Changing the Face of Fashion: 5 African American Women That Deserve Recognition

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

Fashion has always been about change, about bringing something different and unique to the table. And in these difficult times, it’s important to remember all the magnificent people who’ve impacted the world of fashion and changed it for the better.

Here are just a few of the many African American women who’ve inspired Elements Production and who’ve made waves in the fashion industry.

Shiona Turini

Shiona Turini is instantly recognizable with her brilliant smile and always impeccable style – it’s no wonder she’s the center of attention anywhere she goes.

She started her career in the fashion industry as an intern at Yves Saint Laurent, and since then, she’s made her mark at Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and W Magazine, just to name a few.

As an experienced stylist, consultant, and costume designer, Shiona’s worked together with Solange Knowles on her “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in the Sky” projects.

She’s collaborated with Beyonce on her “Formation” video and has worked with everyone from Christian Dior and Stuart Weitzman to Nike and HBO.

Chioma Nnadi

We definitely need more black voices in the fashion industry, but Chioma Nnadi’s comes through loud and clear regardless. After finishing her degree in English and French literature, she worked at TRACE, The Evening Standard, she held a position as a style editor at The Fader, and now she’s a fashion news director at American Vogue.

Her unique take on fashion and her authentic personal style are simply breathtaking, and the way she blends her Nigerian roots with her UK experiences results in an approach to fashion that’s nothing short of magical.

Rajni Jacques

The stunning Rajni Jacques has made a name for herself both behind the camera and as the center of many fashion photoshoots. After getting her Master’s Degree, she interned at the Honey magazine, and she briefly worked for The Fader and InStyle Magazine.

She’s worked as a PR director of Christian Louboutin, as a fashion editor at Vibe, as a fashion features director at Nylon; her portfolio goes on and on, showing just how talented and experienced she is.

Currently, Rajni is a fashion director at Allure and Teen Vogue, leaving her mark and changing the world of fashion for the better.

Nikki Ogunnaike

We cannot talk about African American women in fashion without mentioning the amazing Nikki Ogunnaike. Before joining ELLE, Nikki was an assistant editor at InStyle, she worked as a fashion assistant at Vanity Fair, and was a senior fashion editor at Glamour for a while.

Today, Nikki’s a senior fashion editor of ELLE and an inspiration to millions of fans around the world.

Sandrine Charles

Last, but by no means least, we have to mention the wonderful Sandrine Charles. In 2015, she established her own PR consulting agency Sandrine Charles Consulting and has since worked with brands such as Alife, Aimé Leon Dore, Kith, Stone Island, Death to Tennis, and many many others.

Her awesome personality and professionalism are what launched her to success, and from what we’ve seen so far, she’s only just getting started.


African American women have added so much to the world of fashion and will keep on doing just that. They’re an inspiration to us all, and the women we’ve talked about here are just some of many who have made an immense impact in fashion.

If you’d like to make an impact as well, contact us for fashion photography and videography that will get you noticed.

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