Amanda "Luxe" , 26, Fashion Creative and Entrepreneur
Amanda Moore-Karim, freelance omni buying assistant, independent wardrobe stylist and aspiring visual/creative director in fashion photography. Originally from a small Southwest suburb in Chicago, IL. "With my editorial stories and creative projects, my aim is to address racial politics through imagery and highlight the radiance that is the 'hidden minority'."
IG: @amandaluxe & @luxyhaus
Where do you pull inspiration from?
My experiences mostly. As a Black woman who works so relentlessly to thrive in an industry that doesn’t cater to my racial class, I find it my responsibility to express myself and what I experience through my work and create content that other people of color find relatable.
What has been one of your favorite projects?
Loaded question! I love all of my projects for different reasons. For BK Chromatic, it was the challenge of finding hues of pink apparel and accessories that were appealing enough to make monogram outfits I loved; For Bullet, it was how seamless the creativity of that shoot came together (plus I got to play with confetti)! For SiammPatra’s Sweet Tooth lookbook, it was me experiencing product styling for the first time and creating more conceptual fashion photography. And for my MAN project, it was the challenge of styling for menswear!
If I have to CHOOSE a favorite, I will always have a soft spot for the Jumping Colors II: #ImNotYourEnemy project. Mainly because the movement behind poet activist, Tayllor Johnson’s, message hit home for me. Her message that women of color can pass by each other and not subconsciously feel like they are enemies was extremely moving! (And something I know ALL Black women have felt). It was her audaciousness and courage to surface a conversation that so many people within our community bypassed and never sat down to discuss. For a woman who has always been eccentric, charismatic and quirky, I always felt like I could never fit in with the cool girls on campus. I used to think that I was too loud, too hyper or too wild to ever start new conversations with other black women and they would actually like me. I was always different. So, with these personal experiences, I felt God put me in the right place at the right time with meeting Tayllor and chose me to bring her vision to life.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m in the development stages of producing my own fashion publication, Luxy Haus. Luxy Haus will be a quarterly print magazine filled with visual editorial projects from some of the most moving emerging creatives of color in the industry. The mission of the magazine is to focus on socio-political issues while simultaneously highlighting the power of cultural influence in the fashion industry. This publication would be an extension of my love child, amandaluxe – my personal branding platform marketing me as a visual artist in fashion styling. Amandaluxe was formerly a fashion blog where I discussed my personal views on established businesses and emerging designers within the industry as well as showcase mini visual projects that I used to work on. Having the opportunity to combine the old platform of amandaluxe with this modern version is something I find extremely exciting yet still frightening af. I know diving into the independent publication industry is a risky one due to the competitive landscape but I don’t think I’m scared. Nervous? Absolutely! But not scared. I recently acknowledged that everything I want in life is on the other side of fear and I’d be damned if I let fear stand in the way of my success.
The official website is set to launch in October 2017 and the first issue has an anticipated release date of December 2017 (preferably on my mother’s birthday). Those willing to follow my team and me along for the journey – they can enter through the ground floor and subscribe to www.luxyhaus.com and follow @luxyhaus on Instagram for updates!
What are some of your goals for the near future?
Besides taking over the world? In hindsight, the goal is to be an influencer. Not the egotistical ideology of what an influencer (i.e. public figure) is but someone to look up to in terms of ambition, drive, creativity and inspiration. I want to be able to create pieces of work that resonates with my community and influences my young men and women to aspire to be. I want the work that I do, the events that I curate, and the ideas that I conjure up to be seen by another man or woman of color and I want them, too, to get inspired to do cool shit.
Who is your idol? If you could have a conversation with them what would you want to talk about?
Oh, Solange – without a doubt. I honestly feel like we have the same creative mind in terms of visual concepts – she just beats me to the punch and has more money than me. Ideally, I can see myself running into Solange while visiting New Orleans and us deciding to get beignets together. We would talk about the food we liked, our aligned goals to influence the culture, and talk creative concepts for her upcoming music videos. I’d also probably ask for her expertise as an artist – what her biggest challenges were, how she overcame them, and what advice she could give to little ole me.
What words of advice would you give your high school or younger self?
Don’t be in such a rush, be patience and trust God’s plan He set out for you. Since I was younger, I was always impatient. I wanted to wear makeup early; I wanted to have sex; I wanted to hurry up and go to college; I wanted to hurry up and get my degree; wanted to hurry up and drink, get an apartment, find my dream man, jumpstart my dream career, become a fashion mogul – basically I wanted everything to happen when I wanted it to happen and no later than.
Now that I’m 26 years old, working as a professional freelancer in the industry pursuing independent endeavors as an artist and experiencing life with the woman of my dreams! I have to tell young Amanda to “chill out.” Life is never going to go as planned and great things take time. All you can do is live each day of your life to the fullest.
What are some of the challenges that you’ve overcome as you’ve grown into who you are today?
All of my challenges are aligned with Being. Broke.
Lack of financial stability can really break a person if you let it. No matter how hard I worked and how much energy I put in, I never had enough. After leaving my corporate gig in October 2016, I worked as a freelancer in the industry and still do. Working as a freelancer can be extremely horrific – I may book a sick job that I didn’t expect that holds me over for the duration of the month while the next month I’ll be struggling to book jobs or secure gigs that don’t pay (because honestly, editorial styling doesn’t pay shit). The inconsistency of cash flow is something that can be, frequent times, overwhelming and can play a vital role in anyone’s livelihood, especially living in New York. Living as an artist in this city is tough and multiple circumstances have been thrown my way such as my phone going completely dead, barely making rent for the month, the bank stealing money from me because my account has no money in it – the list goes on. I had to redirect my attention to the positive things in my life. The more I sat and dwelled on all the whack circumstances that was going wrong in my life, the more whack circumstances were attracted into my life. So I reshaped my thinking pattern, restored and kept fighting for what I wanted out of life. I kept conceptualizing visual ideas for photography, I kept corresponding with emerging designers, photographers and makeup artists. I kept creating and sending out projects to loads of independent publications and platforms targeting my community. I held onto my trust in God and the reward that was waiting for me.
I won’t say that everything is perfect and in place exactly the way I want it to be, but I can definitely attest that I’m pretty damn close.