Designer Frederick Anderson has been in the fashion industry for more than 20 years now, launching a variety of brands like Douglas Hannant and, most recently, the Hanley Mellon lifestyle sportswear label. Now that he’s decided to step out on his own, Anderson’s first collection, Black Like Me (which launched yesterday), is a move in a new direction — one that celebrates black culture and its fashion legacy.
While the collection — which is full of elegant separates, intricate sequin detailing, and feminine silhouettes — is remarkable on its own, Anderson has another reason to be proud: He’s using his platform to further the conversation about racism in America. The spoken-word video below explores how we define race in today’s society. Anderson asks, “If black is my race yet it’s not a color, then should I be defined by all colors, and therefore all the races that have impacted my specific black hue? Though many people insist on seeing people as colors, I think most Americans, like my collection, are black like me in all its layers.”