I’m so excited to announce I’m in today’s Arts Section of the Boston Globe! Staff writer Christopher Muther does a weekly “Instagram Fashion” Q&A with a stylish Bostonian, and this week, I’m the featured Instagrammer (@thefashionsauce)—and he also featured one of my favorite shots by my faithful photographer and best friend, Amanda Rosen. Since the interview was condensed, I’d like to take a moment to elaborate on my last answer, in which I discuss how people often discriminate against and underestimate fashion enthusiasts. Muther included the whole story of my harshest encounter with this particular kind of condescension, but left out my feelings on the subject. In the full interview, I said, “It’s ironic how some people who identify as intellectuals can be superficial and ignorant enough to assume another person lacks depth based on appearances alone.” I think the notion that style and intellect are inherently separate can be extremely harmful, and I strive to diffuse that stereotype. I started this blog not just because I love writing and fashion, but also to demonstrate the artistry of personal style, because fashion is many things, but first and foremost, it is art. Yes, the story I tell in the interview was, in fact, “a major blow to my academic confidence,” but my story didn’t end there. I went on to find that confidence in college, where I had the opportunity to work with Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose name you may recognize from her amazing literary accomplishments, and/or because Beyoncé sampled Adichie reading a feminist speech in the song “Flawless.” In 2012, I participated in a writing internship/workshop with five wonderful authors, and Adichie was one of them. Considering her résumé, I think it’s safe to say that my fellow interns and I felt particularly intimidated by the idea of working with Adichie. What could we possibly say or offer to this young woman who’d earned a MacArther Genius Grant? When she arrived to her welcoming reception, I was, honestly, relieved to see her wearing an adorable printed dress, beautifully complimented by a printed headscarf (I believe it’s traditionally called an ichafu in Nigeria)—mixing prints is difficult business! Still, I couldn’t quite work up the nerve to approach her, so I chatted quietly with a few other female interns. I was telling them about a pair of killer five-and-a-half-inch platforms I had just ordered, when suddenly, Adichie’s head popped into our circle. She said, “Are we talking about shoes? Because that is, like, my favorite subject.” As you can imagine, we bonded instantly, and I was overjoyed recently to see a personal essay she wrote titled “Why Can’t A Smart Woman Love Fashion?” trending on Facebook and Twitter. Our time together, and her essay, continue to give me so much hope and validation. Times are changing. No one should have to forgo their passions or self-expression to be taken seriously, so wear what you love, and wear it with pride.
My signed copy of The Thing Around Your Neck, complete with a drawing of me in my platforms.