For five glorious seasons, “Insecure” has dotted our Sunday nights, social media feeds and group chats. The life, loves and friendships of Issa Dee and her group of young, ambitious and thriving black women have become part of the zeitgeist, and all of our lives feel a little more empty knowing their stories have come to an end. (as far as we’ve seen) when the HBO series finale aired on December 26. We’ve evolved with these characters over the years, through their relationship failures, career milestones, and all-round hijackings that they made us laugh, cry, scream and every other human emotion we could evoke. Their personal development was not always linear, which made their travels even more real. What remained a constant, however, was the how fashion reflected and progressed each character’s narrative.
Like the music in the series, the on-screen wardrobe featured the creators of emerging Black, an effort led by “Insecure” co-creator and star Issa Rae and costume designers Ayanna James and Shiona Turini. For five seasons, these smaller labels have effortlessly played alongside famous names like Gucci and Oscar de la Renta, becoming known themselves around the world thanks to the power of entertainment and social media. (Each character’s appearance was quickly identified and tagged airing after the episode.) It’s a synergy that quickly became part of the show’s legacy, right along with the storylines, character development, and background. south of Los Angeles.
“‘Insecure’ has created a strong dark-centered movement on television, from black experiences to black characters to black love to black elegance, in a way so recognizable that has never been done before,” says the Diarrablu designer. Diarra Bousso. “It’s easy to identify with them, and as a result, it’s also easy to see yourself in their style. ‘Insecure’ is basically saying to the black community, ‘Everything about you, your style, your darkness, is so amazing.'”
The Bousso brand appeared in the last season of “Insecure”, worn by the beloved Kelli Prenny (played by the brilliant Natasha Rothwell). After the accountant-slash-podcaster was spotted wearing a Diarrablu robe and pants suit, the brand saw a growing demand for the already best-selling styles.
According to Bousso, Diarrablu’s Instagram coverage was also the highest ever achieved in the entire month and received a repost from Amanda Seales, who played Tiffany on the show. Another important development that emerges from the merit of the outfit: “We immediately received some requests from other television programs for our kimonos and headdresses in various prints”. It was a moment of great pride overall, with tons of DM from Diarrablu fans.
“I think ‘Insecure’ was the first time in a long time black brands were given priority, while still solidifying each character’s personal fashion identity,” says stylist and content creator Kelly Augustine. “Shiona Turini’s work will be forever immortalized in these characters. I think the success of many of the black brands and artists shown has encouraged other shows – and not just black-focused media – to include black designers in the fold. There has been a lot of success since 2020 for so many of our favorites. ” (Some of her favorite fashion moments from the series include Kelli’s blue bathing suit for the beach party and Issa’s flash-forward looks, both from Season 5, and Lawrence’s Best Buy polo.)
The designer of K.ngsley Kingsley Gbadegesin compares the cultural impact of fashion in “Insecure” to that of “Sex and the City”, underlining how having his models on the series has given his brand an important visibility, necessary for a line which launched just a little over a year ago.
“My tank was in the infamous scene where Issa asks Nathan to spend the night,” says Gbadegesin. “Sharing the news on my social media was like wildfire and I was able to see immediate sales from the exhibit. It was also great to see people who knew the brand being equally enthusiastic and tag us in their social media stories when they saw the scene It seemed that it was not just a K.ngsley thing, but a we what.”
Seeing his projects on the small screen was fundamental for Gbadegesin personally: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now that the series has come to an end. “As someone who has followed the show since it aired and followed the lives of these characters, being cemented into their legacy was something beyond my wildest dreams,” he says. “Especially with how it’s tied to storytelling; the producers and Shiona did their thing for the final season.”
Victor Glemaud is also a huge fan of “Insecuro”. He’s been watching from the start, every Sunday, certainly not something he does with any other show. “This show was authentic and celebrated the culture,” he says. “He celebrates fashion and all the characters are completely thought of in terms of style. I think it will be his fashion legacy and the legacy of the whole show. He’s fun, smart, witty, sexy and real.”
It was fantastic for his namesake brand to be featured multiple times on “Insecure” over the course of five seasons, as a small part in something that’s bigger than Glemaud or his label. “People really remember the clothes,” he says. “We designers need a collection and transform it into reality.”
A special moment stands out for him: a yellow and white striped turtleneck and a chevron miniskirt from Resort ’20 (pictured above). “Shiona put a mustard yellow leather shirt from another brand on it,” he says. “After he contacted and ordered the look, I forgot why television takes so long to air. And when it happened in Season 4, it wasn’t just about the look and the way it was designed, but about the way it was designed. Issa Dee’s character was doing and how that scene was shot. It took the drawings somewhere else that was beautifully visible, powerful and really exciting. “
It is this kind of context and connection that these small black-owned fashion brands want to continue to see from costume designers, stylists and the fashion industry at large.
“Every single piece was designed by a black woman in the episode ‘Insecure’ where my models were featured,” says Bousso. “Can you imagine what it would be like if every TV show did it for at least one episode? It’s these little actions that can spark change in an industry where legacy brands have so much power and where there’s little room for newbies. our work is a way to keep the conversation relevant and welcome innovation. “
Augustine has seen a rise in black designers used in a slew of other hit TV series over the past year, including “Gossip Girl” and “And Just Like That,” and she wants the costume designers to keep the same energy. Gbadegesin wishes the same, with the hope that designers will continue to support black talent and pass the baton.
“It’s nice to have access to the conglomerate’s brands, but there was something so amazing about being on a show like ‘Insecure’ and seeing my peers like Aisling Camp, House of Aama and Honey Fucking Dijon shown like this,” he said he says.
Glemaud believes that all big shows understand the impact of fashion and wants costume designers and those who work on television to learn how “Insecure” approached the style of his characters.
“Fashion plays its part, and this can be helped by unknown brands, not just high-end luxury labels,” he says. “Smaller brands and vintage are also important. You can find something beautiful on The RealReal or in a store, the same. Costume and stylists should go out there and explore new brands and designers.”
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