If you are, like me, a person with no sense of style and a stomach paunch, you might understand why dressing for a fashion show would be a psychological challenge. The day before my first one, I begged my best-dressed co-worker to chaperone my visit to a fast-fashion outlet. I’d coveted a pleated gold-foil skirt I’d seen on the store’s website. My co-worker had approved the skirt on the model. I tried it on. She did not approve it on me. In person, the gold foil looked cheap, the waistband of the skirt unflattering. Instead, she picked out a rose-colored accordion skirt that I would never have thought to buy. I put it on the next morning. Four hours later, I spilled steak juice all down my front.

African American Fashion, African Fashion, Elaine Welteroth, African American News, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Maybe another person would have given up at that point, but I was on my way to meet Elaine Welteroth, the editor in chief of Teen Vogue. Hired at 29, she is the youngest-ever editor in chief of a Condé Nast publication, and only the second black woman to hold the title there. Since taking over the magazine last year, she has become a personality of sorts, appearing as herself on ABC’s ‘‘black-ish’’ and being photographed cuddled up to celebrities: the Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, the actors Gabrielle Union and Aja Naomi King. As I headed to the Coach fall show this February, I found myself growing increasingly nervous to meet her. It wasn’t that she was famous, really. But I spent a significant portion of my adolescence fantasizing about running my own teen magazine, and, like her, I am a young, black New York-based editor with curly hair and myopia. She was famous to me.

African American Fashion, African Fashion, Elaine Welteroth, African American News, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

African American Fashion, African Fashion, Elaine Welteroth, African American News, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNRichard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes Lions | Photo Credit

African American Fashion, African Fashion, Elaine Welteroth, African American News, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNABC/Eric McCandless | Photo Credit


W.E.B. DU BOIS | CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, EDUCATOR, JOURNALIST

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and supported Pan-Africanism.

Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Du Bois wrote extensively and was the best known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. Du Bois died in Ghana in 1963. (Biography.com).


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