Written By: Constance Funches
Kristopher Fraser is a fashion editor and stylist with a notable career. The Columbia University alum has written and styled shoots for a variety of publications. Although he has had a passion for the glamorous industry since he was a child, he explored other avenues prior to settling down as a “fashion godfather.”
“I’ve always had an interest in fashion. When I was much younger my mother used to bring home copies of Ocean Magazine which is a Miami based publication, I grew up in Miami. My favorite part about it was the advertisements and seeing the Dior, the Chanel, [and the] Valentino. Then when I was sixteen I took a very strong interest in politics. I went to liberal arts college sort of unclear as to what I’d do. I was a triple major, Theater, English, and Politics when I was in undergrad,” says Fraser.
The current political climate in the United States and its connection to the fashion industry has been reflecting itself in mainstream news. A recent CNN article stated that “Clothing is one of the most visible ways people express their politics, and in the first year of the Trump administration, political clothing made news early and often.”
As a result of “Trump politics,” fashion brands connected with the current administration have suffered. Ivanka Trump, daughter of the President of the United States, the fashion brand has been pulled from Nordstrom’s Department from “lack of support.” Although Fraser has not expressed any personal opinions on the first daughter’s fashion line, he does believe that fashion and politics have a strong and influential relationship.
“The two really go hand and hand now. [Especially] countries like the United States and the U.K. where fashion is a very globalized thing, we have a duty on to ourselves to fight against that. The way the business models for fashion companies work now, very few if any of them could survive off this whole nationalist approach to policies and politics that you see the far right trying to take. This season [politics] wasn’t as blatant as it was last year Fall/Winter 2017 where you saw a lot of designers very much try to find ways to place messages across T-Shirts and find other ways to say things to rebel against “Trump-ism” and nationalists views.”
Fraser continues to state that fashion being a reactionary industry is part of what keeps politics at the forefront of conversation.
“I think with last season, Fashion Week was coming fresh off the inauguration front so that’s why you saw a lot of designers [creating] all these feminist T-Shirts…pro-immigrations messages…immigration T-Shirts, things like that. It was reactionary. Fashion, of course, is a very reactionary thing, we reacted to the economy when it tanked during the recession. We reacted when maximalism came back. There is an element of a trend there but I think the other thing it’s we don’t want to keep beating people over the head with the same message. However, at the same time, designers try to say things about women’s empowerment without putting women’s empowerment on a T-Shirt or a dress. They create designs to make women feel pretty and make women feel powerful.”
The former Avenue Magazine editor and current fashion stylist may not be headed work on “Capitol Hill” but, he definitely has the eyes for style, the head for politics, and a passion for fashion.
FashionUnited. “A day in the life of FashionUnited editor Kristopher Fraser.” Fashionunited, fashionunited.uk/news/people/a-day-in-the-life-of-fashionunited-editor-kristopher-fraser/2016082321500.
Fraser, Kristopher . LinkedIn, LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/krisfashion1/.
“Kristopher Fraser, Author at Avenue Magazine.” Avenue Magazine, www.avenuemagazine.com/author/kfraser/.
“Kristopher Fraser (@krisfashion1) • Instagram photos and videos.” Instagram, www.instagram.com/krisfashion1/.
Delgado, Henry Navarro. “When fashion becomes a political statement.” CNN, Cable News Network, 31 Jan. 2018, www.cnn.com/style/article/fashion-influence-politics-and-culture/index.html.
Schwarz, Hunter. “Fashion and politics in the age of Trump.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 Jan. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/01/19/politics/fashion-and-politics-in-the-age-of-trump/index.html.
Photo by: Dudugontijo.com
This interview has been edited and condensed. The article was created for the Academy of Art University. Authorization has been granted for this article to be published on LoveAlwaysConstance.com.