When we first started brainstorming concepts for our fashion editorial for Volume Six with contributing editor Rajni Jacques and photographer Ekua King, it was six months into a global pandemic and in the midst of a long overdue—and ongoing—racial reckoning.
Given the freedom to tell whatever story they wanted, the two decided to forgo fashion and instead create a quiet and hopeful visual representation of the world they wanted to see, for themselves and for others. “Rising Son” pays homage to generations of Blackness, past and future, through King’s soft imagery and Jacques’ hand-painted layers.
In Rajni’s words:
“Honestly, photographer Ekua King and I both didn’t have the capacity to create a fashion story. We were, simply put, over it. We started talking about the state of the world (again) and the heaviness of being Black. We are always heavy and never light. We are always traumatized and never soothed. It came about via a conversation on wanting to feel joy despite it all.
“Visually, I wanted this to feel calming. I wanted this to feel like a vacation from the world these young boys live in. I wanted the paintings to sit on top of a photographic visual that evoked serenity.”
Join us on Friday at 1 PM ET on Instagram for a discussion of “Rising Son” as well as Rajni’s work with Building Black Bed-Stuy, a foundation that aims to protect and preserve the Black community in Bed-Stuy and beyond by providing financial relief for Black-owned businesses and organizations. Help us meet our goal to raise $1,000 for Building Black Bed-Stuy by donating here ahead of Friday’s live conversation.