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First and foremost: Welcome to the first issue of The KOL Social where we strive to provide a diverse and often underrepresented perspective of beauty, fashion, lifestyle and culture. A collective of cutting edge talent, we bring together people of colour from different backgrounds for an expression of ideas and interpretations.
Our ethos is that our team knows no race, gender or lifestyle choices. Inclusivity is who we are.
We kick-start with Magical Bones, aka Richard Essien, as our cover story. There are some people who you meet and you just instantly know why they are famous. They have the ‘it’ factor’. Bones is one of those people. He talks about his breakdancing magic on page 26.
We thought it would be apt to launch the magazine during Black History Month. Every October the UK celebrates the countless contributions to the world of late and present Black people with events such as talks, plays, concerts and more. All bring recognition to a race built on a foundation of determination and pride. You can explore what London has to offer in The Guide on page 59.
Black History Month, however, and the celebration of Black achievement should not and will not end at the close of the month. It is something that must be remembered year round. As much as we celebrate our past, we must focus on the future. An often forgotten aspect of racial equality is economic equality. Without money and opportunities firmly rooted in the communities, there is no power. Black-owned businesses means financial freedom and are important in the fight for racial justice.
We have become use to using a label in describing someone, a group of people or something in a word or short phrase. More often than not, we do not even notice that everything has a label but it is a necessary way of life. It gives people a sense of order, and a way of distinguishing things. Lifting a label does not make things disappear. With the Oscars taking place this month, and the lack of statistical representation at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, UK film producer Melanie Sharee who is based in the States, shares with us how the industry can turn labels into positive action on page 9.
Furthermore, some businesses offering specific goods and services rely solely on black consumers. Certain hair products, foods, cultural items and even services are not very easy to come by. To that end, we bring you the Diversity Groups Directory that showcases independent businesses that have been vetted by our team to ensure top quality products and services. From cosmetics to fashion, job recruitment to mechanics, do you bit to support black and brown entrepreneurs. Go to page 53 to find out more.
Happy Black History Month
Publishing Editor: Marcia Degia
Photographer: Kalpesh Lathigra is regularly commissioned to shoot portraits of actors, authors and film directors for a variety of prestigious clients. Multi-award-winning. publications include The New Yorker and New York Times. In this issue he captures the magic of Richard Essien on page 26 and honours The KOL Social by giving us our first front cover. Visit Kalpesh’s website.
Hair Editor: Errol Douglas MBE, a favourite with clients and industry peers alike, is globally recognised as an ultimate artisan within the hairdressing industry. Renowned for his stunning photographic, session and event work, Errol has won dozens of the world’s most coveted awards. His client list includes the likes of Naomie Harris, Jourdan Dunn and Charlize Theron. We are thrilled to have Errol join The KOL Social Team as Hair Editor. See his article about the problems and solutions of various multi-cultural hair types on page 44.