Black Female Style Icons That Inspire Ivy Reina
Growing up one of the things that made me want to go into fashion was the lack of representation of black females in the industry. I remember going out of my way to write research papers on the lack of representation for black females and with that, I learned a lot about the women that are in the industry. In celebration of international women’s month, I want to share with you some of the style icons of the past and present that inspire Ivy Reina.
Queen Zelda Wynn Valdes
We’ve all seen the infamous Playboy Bunny suit. You know the bunny ears, strapless corset, pantyhose, bow tie, collar, and cuffs with the fluffy cottontail. However, did you know that this outfit was designed by a black woman? So, from now on when you think of the playboy bunny suit you need to think of a black woman. Queen Zelda Wynn Valdes is the designer of the original playboy bunny costume from the 1940s. Her legacy lives on as the ultimate sexy costume. She helped to define what it means to have clothing that fits curvy women.
Queen Donyale Luna
Speaking of supermodels, the first black female was Queen Donyale Luna. In the 1960s Donyale was breaking racial barriers. This queen was the first African American woman to be featured on the cover of British Vogue. She was making a name for herself in both film and print during a time when black women were fighting to be recognized for the beautiful women that we are. She wasn’t as clean a pristine as some of her counterparts but she was the first and locked 11 covers under her belt between 1965-1975. It’s the breaking barrier for me.
Queen Ann Lowe
So many of our grandmother’s wedding dresses were inspired by Jackie O. aka Jackie Kennedy, you know the socialite and wife of President John F. Kennedy. I’m guessing that you didn’t know the designer of that dress was a black female designer by the name of Ann Low. Queen Ann became known as America’s best-kept secret in high society as she was the designer behind some of the most elegant dresses of the 1950s but because she was a black woman she didn’t get the credit she rightfully deserved. Even though her work was featured in many magazines she didn’t receive credit for all of those beautifully designed dresses. Now her work can be seen in the fashion museums of FIT in New York, as well as, the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
Rihanna is one of the women of today that never ceases to amaze me. From her chart-topping albums to her amazing makeup collection her talent out of this world. Even before Savage X-Fenty she always had a great sense of style. It was the asymmetrical bob that first turned my head. I can remember wanted to cut my hair to that style for all of high school and finally attempting it my senior year. I personally love how she pulls off any style she wants from her edgier BDSM-inspired styles to her soft fem styles. I love how she proves that the confidence in knowing who you are is all you need to pull off any look. She inspires me to make sure Ivy Reina always stays size inclusive. No matter what she is wearing she always looks like a fucking boss.
As a native Texan, I cannot talk about style icons without mentioning Beyonce. I know you don’t need a paragraph telling you about her amazing career as a singer, actress, and designer. So I will just talk about how she sets the standard for curvy fashion. I admire how throughout her career she has never been ashamed of her thickness. One of my favorite quotes from her came from her recent collab with Meg the Stallion, “If you don’t jump to put jeans on then you don’t feel my pain.” When it comes to finding styles for curvy women I do my best to follow in the footsteps laid about by the ultimate curvy queen herself. From House of Dareon to Ivy Park Queen Bey has always shown us that there is a name for her in fashion.
I am not ashamed to admit there was a time when every single black girl I knew (including myself) identified as a Barbie. We have Queen Nicki to thank for that. Taking the rap game by storm in 2007 with her mixtape Playtime Is Over, this queen has not stopped setting trends sense. I personally fell in love with the queen when I listened to the Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape. Looking into her I realized I already had the Bangs might as well just add the chunky jewelry and colorful clothing to set it off. This curvy queen inspired me to embrace bright colors and wild prints into my personal style, as well as, the styles that Ivy Reina presents to you.
Queen Keke Palmer
Queen Keke is one of the style icons I feel like I grew up with. It was when True Jackson VP first came out that I fell in love with her style. The show was based in the career that I wanted and she was a black female lead. More recently, I fell in love with how she embraces her natural beauty and lets nothing hold her back. Queen Keke is everything that Ivy Reina represents, she is confident, sexy free, bold, and fearless. Not to mention she’s talented and hilarious. This singer/actress can do anything and we adore her. She is showing us all that you can be young and still be an absolute Icon. I can’t wait to see all that she becomes as she continues to Glow Up.