Celebrating Real Women Everyday | A Word from D'IYANU
In continued celebration of women’s history month, we are so very fortunate to have the Founder & CEO of D’IYANU here on our weekly blog: Addie Elabor. She is dedicated, creative, and full of amazing ideas. Her company, D’IYANU, celebrates African heritage with stylish, contemporary clothing for the whole family. In this blog post, we explore what Addie has to say in regard to diversity, celebrating women, and the importance of both societally.
“Representation matters” is a phrase that has been floating around for a while now and I’m glad because of the truth within that statement. To believe we belong, we’re accepted, or something is attainable for us, it helps us to be able to see ourselves represented in all our complexities and diverse forms.
There has been a history of women of color being excluded from the table, lacking comparable representation as other races in the worlds of politics, medicine, and business.
Collectively, we (black women) have had to work twice as hard to prove our value, intelligence, and authority. This was not a reflection of our actual ability, but more so the result of inherent biases. So, to be a young girl of color growing up, it may have been rare to see your mother leaving home to occupy positions of influence. But this does not mean we did not have Black women doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. We most certainly did. But with all that black women are contributing as people, it would seem as though we should be more strongly represented in these spaces.
Fortunately, as time goes on, we are seeing greater representation of women of color in powerful positions. Even companies are catching on as we see more diversity and acceptance in the media, fashion, and various workplaces with brands joining the “Inclusive Revolution.” Rihanna’s Fenty brands and Dove’s campaigns are just a few companies highlighting people of all races, shapes, sizes, and abilities. This is progress that must be appreciated and continued.
When I launched D’IYANU back in 2014, I wanted to create a clothing brand that empowered both women and men to express their cultural pride.
I wanted the people who wore D’IYANU to feel confident in their uniqueness. Then and now, representation and authenticity are at the forefront of everything we do at D’IYANU. We show models of all shapes, sizes, and features to celebrate the African diaspora and empower women to embrace who they are even in their “perfectly imperfect” state. Gone are the days of shopping with brands who don’t recognize and appreciate our differences. Outside of the clothes, I wear the responsibility of being an inspiration and example to girls who look like me as a badge of honor.
Each woman who breaks barriers in her profession is proof of what is possible for the young girls watching from the sidelines.
During women’s history month, we take the time to acknowledge the contributions of women, but imagine the impact we could have if we made a point to celebrate and empower all women in their most authentic state on a daily basis? What if we allowed women to take their rightful seat at the table without pushing them to work twice as hard as men (with less pay) to prove themselves? Building up this sense of pride and fairly rewarding women wouldn’t only impact them directly, but it would also create a world where healthy self-esteem and self-respect are modeled for our children. It’s a boomerang effect where love, acceptance, and respect are given and received. Everyone benefits when women are supported and represented. So, let’s remember that today, and everyday, we have the power to be the change we would like to see in the world.