Week Of Outfits Series: A Week Of Outfits That Prove Fashion Is Political With Dominique Drakeford, Founder Of Melanin & Sustainable Style
A Week Of Outfits With Dominique Drakeford From Melanin & Sustainable Style
The Good Trade’s Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention! Each woman takes her own unique approach to slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we’re excited to share a week of outfits from Dominique Drakeford, the founder and Editor-In-Chief of Melanin & Sustainable Style!
// ABOUT DOMINIQUE //
Age | 29
Location | Brooklyn, NY (But from Oakland, CA)
Job | CEO/Founder of MelaninASS & sustainable style consultant
Where To Find Her | Her personal website & Instagram and Melanin & Sustainable Style
Favorite Brand | I love too many, so I don’t have a favorite.
First and foremost my style is eclectic, which is why I have no favorite designer or store. I like everything from minimalist and simple, to chicly mixing prints, to being super comfy, all the way to being a bold and boisterous force. And I’m always mixing and matching. The one constant is that my style identity has to always reflect my values. For me, sustainability is yes, fairly traded handcrafted items and pieces that are botanically dyed and vintage/thrifted finds. But it also means supporting indie brands by POC that may or may not always be created with an environmental ethos—but have messages that support a cultural or political one. As a black woman in America, I look at many layers of cultural and social intersection which creates my understating of sustainability.
My fashion sensibility (as everyone’s should be) is very political. Even when I’m not getting “dressed up”, what I choose to put on for the day has intention and meaning. And it’s not just my clothes, it’s my adornments as well. Now more than ever, my fashion IQ reflects the emotional, cultural, and stylistic landscape that has potential to create paradigm shifts amongst those who are willing to see it.
My fashion without question reflects the mission of my blog MelaninASS (Melanin And Sustainable Style)—which is uplifting POC in the sustainable lifestyle space while also resisting, dismantling and transforming this narrative of conscious and ethical fashion/beauty. I organically use fashion as my approach to activism, as I don’t believe that they are two separate constructs. Activism is extremely broad in which I can be sharing context around happiness, just as I can be vocalizing institutionalized racism. Almost every day, I am intentional about trying to wear an environmentally- or culturally-sustainable brand created by a black woman or indigenous person of color.
My style can’t be defined, but my purpose of black freedom and POC liberation through fashion, beauty and wellness can be. On one hand my style is a pillar to challenge colonized approaches and on the other hand it’s a tool; an expression of my happiness and confidence. I fuse both of those ideologies to abstractly connect to the stories, history and traditions of the hands who created what I wear. Fashion is just another way I speak my truth, voice my opinion, spread love and share my story with our DOPE ass human beings in this world.
See more of what’s in my closet on Dom’s Conscious Closet
// Find Dominique Online //
Personal Website // Personal Instagram
Melanin & Sustainable Style // MelaninASS Instagram
Photography by Timothy Smith // Follow on Instagram
Monday’s are my favorite work day so I like my outfit to reflect the energy that I’m trying to put into my work – it sets the tone for the week. I love to stir things up with mixing prints against solids and a pop of color with the shoes. This look incorporates various sustainable elements such as vintage, fair trade, naturally dyed, hand crafted and economic development in a melaninated country!
Casa Flor Shift Dress
Thrifted Blazer from Beacon’s Closet
Thrifted Pink Boots from Buffalo Exchange
Headwrap Fabric from Ghana street market
Arts Boheme Cat’s Eye Necklace
I love to stylishly challenge norms and there’s no better way to do it than with a quoted question like this one from Andre 3000! My sister Jazmyne Drakeford has a platform selling merchandise that celebrates blackness and gives ignorance the middle finger. I’m happy to pair one of my favorite graphic tee brands with an amazing embroidered skirt and toss on some comfy mules! I love the simple and sassy classic look of this black and white theme—Janelle Monae vibes all the way.
Aggravated Youth Tee
Skirt from Rena Reborn
Bhava Ali Block Heel
Arts Boheme Necklace
A little sexy, but keeping it classy and sophisticated. Olive green (along with burnt orange) is my favorite color. In terms of color pallete, I love the mellow earth tone feel. It’s the middle of the week so I love a top that stands out with pants that says that I’m still being productive.
JSong Lace Top
Amour Vert Pants
Mamahuhu Oxford Shoes
AuraWear Necklace by Susanna Merrick
Urban Outfitters Headwrap
What can I say—I love a fun denim dress, especially when it’s upcycled! This is a cool new brand but more importantly this statement dress is brand by a woman who I instantly vibed with in a MelaninASS interview. Nothing makes me feel better about my fashion choice then stepping out into the world wearing an ethical brand by a woman of color.
Mrs. Jones Edith Dress
Thrifted Beret from Buffalo Exchange
10+ year old Chuck Taylors
After a long week, sometimes it’s best to just toss on some distressed jeans and an organic cotton tee. I think oftentimes we think style has to be this extravagant presentation, but I find that more often than not I love just rockin’ the basics. A 100% organic cotton tee that’s cut and sewn in Kenya, supporting sustainable jobs around the Wildlife Works animal sanctuary—I’m here for it!
Wildlife Works Box Tee
Urban Outfitters Rework Distressed Jeans
Urban Zen Necklace
I love mixing patterns—it gives you a way to reinvent a unique look over and over again. I love how effortless this outfit is, especially when I’m running around on Saturdays—I love to be HELLA comfortable these days.
Thrifted Top from Crossroads
Pants from my sister’s closet
Studio 189 Indigo Slides
Thrifted Hat from Beacon’s Closet
This look gives me so much life. The exaggeration from head to toe mixed with the simplicity of solid colors is the exact juxtaposition that defines my personality! Simply put—I feel like a unicorn.