Fashion Is Investing in Black Futures

Color of Change, IMG, supermodel Joan Smalls, and Black in Fashion Council have partnered to create #ChangeFashion–a roadmap for racial equity in the fashion industry. Fashion and design are such a quintessential part of Black culture, yet long appropriated by non-Black designers who take credit (and profit) for our ideas and organic style. Black in Fashion Council, an organization working directly with brands, influencers and designers along with Color of Change have published an outline that larger companies can incorporate into their businesses. #ChangeFashion provides four core recommendations and plans to execute them: divest from police, Black representation and portrayals, invest in Black talent and careers and invest in Black communities.

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On the Cultural Significance and History of Black Fashion

On the Cultural Significance and History of Black Fashion

Black Fashion History
Black Fashion History
Image: Studio 512

Korto Momolu (Project Runway S5) is a Liberian-born designer focused on creating women’s wear that encapsulates her “rich heritage through the use of traditional and luxury fabrics.” In addition to designing her own line, Momolu is the first designer featured in Studio 512’s four-part segment, “Black Fashion History,” hosted by television style expert Michelle Williams. The miniseries features three other designers: Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama’s inauguration designer Sergio Hudson, legendary designer Byron Lars, and Antthony Mark Hankins, whose episode is not yet released.

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Queen Elizabeth II Knows What’s Up, Presenting Priya Ahluwalia with Award for British Design

Queen Elizabeth II Knows What’s Up, Presenting Priya Ahluwalia with Award for British Design

British and Indian-Nigerian designer Pryia Ahluwalia received the Award for British Design as London Fashion Week came to a close via an online awards ceremony with Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Created by Queen Elizabeth II herself in 2018, Vogue reports the award honors up-and-coming designers who are “making a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement.” Ahluwalia is a menswear designer who debuted her eponymous collection at London Fashion Week. Her work is inspired by her heritage and she is fully committed to using sustainable fabrics and practices in her designs.

Besides, who wouldn’t love getting an award from the Queen herself while sitting on a plush, red velvet couch?

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Gucci Changemakers vs. Everybody

Gucci Changemakers vs. Everybody

Tommey Walker – DETROIT VS. EVERYBODY
Tommey Walker – DETROIT VS. EVERYBODY
Photo: Justin Millhouse

In 2019, Gucci announced their new initiative, Changemakers, a program meant to “foster racial diversity in both the company and the fashion industry as a whole.” The most recent collaboration through this initiative is DETROIT VS. EVERYBODY, a t-shirt line from Detroit native Tommey Walker. The VS. EVERYBODY concept embodies the unapologetic and deeply personal spirit of Detroit.

From Tommey Walker:

“My partnership with Gucci is a dream come true, not just for me and my team, but also for celebrating the city of Detroit’s cultural richness and innovation. I’ve long admired the creative genius that is Alessandro Michele and am honored and humbled that Gucci respects my work. DETROIT VS. EVERYBODY and Gucci share the same unifying ethos, to bring people together for a greater good and to transform a feeling into a cultural moment.”

In addition to Tommey Walker’s DETROIT VS. EVERYBODY collaboration, Gucci Changemakers announced the names of the 15 recipients of the 2020 Changemakers Grant. This program will not only provide opportunities to engage in Gucci’s philanthropic efforts but has awarded each individual 50,000 as of March 1, 2021, to create new programs and fund existing initiatives.

Spring 2021 Gucci Changemakers Recipients
Spring 2021 Gucci Changemakers Recipients
Image: Gucci
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Nearly Half a Million Dollars Donated to Eight Black, Female-Owned Small Businesses

Nearly Half a Million Dollars Donated to Eight Black, Female-Owned Small Businesses

On June 1, 2020, Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) made a one million dollar pledge to go towards Black-owned businesses and initiatives fighting for racial equity. Part of that pledge was to allocate and award $450,000 in the form of grants to Black Female-owned small businesses. The recipients, listed below, include women from all over the world, all with a focus on fashion, beauty, health and the arts.

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DISCUSSION