As the Creative Director of a sustainable fashion brand, I have had to cease operations momentarily and pivot, because it simply cannot be business as usual during a time when the fight to preserve all Black lives and the magic we possess is at a tipping point. I’ve felt the grief, the rage, the exhaustion, the anxiety, and have also partaken in joyful acts of resistance, and reclamation of my breath with the collective Black self.
Arising from this period of feeling deeply, Spirit has led me on a journey to publishing a coffee table book unlike most. The 13 Black Pillars is a meditative pictorial guide for restoring and sustaining the Black consciousness, thus enabling the Black Ascension. It is an antidote for the intra-communal disunity within Afro-diasporic groups, and the disconnection of these groups from their roots.
This book should be transcendent, and join literary archives as a reference point for future Black generations, while serving as a respite for those currently committed to the fight for Black equity in the here and now. While it is my brainchild, it is a fully collaborative effort featuring poetry, essays, think pieces, and fashion editorials from emerging Afro-indigenous change makers within the US and the Caribbean.
All funds will go towards publishing expenditure and remunerations for all 32+ collaborators who contributed their time and talent to creating this stunningly diverse representation of the collective Black self, as well as to offset costs for the book launch in November, which will take the form of an immersive fashion experience and panel discussion.
Your support would be a form of activism that creates an opportunity for my kinfolk to imagine the Black reality beyond the daily labour of dismantling structures of systemic oppression, and offer healing for an emotionally scourged and displaced race through these 13 core guiding principles for us to move forward into a Black future that sees us being economically, mentally, and physically secure and unified.
Thank you in advance for your contribution.
Love & light,
Creative Director (@introxdj)
Damian Jöel (preferably called D.J.) is a self-taught designer who credits his interest in fashion to years of witnessing his mother sweat over her sewing machine to make ends meet. He fondly recalls being an active participant in her fabric shopping adventures as a child.
After years of working in corporate Jamaica as a Marketing and PR executive, D.J. soon transitioned to a career that was intrinsically his path—an Image Consultant. He quickly made a name for himself as an arbiter of style and was a regular style correspondent on Jamaica’s morning show. He also acted as a Personal Stylist to Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce.
In 2014 he fled the heteronormative and homophobic culture of the country, which limited his voice through fashion, to NYC in hopes of advancing his career in the arts and fashion freely and without fear. Since landing D.J. has managed to carve out his own space—without formal training—relying merely on his intuitive talent in Fashion and the Creative Arts.
Links to his work: https://linktr.ee/introxdj)