Fashionably Tardy

For the Culture

July 08, 2020 Natalie Trevonne & Lissa Loe Season 1 Episode 1
Fashionably Tardy
For the Culture
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

               Black culture has and will continue to have strong influences on fashion! This episode celebrates the creatives who represent their culture as they work their way to the top! Our guests include Stiletto Award Nominee Garrison Redd and Red-Carpet Features Mary Lafayette and Kristopher Fraser. 


Join us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram @FTOnTheScene! Tell us what you think of the show. 


Intro and commercial song by our Music Director, Jeremy Jeffers. 


Other contributions: 

“The Nexus Riddim” by Konrad OldMoney - Support by RFM - NCM: 

“Just Smile” and “Lay Me Down” LiQWYD - Free download:  

“Last Call” Produced by White Hot - Beat provided by


I'm Natalie Trevonne.  And I'm Lissa Loe. And this is fashionably tardy.


Natalie Trevonne 0:17  

We're the podcast who tells the amazing stories of some dope creatives killing it in the fashion industry today. It's a forever party here at Ft. And today's guest list is absolute fire. Lissa, how excited are you about today’s show? 


Lissa Loe 0:36  

Natalie, I am super excited. We have been counting down the days for the release of this episode. So without further ado, let's jump right in.


Kristopher Fraser 0:47  

You see a lot of these companies now standing up saying oh like we stand for civil rights issues. We believe in diversity etc. etc. and then you look at their corporate structure and you don't see a lot of diversity at the top


Mary Lafayette 1:00  

African Americans that are working in the industry behind the scenes, who may have the opportunity to help you get something. Sometimes we don't want to help uplift each other and bring each other in. And so that's what I want to do. 


Garrison Redd 1:18  

I started researching just different things that I could do to have an impact on my community and have an impact just for the culture because there's a lot of adolescents growing up right now and they look for guidance, they're looking for something other than the traditional basketball player, or the traditional, you know, entertainer rap or whatever.


Lissa Loe 1:36  

Here at fashionably tardy, we're all about diversity and inclusion. And today is no different. We are going to dive deep into some amazing stories, but these all have one thing in common. They are what we'd like to say, for the culture—and if you haven't guessed that's black culture.


{Stiletto heels click on a wooden floor as several cameras shutter while snapping photos} 


Natalie Trevonne 2:09  

And this episode's nominee for the stiletto awards is garrison red.


{Loud applause and cheers} 


Lissa Loe 2:19  

Let's talk about garrison read. He was born and raised in Brooklyn and wraps it heavily. He's a fun person all around and he has a wealth of experiences. Yet today we are going to focus in on how he took an event in his life and turned it into his whole mission. At the age of 17, he suffered a spinal cord injury, which impacted his ability to walk. He went to college for finance and pursued that career for six years. One day in his office, he thought about all the qualities he has that he should be sharing with the world. And frankly, sitting at that desk was not going to help him do it.


Natalie Trevonne 3:00  

As soon as garrison finally made up his mind, the right opportunity started to come his way. People started to suggest that he get into modeling, which he did. And after being published in a few magazines, they encouraged him to take his talent straight to the runway. But after working in modeling for a while, garrison started to notice that there weren't a lot of people that look like him, which propelled him to become a leader and advocating for the disability community within the fashion industry.


Lissa Loe 3:30  

So what other opportunities did he take? Well, let me give you the list. garrison was featured on several ads, including those for Google and Apple; played for the New Jersey navigators, which is a wheelchair football team; earned his spot on the USA Paralympics powerlifting team; gave his own TED Talk; started a nonprofit called the garrison red project, which partners With corporate businesses and enables them to help bring more adaptive sports to the disability community. And with all that out the way, he is still looking for opportunities to impact his community.


Natalie Trevonne 4:15  

Everything we mentioned about garrison has been incredible. But what we want to recognize him for today is his advocacy work for more adaptive fashion. His heart is in this mission because it's so personal.


Garrison Redd 4:28  

certain items need to be made more easier for other people as far as making it more adaptive, and easily accessible, so anyone could put it  and it could be stylish. They were trying to give me sneakers and I’m like Yo, you can’t give me the sneakers with the Velcro straps. I'm like, I can't do that. That's not my swag, right? They're like, I want to dress the way I dressed. I want to look the way I look just like how I was when I was walking and running around.


Lissa Loe 4:52  

Some adaptations may include using Velcro instead of zippers or magnets instead of buttons and these changes Don't just benefit wheelchair users, they can actually help so many people in our population as well.


Garrison Redd 5:06  

Society places so much restrictions for wheelchair users, that it becomes to the point where we feel like defeated because like if we got to go outside, we got to worry about if there’s steps, we gotta worry if it’s an accessible bathroom, things of that nature. So the least you could do is create clothing that makes our self-esteem and our confidence go through the roof that way, we don't look at the bad stuff. We only look at the good stuff the bright side of the day. 


Natalie Trevonne 5:31  

you can catch garrison spreading the word on the need for more inclusive accessible fashion on his social media platforms where he invites audiences to share in his daily life where they can either learn from or offer more efficient methods.


Lissa Loe 5:47  

garrison will also continue to advocate for universal design in front of higher-level fashion industry executives, designers and whoever else he can get to join this movement. Likewise, his partnerships with corporate businesses for adaptive sports will also work to educate them about persons with disabilities and get them on board with seeking change. Education is so essential for this field because the more people who know the more people who are moved to help and as we all know, there is strength in numbers.


Garrison Redd 6:23  

one out of five individuals in this world identified itself as being disabled, that's 20% of the population right there. If you create anything, you should create it around that 20% of people that way it benefits not only you; it benefits everybody. 


{Changes to upbeat runway music} 


Kristopher Fraser 6:47  

you got to wear a lot of hats in the industry now like, it’s not like back in the day, wherever we'll just have like one beat.


Natalie Trevonne 6:54  

Hey, guys, so the voice you just heard was Kristopher Fraser. We're gonna get back to his story a little bit later. But we wanted to play that quote because it also describes our next guest, Mary Lafayette. Mary is a phenomenal fashion stylist and the founder of Lafayette Creative Group.


Lissa Loe 7:10  

Mary's story is not one carved out of a textbook. She did not go to school for fashion, nor did she think it was a potential career for her at first. Today, we're going to talk about how she went from an intern at Madison Square Garden, to managing her own agency and styling celebrities along the way.


{Upbeat music ends – light music can be heard beneath the speakers’ voices} 


Natalie Trevonne 7:33  

Mary moved to New York City in 1999 and worked as an intern for Madison Square Garden. They wanted to offer her a full-time job, but the pay was so low. And if you live in New York City, you know, it's not cheap to live there. She ended up taking a full-time job at Vanguard Media in marketing and events. Vanguard media is a black owned company responsible for magazines such as Honey, Impact Heart & Soul and Savoy


Lissa Loe 7:58  

While at this job, the potential to become a stylist was literally right in her face. I mean, Mary sat in front of a conference room that was made of all glass and watched as the fashion editor put together really amazing outfits. There was racks and racks and racks of clothes and shoes and bags, Mary said it felt like shopping at work. She looked at the fashion editor who was really stylish, and her appearance alone was also enough to motivate Mary to move from helping her friends pick out clothes to pursuing a career styling others. 


Mary Lafayette 8:36  

A former coworker and I late one night we were preparing for an event that was coming up. And she and I were the only ones at work. And she asked me what I would want to be doing if I wasn't working there. And I said, wow, you know, that's interesting that You asked me that because I wanted to be a stylist. She said, Well, at our event I can introduce you to a stylist who's a friend of mine. So I say great. So I met the stylist and then a week later we were working together


Lissa Loe 9:04  

just to drive the point home guys: networking works. She was to assist with styling Bilal on the cover of One World Magazine, which was run by Russell Simmons. It was legit perfect timing. Because she was laid off at Vanguard as they were downsizing and placed in a more contractual position. She had to make money somehow. And styling became the best way to do that. And before we jump deeper into her styling career, Natalie Did you know who Tameka Foster was before we interviewed Mary?


Natalie Trevonne 9:40  

Yes girl. Tameka Foster is all things black girl magic! Her and her sons actually created a 3d animated series called the odd life of Kyle Lyles, which features a young black boy, which you know, is not the norm in today's media. She also is an excellent stylist and she was married to r&b superstar Usher Raymond. 


Lissa Loe 10:00  

Those are all very true. But one more thing, Tameka had the opportunity to work with Mary Lafayette for about four or five years. Mary actually worked as an assistant stylist for Tameka Foster, Rachel Johnson, and Sybil Pennix, and throughout her career, she was able to style a number of phenomenal people. And of course, she also worked with a few celebrities along the way. One memorable moment was her opportunity to style Miss Patti LaBelle the legend I must add!


Natalie Trevonne 10:36  

okay, yes, Miss Patti LaBelle love me some her. But Mary says that her favorite person to style was the legendary Mary J. Blige


Mary Lafayette 10:47  

and Mary and I are the same size. I don't know if we are now, I may have gained more weight. But at the time, we were the same size so I could try on things and see if it was really going to fit her You know, based on what size she was at the time. So the first job was Vibe magazine with Mary Jay after that it was WWD, and then I believe it was a Crest commercial either Crest or Colgate. Yeah, so three different opportunities I had to work with her and she's, she's wonderful to work with. 


Natalie Trevonne 11:21  

Ok, Lissa, do you know what song comes to mind when I think of Mary J Blige? Remember when she was like, {singing}  because I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I'm passing by the mirror.


Lissa Loe 11:29  

{laughs}  Come on Natalie! And we never know that could have been because of what Mary Lafayette did.


Natalie Trevonne 11:37  

You’re write. We don't know. Okay, so Mary J. Blige is amazing, but so is Mary Lafayette. She has two major rules she lives by when it comes to fashion styling. Number one, she believes that you should always come extra prepared. That means if the editorial calls for four looks, you should bring eight. Second, you should always bring the client something new. That means Maybe trying new brands that the client isn't familiar with. Sometimes Mary would come to a client with so many racks and clothes, that they would be blown away about the thought she put into her preparation


Lissa Loe 12:11  

and it doesn't stop there. If Mary sees something that looks kind of right, but not right enough, she will fix it herself. That's right. Mary has yet another hat that she wears.


Mary Lafayette 12:23  

And I even design myself. I custom design pieces. And if I don't sew them myself, I will hire a seamstress or tailor to actually make the look for me. 


Lissa Loe 12:35  

And next up on her list of skills to learn is makeup artistry. She is constantly growing in her craft. We never know what she will add on to her list of skills next.


Natalie Trevonne 12:48  

And when Mary's not styling, she's making major moves. One of her biggest projects was putting together an editorial for Urban City magazine. She says that experience showed her that she could run the whole show


Lissa Loe 13:00  

And she definitely does that right now as the founder of Lafayette Creative Group. This was not an idea birthed out of nowhere. In 2013 she started to reflect on her own struggles looking for work as a freelance stylist. she thought to herself, how can I help others have better opportunities and better experiences? That's the thing. When Mary excels, she wants to bring a whole bunch of people with her. So in 2017, she got to work and in 2018, Lafayette creative group was open to the public.


Natalie Trevonne 13:36  

Mary not only works to uplift her artists, but she also provides great customer service to her clients. She is a one stop shop. She provides everything from hair stylists, makeup artists, nail techs, photographers, wardrobe stylist and costume designers


Lissa Loe 13:55  

and Mary calls this whole thing her labor of love. Because for her, having an agency goes far beyond a paycheck. It's a whole mission. 


{low feed hip hop music begins} 


Natalie Trevonne 14:09  

Let’s go back and talk about the struggles Mary faced as a black female fashion stylist. She says although she was highly respected on the job, finding the opportunities seemed to be her biggest hurdle. As we all know, it's not what you know, but who you know. And if you're not familiar with the people at the top, who can help pull you through, then it's hard to really excel in the fashion industry, especially within the African American community.


Lissa Loe 14:34  

Oftentimes, Mary is the only black person in wardrobe, and she's not happy about that. She wants others to have the same opportunities that she does. And also Mary points out several times where there's clearly a lack of diversity within companies and within the industry as a whole.


Mary Lafayette 14:52  

There are many times where I've gone into high end design companies retail and they don't even have employees of color representing them. I can remember times where I've walked in and, you know, maybe someone else is there, and they call my name. And but they're looking at the other person because they don't think that that's me.


Natalie Trevonne 15:14  

If you were discouraged about what you just heard, don't be. Mary encourages all of our listeners to keep fighting for change, and to take your resilience all the way to the top. Mary says her story can help the younger generation to do bigger and better things, then she's open to continuing to share her experiences with the world.


Mary Lafayette 15:35  

I just remember some times where I was just really, really discouraged. And if I had a mentor, I feel like I probably would not have turned away from styling for a while. Because when you when you step out of this industry, and depending how long you're gone, people move on. You know your contacts leave. You may not keep in touch and people need to constantly see your face and see your work and hear your name.


Natalie Trevonne 16:01  

There is so much craziness going on in the world today. But just like Mary, we can stand strong by fighting for justice and really working to achieve true change in this world. Mary was actually one of the people protesting in 1999 for Amadou Diallo. She's encouraging the younger generation to go out and do the same things now. 


Lissa Loe 16:23  

And that's not to be mistaken. Mary's voice is still being heard today. And she encourages celebrities to speak up as well. 


Mary Lafayette 16:30  

And now that I have social media, as a platform, I'm always speaking out. Like that's all I've been doing is sharing and posting and writing my own messages and questioning some of the celebrities that I actually admire or I felt like inspired me, but I don't see them out because their voice is so powerful. And they represent the urban culture and we actually need to see more of them speaking up and speaking out. 


Natalie Trevonne 16:58  

What I love about Mary is how hopeful she is. She not only believes that there will be change within the fashion industry, but she believes change will come for the world in general.


Mary Lafayette 17:09  

Going forward, there will be slow changes. But at least our voices are being heard. At least people in America and in the world is waking up. And that's a start. 


{Echo fades and upbeat music comes in} 


Natalie Trevonne 17:26  

Hey everybody grab those notebooks because it's time for fashion and beauty tips on style me up Nat.

Okay, guys, so today I want to talk about the one step Revlon hairdryer and volumizer hot brush. This product is everything. It gets 4.5 stars on Amazon and it's only $34. Yes, y'all know hair products is not cheap. So when you can find something for that low that works really well, you have to hop on it. And shout out to all my girls that are wearing their hair natural right now. I started the quarantine with the natural look. But Sis, when I tell you that it was the struggle, I was like I have to get a product that's gonna make this hair thing easier for me. 

To all my blind babes: it's so accessible. All you do is turn the bottom of the hairdryer to the right and that will help you adjust the heat. It doesn't get too hot, so you won't be like oh my gosh my scalp is burning. Because you know sometimes, we go to the hair salon is like Okay, can you stop burning my hair? But this is not like that. It's very simple to use. It works for all types of hair. My best friend Regina is Latin x and she really stands buy this product. I also sent it to my twin shout out to Shannon and North Carolina, and I gave Lissa Loe one so I'm expecting her to tell me how it worked for her. I need those before and after pics girl. 

And I want to hear from all our listeners if you decide to buy the one step Revlon hairdryer please do some before and after pictures on instant On Facebook and Twitter, tag us at ft on the scene and let us know how much you love this product. 


{Commercial ends and upbeat, runway music plays{ 


Hey guys, and welcome back. Remember Kristopher Fraser from the top of the episode. Well, we're about to jump right into his story. Kristopher is currently the online content manager for As If magazine. But his duties don't just stop there. He actually wears many hats.


Kristopher Fraser 19:24  

One day I can be interviewing a fashion designer; another day I could be pulling things in a tutorial; other days I could just be doing market round-up stories; other days I could be writing fashion news pieces.


Natalie Trevonne 19:39  

Well, obviously Kristopher is booked and busy, but I kind of get the feeling he likes it like that. before he even started his career in fashion, he was doing the most


Kristopher Fraser 19:50  

my undergrad is actually a triple major in English politics and theater. So absolutely nothing to do with fashion at all. And then I think it was first half of fall semester of my junior year, where I was just like, you know what, I don't think I have any desire to really do any of these things professionally. So I started applying for fashion internships. So I was an intern at what is formerly Not Your Daughter's Jeans. I was a sales intern there for the account executive who had the accounts for Bloomingdale's bond taun, Lord and Taylor and Benmar. Second half of that same summer, I was an intern at Liberty fashion and lifestyle fairs, the trade show company. Then when I graduated college, I started writing for this blog that was started by Sasha Benz called All My Friends Are Models. And that was how I really got my start in the industry.


Lissa Loe 20:47  

Clearly, you mean doing the most in a good way Because I'm hearing triple major, and I'm reminded of my one major in two minors that I complained about, and here he is doing all of this work academically while knowing that his passions were far from what he originally signed up for. That blows my mind for real because Who does that? 


Natalie Trevonne 21:10  

Yes Girl. Kristopher sounds truly amazing. Soon after that though he jumps started his career at Fashion United when he became their New York corresponded with only three weeks from Fashion Week Christopher was thrown straight into the mix.


Kristopher Fraser 21:25  

I had a very big learning curve at first because you know, I had no formal training as a fashion editor, like I'd been writing for that blog but I hadn't like not been like an intern me the big fashion publication houses or anything like that. Yeah, it was a little bit overwhelming with figuring out how to like request shows, seeing what you would want to get access to as an editor, figure out how things like backstage and navigating the whole like New York fashion scene from like, the social aspects to the venue and all that. 

That was the last season ever that it was at a Lincoln Center. So it was like I was also there for what was the end of an era.


Lissa Loe 22:06  

That's a huge learning curve. Not to mention, he went 20 hours sometimes without an adequate meal. I wouldn't be surprised if there was burnout and jobs like this.


Natalie Trevonne 22:16  

You're absolutely right girl. Christopher says if he could change two things about his experience thus far, he would change the fashion week's schedule, and the delivery schedule for stores.


Lissa Loe 22:28  

I mean, you're right. Everything's packed together. I personally can think of how ecofriendly it would be to have these changes. And also, not to mention it would be great on the mental health of those, like Kristopher, who have to run around and cover all of these events.


Natalie Trevonne 22:46  

Okay, Lissa, pop quiz. Do you know how Christopher got his start into fashion?


Lissa Loe 22:52  

Well, I do remember that he used to enjoy looking at the fashion magazines with his mom, when he Went to the stores as a kid. So I'm guessing that's the answer. And that's a pretty common one. 


Natalie Trevonne 23:07  

Well, that's true, but he really attributes his interest in the fashion industry to the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, which is an excellent movie by the way. He knows that you shouldn't base your career off things you see on TV. But Christopher grew up in a time where a lot of movies and TV shows had excellent wardrobe selections.


Lissa Loe 23:28  

Is it bad to say I never saw that movie? 


Natalie Trevonne 23:30  

Yes, girl what’s going on? We won't tell the listeners. 


Lissa Loe 23:35  

But seriously, I'm thinking back to my time watching TV, and maybe there's a connection for me to. I think it was because I wanted to see what I liked on television. So Kristopher, no need to explain yourself, I understand.


Natalie Trevonne 23:50  

And the best part of it all, is that his love for the Devil Wears Prada actually led to an amazing opportunity in his career. He actually received a random request From the costume designer from that movie, and if you don't know who I'm talking about, I'm talking about the same woman who does the costume designs for Sex in the City. Yes, we're talking about the amazing Patricia field


Kristopher Fraser 24:12  

when she had basically left from running her store in Soho and was getting ready to put an end to that chapter that particular retail aspect of her business, there were all these different news sources writing about all like if she was retiring like what was going on the store was shutting down, etc., etc. I'd written like this brief little news story on it based on like other information I read, and she I don't know how but she personally found me and reached out to me and offered me an interview with her to set the record actually straight. And that was sort of like a moment for me I did not see coming. I was like, what would push her to feel good get like people Bogota Harper's Bazaar to interview her possibly want with little old me.


Natalie Trevonne 25:04  

Kristopher’s background is in writing and editing, but he also has the love for styling. He actually didn't become a stylist though until he got fired from Avenue magazine. Don't worry guys, it's only because they were downsizing. He started collaborating with different photographers on test shoots. And while he was building his portfolio, the opportunities begin to roll in.


Lissa Loe 25:25  

Kristopher is such a go getter because not only was he building up a name for himself as a stylist, and assisting with ads for LG and Facebook, but he was still doing his freelance writing work. Let's let Christopher share just one huge highlight of his styling career.


Kristopher Fraser 25:46  

The first ever digital exclusive editorial I did it as if it was shot at my friend's luxury building in Hudson Yards and it was three different models. The theme was sort of like Three's Company but like you know, like the rich Trust Fund kid version after they had like come home from like a wild crazy party like a whole night of drinking. There was just one particular dress from self portrait it was this yellow floral dress almost a little bit of a rap style but like not like a full-on rap style yet. Beautiful piece. I put it on this one model for the shot in the kitchen like against the floral wallpaper along with this other male model. I kid you not I saw this dress on a couple months later after I did this editorial, I saw this dress on Taylor Swift and then Mindy kaylynn for her Vanity Fair cover.


Natalie Trevonne 26:38  

That’s right Kristopher. say it louder for the ones in the back who didn't quite hear you.


Kristopher Fraser 26:42  

I was the trendsetter for this dress. I just want everyone to know before Taylor Swift before Mindy Kaling I was when using that self portrait dress.


Natalie Trevonne 26:51  

Okay, period. That's right Kristopher. let them know. 


{upbeat Caribbean music plays} 


Natalie Trevonne 26:56  

At the top of the episode, we heard Kristopher talk a lot about representation. He's so right because a lot of companies are now talking about their stance on civil rights. But so often we never see diversity represented in the workplace. Kristopher values representation so much. In fact, it's at his very core. He says it's important to him because he knows that his work is paving the way for people who share the same background as him. 


Kristopher Fraser 27:22  

I'm multiracial. My parents are both from Guyana. My father's a British Guyanese, my mother's black and Indian and they also both have native ancestry they can trace on both sides – Native American ancestry. I think it's really encouraged me to step up my work more realizing that I'm here representing a sector of people that is not often seen in the fashion industry. And look, I can’t mess this up. Because if I do that, they’re never gonna let one of us back in again.


Lissa Loe 27:50  

Natalie and I have had so much fun sharing Kristopher’s story, but we cannot let this episode end without highlighting some of the advice that He has for those interested in the fashion industry. 


Natalie Trevonne 

So let them know Kris! 


{music stops} 


Kristopher Fraser 28:05  

if you can see yourself doing anything else, this is not the industry for you. Because this industry honestly will really take a lot out of you. It can be very taxing. Sometimes the hours can be long. So you have to really have the drive to do this. Never be afraid to hustle. When I was over the summer when I was working those internships like it was minimal to no pay. I had another side hustle at Banana Republic like I've worked multiple jobs at once to try to make this whole fashion dream happen. So if you want it you got to do everything possible to make it happen. You will never start off flawless at everything you do. Absolutely not. Never get too big headed because someone will always be around to put you right back in your place.


Natalie Trevonne 28:54  

Wow. Today's episode has been so inspiring and I'm super thrilled with how everything turned out. This episode is very special to me and Lissa because we definitely wanted to make sure that we highlight the black culture because there's so many amazing things about our community. 

And to all our black creatives, we just want to really encourage you because the black community has always influenced fashion and we've been responsible for some of the most iconic trends past and present. So to you all we say keep innovating, keep motivating, inspiring, and creating because we are valuable, we do matter and we are and always have been magic. 


{outro begins} 


Lissa Loe 29:36  

This show would not be possible without help from garrison redd, Mary Lafayette and Kristopher Fraser. Also shout out to our all blind team - the creative director Natalie Trevonne; producer Lissa Loe; audio engineer Autery Weekes; and social media coordinator Gabby. 

If you loved our music, there are a few people to thank for it. First is our music director, Jeremy Jeffers. And for the list of the rest of our contributors. Check out the description. 

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @FTOnTheScene. 


Natalie Trevonne 30:21 

Alright guys, well we have to sign off. So remember, we're not late.


Natalie Trevonne & Lissa Loe 30:27  

We're fashionably tardy.


Transcribed by

Stiletto Award Nominee - Garrison Redd
Red Carpet Feature - Mary Lafayette
Style Me Up Nat!
Red Carpet Feature = Kristopher Fraser