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The young, bold, stylish multi-racial blogger and influencer @ayzia_ (aka Ayzia à la Mode) is one of our very favorite influencers. She stands out from the crowd with her colorful style and lately, her bold opinions on issues surrounding equality and diversity. We virtual chatted this month about blogging in 2020, supporting black voices and businesses, and of course, fashion and food!

Let’s talk about how much it feels like the world is changing this year. What does it mean to be a black influencer right now?

2020 has been an interesting year! My birthday was in January. I actually threw a big blogger brunch for it, and it feels like a lifetime ago now. Covid definitely meant I had to change things up on my page. I really started relying more on the “lifestyle” aspect of my page, and talked about my virtual happy hours and stay at home style. I always want to stay relatable and aware of current events.

I have been posting on my social media pages about issues surrounding racial injustice for a long time, in fact, just this morning I was reminded that 3 years ago  I posted about Philando Castile and 2 years ago I posted about Antwon Rose. It is good to see others also stand up right now and say “enough is enough.” I welcome the outpouring of love and support that black businesses, creatives, and holidays have received these last few weeks. I hope we can continue to build on it!

What is the best thing you think brands can do to support change?

I think the best thing brands can do is simply to be authentic! We can tell which brands are just releasing statements, and which brands are releasing statements and actively doing work to help. For each brand this will be different. Maybe some brands don’t currently have any BIPOC on staff, maybe some brands have never donated to organizations, maybe some brands have never recognized black holidays, maybe some brands have never had strong representation in their advertising using black models, maybe some brands have never worked with black influencers...I think now is the time for brands to ask themselves what they are doing to support their black team members, and what they are doing to support the black community.

 

Who are some of your favorite black-owned brands? One of ours is the sister team @celsious_social running an (eco)friendly modern laundry in Brooklyn. 

I actually just did a blog post featuring five of my favorite black owned fashion brands! You can check it out here!

Let’s talk about fashion and sustainability. As you know, we’re all about pushing the boundaries of sustainable fashion. How do you see fashion changing?

I am all about this! I think we were already starting to go in that direction, and I definitely think that we will continue to build on it post Covid. I think that people will be looking for staple pieces made of sustainable fabrics by companies with sustainable practices. People are going to care a lot more about each individual purchase they are making. I think we’re going to shift away from fast fashion.

I know you love to share your foodie finds, can you tell us how you’re using your platform to support local eateries?

One of the things I love to do the most on my blog and my Instagram page is to feature local small businesses. I have a series called #AyzEats where I feature local eateries. This has been such a wonderful way to get involved in my community, meet local small business owners, and help to bring awareness to the businesses in my community! It’s important to me to support small businesses as much as I can, and I love getting to share them with my followers who are also mostly NYC/Philly/NJ based!

 

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