by: Lahna Duke
Welcome to our conversational community. We are a group of women who are hella happy to honor this uniquely, hyphenated lifestyle. It's taken me years to get to this space and spread out in it. I'm talking about laying down in it, spreading my limbs and flapping these lil arms up and down like I'm creating snow angels. If you are not at this point yet, trust me...it comes with time. My hope for those of you who are in your journey of individual or cultural discovery, is that we can support you and share any knowledge we have as we grow through these unique experiences together.
Ok, so here's what brought the term "Hyphen-Nation" about. The late American poet Tony Morrison once stated in an interview in 1992: “In this country, American means white. ... Everybody else has to hyphenate.” When I read this, my mouth literally fell open...because I had never realized this concept before. How had I never caught on to this? Initially, it really bothered me that this was the norm. It played around in my thoughts for a while. But, as I started to ask myself "why did you start the EJ brand", one concept kept flashing in my memory... "how to bring awareness to the naturalist cultures that go under-represented in fashion?"
What Inspired This Brand?
One of my favorite elements of the cultural style aesthetic is the gooorrgeous mixing of PRINTS and layers! I adore florals (although not all are created equal), geometric prints, and symbolic printed fabrics...especially when seamlessly mixed to make eye-catching designs. I will talk more about this obsession in a later post. In my experience from traveling, professional studies, and design research, most geometric prints and symbolisms originate from various cultures around the world. What has bothered me is that it has been so difficult to find women of various cultures represented in mainstream spaces.
If you research Bohemian style, the results that pop up on search engines and social sites typically show one clear aesthetic....tall, thin women with long straight hair posed by the staple 1970's Volkswagon mini van or throwing up a peace sign at the Coachella Valley festival. THIS is not the experience myself nor many women of culture (that I know) can relate to. And that's ok. But we must be willing to show the world other relative lifestyle experiences. So, the idea came to me...I would love to support a brand that I can relate to...that makes me feel seen and understood. This is my inspiration for Emorie Jordon.
CULTURAL ENRICHMENT TO STYLE
We discuss how our various cultures has elements that has enriched the fashion world and the overall style for the modern American woman.
CONVERSATION & BUSINESS INTRODUCTIONS
There are conversations that can be difficult to have about our various communities. Here, we welcome those topics in order to educate each other as sisters.
SUSTAINABLE SYTLE: ECO-LOVE
Are you a Wander Woman? On your travels, you and nature vibe naturally. You love the beauty in all of your explorations. Well you will love what your community is sharing about environmentally beautiful locations.
Hey...theres is a lot of misconceptions of what eco-fashion or sustainable fashion. We aim to crush each myth 1 by 1 and show you how rewarding it feels to become more eco-friendly.
Appreciation versus Appropriation
As an African-American, it's been tough to see other African Americans being called out for cultural appropriation when wearing African attire. For example, I've seen others called out for wearing Dutch prints and headpieces without understanding the meaning or practicing the culture. I think we do it to feel tied to something greater, something more honorable like the pre-enslavement African culture. If I'm honest with you, it gives me an uneasiness because how do we reconcile the feeling of not quite having a sense of belonging in your ancestral country nor in your country of birth? But what I do know, and what I have witnessed...is that my mother, grandmother and great grandmother put their livelihoods on the line just so their daughters and sons would feel loved...even when they did not. They learned to sew, cook, read, play piano and so many other things so we would have culture and traditions here. This is what I celebrate. They are who I honor with this brand because they were makers. They were stylish. They believed in Sisterhood.