Divine would like to welcome E. Jaguar Beckford, Founder & Producer of Rainbow Fashion Week to the site. Rainbow Fashion Week is one of the most iconic LGBT fashion events of the year.
It’s endorsed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as ‘An Official New York City Pre-Pride Fashion Event and takes place in New York City, between June 17-24th. You can check out all the details here: www.RainbowFashionweek.com
Jag was kind enough to answer some questions about herself. Of course, first we had to ask her the silly questions to get to know her a little bit more…
If you were a super hero what powers would you have?
Time Traveler. It allows me to be present at anytime, travel anywhere I want to and maybe even change the course of his/story.
What’s your favourite Milkshake flavour?
What horror fiction character scares you the most?
The guy in SAW. Creepy.
Thanks for being such a sport, Jag. Now we can get down to the serious questions.
You’ve always maintained the fashion has a social responsibility and to this end, at Rainbow Fashion Week, you’ll be hosting the first-ever Carbon neutral fashion week. Tell us more about this.
I believe that every industry has an obligation to do more than create consumers. I feel that we are called to service man kind through our “higher self,” the “evolved self.” With that said my mission with Rainbow Fashion Week was to be socially conscious, giving our audience a great fashion experience while aligning with various social causes that we delivered to our audience throughout our events. I am also creating safe, healthy and spiritual spaces for our LGBTQ+ Creatives.
Which is why we created the Metamorphic Corner, the health and wellness component of RFW. We invite mental, spiritual and wellness professionals to be on site at every show in the event someone is in crisis and assist them in finding resources.
Back in 2013, you launched clothing described as ‘male identified’ clothing for women. What is this clothing range and what inspired it?
My clothing is uniquely inspired by the early periods of the 40’s and 50’s, consider the Lil Rascals meets Scarface. It is a combination of these fashion styles that allow it to be greatly received by men, women and children. The gender fluid women, AG’s and studs are my muses, but everyone seems to wear it, in their very unique way.
Rainbow Fashion Week is the only fixed event representing the LGBT community in any of the major fashion capitals to date. What made you decide to create something like this?
It was well over do. The average retail consumer does not wait for NY, Milan, and Madrid Fashion Week. Why would we? We are not running out buying $5,000 ticketed price garments. Why would we? So we need to have a week of fashion that allows the upcoming fashion creative a platform to present their work, in “Not Your Average Fashion Week.”
You’ve worked as an entertainment attorney for a lot of big names – what made you decide to get involved in the fashion industry, and begin designing clothing in this way, and move away from litigating?
I love litigation. Law is still my passion, so I’ll never leave it. Presently I have written 13 chapters about one of the biggest cases of my life. Ironically I am a left brain/right brain individual who balances the academic alongside the creative. I draw, sing, write, and while in school I designed clothing and jewelry to support myself.
You very much believe in the motto ‘Plain English’ and ensuring that you make it easy for people to do business with you. Do you feel this approach gets your further and more respect in dealing with people that you are in touch with?
Yes and no. I’ve represented individuals, that I feel felt better represented by attorneys that spoke and wrote in “legalese.” I believe “Plain English” is the best way. All of my clients would say and I quote; “I’ve learn ed more in this 1 hr consultation, than I ever have from an attorney before.” For me that was the respect of my profession that I looked for from clients. In other words, I would break things down and show them how to read a document. Then I would say, now couldn’t this have just been easier said this way? They would laugh and say, but yeah, then the price per hour would be less work.
Do you have a preference for certain fabrics to work with or does it depend on what you’re creating?
It depends, I love patters though. Bright, unique, rich patterns when placing on the back of a vest or interior of a suit. I love gabardine, I love plaids and hounds tooth.
You’ve always maintained that passion and loving what you do are key to success and happiness. Sometimes it’s tough to stay that way. Have you any advice you’d like to pass on to others like you trying to make it in what is probably quite a cut throat industry?
My advice, is that sometimes what and where we think we should be within an industry is not necessarily the exact place where the Universe needs us most. We should all be determining what our “Higher Purpose” is. We are great beings, but so under utilize that greatness. I each one of us saw our greatness imagine the potential of us all on this planet.
We should never allow someone else journey affect ours. If our perception of what the industry is “cutthroat” then that perception will affect our psyche. I have a show called “Haus of JagandCo” Where my theme is Welcome to My House and I invite another QUeer designer to present the day of my show. I don’t care that they are a competitor, because people like what they like. So if myself and that designer were both placed in Macy’s, on the same rack…guess what that is the reality of retail. People will pick up and choose whatever vibrates towards their spirit.
Jag, thanks so much for being with us today and answering our questions. We wish you every success with Rainbow Fashion Week and your future endeavours.
TY Divine, I love the work you do and the message you spread throughout our community. So TY for this opportunity.