Cultural Exchange

We are Multi-Dimension. We are Multi-Faceted. We are Multi-Cultural. We are Women. 

honoring the hyphen...

Individually, we are Beautiful.  Collectively, we are  Breathtaking.

Welcome to the Sisterhood!

Welcome to our conversational community. We are a sisterhood of women who are hella happy to honor this uniquely, hyphenated lifestyle. Yes, 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. I know you are probably twisting your face up like...What is a hyphenated lifestyle LAHHNNNAA? Did you misspell the intended word? LOL.. My answer is...No ma'am I did not.

A Famous Poet Once Said...

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 American bohemian cultures that go under-represented in fashion?"

What Inspired This Idea...

One of my favorite elements of the bohemian 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. When 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 a weird 1970's mini van or throwing up a peace sign at the Coachella Valley festival. THIS is not the bohemian 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 that IS relative. 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. 

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: 
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.
What I have learned after having conversations with friends from other ethnicities, is that this feeling isn't unique to only African-Americans, it's actually a shared experience and difficult dance that many hyphenated cultures have to balance. Honoring who we are is something that we try to do everyday with how we show up in spaces that others don't feel we belong in. It's burrowed deep in our optimism as we lay awake at night struggling with how to juggle the long list of tasks...knowing that our ancestors did it without all of the modern conveniences.  It's the funny cultural sayings that we tell our kids because it was told to us...and now we are sounding just like our moms...who sounded just like her mom...and so on.  We all have these connections, these struggles, these questions as women.   And this is perfectly ok.  You derserve support, you deserve balance.  Your story deserves to be read and amplified.  This is the promise of Emorie Jordon.  This is what makes us our own subculture, a sisterhood if you will.  If this reasonates with you, then welcome Sis, we are so happy to have you.  -Lahna   

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