Gossamers have been a part of fashion for decades.
But, in 2016, a new generation of women took to the streets in a way that has not been seen since the first Black Lives Matter marches in the 1960s.
They are wearing Essie.
The women are wearing the brand.
They’re wearing the clothing.
The brand is there.
And so, now, as we look to 2018, is it too soon to be thinking about the Essies that were worn by the first generations of women?
And if not, why not?
For many of the Essigos that were first worn in the 1980s, their history is more important than the product they’re making.
“The Essies, for me, is a very important piece of history.
That’s why we’re going back to them, to tell our stories,” says Valerie Lefebvre.
“Because they are an important part of our history.
The first generation of black women started wearing the clothes in the 1970s, as the brand began to diversify into more than just underwear. “
It was really important to me to get to know the women who wore the Essigs, the women that wore the pieces that were made by the women,” she says.
The first generation of black women started wearing the clothes in the 1970s, as the brand began to diversify into more than just underwear.
Today, more than 1.5 million of the brand’s iconic products are produced.
“Essies is an iconic brand for me.
It’s not just my collection, it’s the history and the heritage of the company,” says Lefemvre.
Essie’s history is also a part-time job for Lefelves and her sister, Mimi.
They make clothes for a living.
“We do this every day.
And it’s really exciting because we are on the front line,” she said.
“I get to take care of all the children that are at school, we get to make all the clothes for them, and I do that for a really long time.”
The first ever Essie Collection was made by a woman in 1978.
In addition to the underwear, a small collection of accessories, jewelry and other items were also produced by women of color, like Mimi Lefelebvre.
“We have so many of these women who were so integral to our company, and we’re so proud to work with them on the Essiegos that we’ve created,” says Liz Leferev, a director at Essie Group International.
“This is something we’re very proud of and we want to make sure that they are celebrated for all of their contributions and that they can live up to the history of this brand.”
The women that started it all have now turned the world on to a whole new world of fashion.
In 2017, a group of women went to Paris to show the world what a beautiful place the women of the world can be.
Their show, called the Esserie Tour, drew over 30,000 people to Paris Fashion Week.
“Our world is really vibrant, it is a wonderful place,” says Essie CEO Michelle M. Williams.
“And what we want for women, what we’re trying to do, is we want women to look at our brands and say, ‘I want that for myself, too,'” says Lerev.
“So, yes, we want it for everyone.”
Essie has also launched a new women’s clothing line called Essie, that will feature designs inspired by the fashion of the first and second generations of black people.
And, the company has made a big commitment to make its collection more inclusive.
“Black women are not seen as a separate category.
We know we have a lot to learn, but we want that to be our focus,” says Williams.
And for the first time ever, the Essegos will be wearing a black turtleneck in 2018.
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