it’s javii’s world

June 14, 2012

AFROPUNKS! You already know that how you wear it is more important than what you wear. Meet Javii, a member of the AFROPUNK community, and our new fashion partner. For the last six weeks, we’ve been working with her to host pop-up street style shoots around NYC. (Big thanks to all the kids who have come out already!!)

Now, Javii will be coming at you every week with news, interviews and photo shoots–including behind-the-scenes looks—from inside the photo studio to out on the street where real style lives. To join us and show the world how your look tells your story, check out our FB page every Wednesday for details on the next street shoot!

By Whitney Summer
If you ask Javii how she garnered more than 175,000 followers in less than two years for her Tumblr site, Black Fashion, her response comes without a hint of hesitation.

“People want to see fashionable images of themselves and other people who look like them,” Javii Lawrence, 21, said at a photo session last Saturday. “People my age are defining their own fashion sense. I want my site to represent them.”

Type “Black Fashion” into your Web browser and Javii’s solo run site is the first thing that pops up. Scrolling through the site, hundreds of images of beautifully clad 18-20 something-year-olds are displayed, showcasing their individual style sense– ranging from printed long blouses, grunge every day mixed with perfectly arranged accessories.

Click on the tab for Memphis or Howard, and you can also see images of students dressed on their college campus.
However overwhelmed by the success of her site, Javii plans to continue to build her audience (she wants 100,000 by the end of the summer) and has recently partnered with and photographer, Phil Knott, to produce a series of street style photographs of fashion trends around New York that catch her eye.

Last week, Javii and Phil set up a make-shift photo studio on Prince and Broadway in Manhattan, as Javii intensely scouted through crowds of people walk by. As soon as she found a stylish person that captured her attention, she would sprint across the street (disregard the color-blocked Zara stilettos she was wearing) and request for them to take a photo for her site.

And she sprinted after many different looks in the process. For Javii, inspiration for fashion comes from more than just the clothes that people wear, but more the way they wear it.

“I feel like people should not have to say a word when they walk into a room. Their presence should be enough,” Javii said. “That is what inspires me.”

Javii started Black Fashion after one of her school mates told her that she dressed nicely for a person of color.

Abandoning an early Web project she was working on, Blazers and Heels, Javii immediately started Black Fashion, posting images of stylish Black people found on the internet as well as photos that people began to send her. In a few months, her followers increased by 110 percent. It was clear to her that people were seeking this content.
Javii’s latest goals are not only to increase viewership, but also to improve the quality of the images on her site while expanding fashion coverage of more college campuses.

At some point, she said, she wants to go back to college to study journalism to gain editorial experience.
But until then, Javii, who plans to be the voice of defining her generations evolving fashion identity, also just wants to make people more aware of the diversity of fashion trends in her community.

“I’m trying to incorporate everyone,” she said, “I want to showcase it all.”