WHY THE SWEDISH FASHION SCENE NEEDS MORE AFRO SWEDISH INFLUENCERS
Sharing her love for the fashion scene she has quickly created her personal fashion story straight from her apartment in Stockholm. Lydia has also become one of main influencers in the Swedish feminist platform baaam.se where she shows the latest fashion news, DIY projects, travel trips and so much more.
During a cold afternoon in Stockholm, About that look had the pleasure to sit down for an interview with the lovely femmeblk, Lydia, an influencer from Stockholm, Sweden. We wanted to get under the skin of Femmblk and what it is that drives her in her pursuit of making it in the fashion business. Lydia tells us her story that come to play a big roll in her life.
Growing up in the Swedish Society with Ethiopian heritage has both been rewarding and challenging. I grew up in a small city in Sweden during the 90s where the majority was white Swedes. There were just a few immigrants in my school at the time and I was the only Afro Swedish girl in my class.
As a young child I was surrounded with plenty of white friends that I never had problems with. And I never felt treated differently because of the color of my skin. Having my best friend in my class, we had so much fun growing up together and early on we shared our interest for fashion.
By the time I was 10 years old I noticed how my best friend’s stepfather kept calling me things that I didn’t really understand. One day I was at my best friend’s house congratulating her on getting accepted by a modeling agency. I was so happy for her and also wanted to also join. I remember how excited I got over the fact that we might attend it together. And I will never forget the words that came from her stepfather to me. He turned to me and said that modeling schools weren’t for people like me. The next seconds after that is a memory that I still today carry with me. Because it was my very first experience with racism and from that moment I saw the World and people differently.
Instead of getting angry, frustrated or hurt I turned this bad experience into something good.
I believe that all of us experience things that can hurt and frustrate us. I felt I that didn’t want to get stuck in the grief of an old man’s twisted perception of reality and instead chose to do my part for the community. I think this we owe to ourselves and our peers to show that we can make a change in the world.
The strongest motivation that pushed me into the fashion industry was to show young girls that there is variety of all sorts of people, that there are girls of color that should be influencing the industry. Maybe my story pushes someone else to go for what’s important in their life whether it being a job, career or life goal.
I want to be relatable
and hopefully inspire the next African rooted girl to pursue her dreams no matter what the norm says.
I believe that we all have the power to make the world into a better place and that we should start painting a picture through ourselves in order to make this world into a better place. I believe that women of color need and have to be represented across the globe in every field of study, work or movement. Cause who knows by us simply being there might affect another young woman to pursue her dreams without having to worry about the skin of her color...