S04 Episode 202 | SHAKAILA FORBES-BELL ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASHION PSYCHOLOGY + BLACK LIVES MATTER

In episode 202, Kestrel welcomes Fashion Psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell to the show. With her area of research focused on diversity in fashion and the importance of multicultural marketing, Shakaila was among the first people in the world to hold a Masters Degree in Psychology for Fashion Professionals at University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion, and she is also the founder of the platform Fashion Is Psychology.

“In the wake of the Black Lives Movement, when people are really starting to think about the lived experiences of Black people across all industries, we’re definitely going to start to see some major upheaval, and I’m quite excited about that.” -Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Fashion Psychologist + Founder of Fashion Is Psychology

On this week’s show, Shakaila shares more on what led her from wanting to be “the Black female Frasier” and a clinical psychologist, to carving out her own space in the psychology discipline at the intersections of fashion, representation, media, and marketing.

Her undergraduate research, which she called “The Hoodie Project”, explored how the murder of Trayvon Martin was treated, and that led her to dive deeper into the way that clothing can be weaponized, why representation matters on all levels across industries, and the important of understanding the nuances of how power plays out in society.

Additionally, Shakaila shares more on how she feels fashion should truly make people happy — and that brands need to be empathetic to their shoppers, to reflect on how their marketing really makes them feel, in order to be as inclusive as possible in their messaging.

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: