Plutocracy: Conscious Kimonos for the Creative Entrepreneur
In a generation of trends and a culture of disposability, very few independent brands have the confidence to be inspired by authenticity while relishing in the ideals of being culturally modern and original.
Women’s wear designer Anitra Michelle encapsulates those very ideals with her pioneering brand PLUTOCRACY. Founded in 2009, Plutocracy set out to be an act of corporate rebellion – providing the 9-5 style drones with special pieces to add to their wardrobe. However, after a three and a half year hiatus, the real Cinderella story speaks to Plutocracy’s re-launch in September of 2016. What started out as a brand that redefined corporate culture is now visually speaking to a different type of professional: artists and creative entrepreneurs. Having evolved to compliment entrepreneurs, this luxury brand has become more of a versatile pillar for creative mavens and industry disruptors.
“Plutocracy” by Webster’s definition, means “ruled by the wealthy”. However Anitra defines it as “taking the richness of experience and living a well appointed life”. The sophistication of this brand is embodied in polished craftsmanship but also self-empowerment. As a conscious designer, Anitra prides herself on what she contributes to the conversation of culture. “I’m consistently working to speak to women who are like me- who are aspiring to something greater. I’m always encouraging women especially to be true to self”.
With this new launch, Plutocracy produced 7 Essential Kimonos:
“It invites women to embrace the dichotomy of BEAUTY and FIGHT – we are always in that mix. The kimono is a representation of that ... A great reintroduction for women to celebrate themselves – a mash up of cultures and that I love … Asian and Black culture with Burlap, Mudcloth & Silk”, explains Anitra.
As a sustainable brand, materials are very important! She is a big player of textiles and tends to manipulate them beyond their normal state. For this collection she strategically focused on 3 very poignant textiles. The first is burlap, which is a woven fabric made from the skin of jute plant. This represents the brands emphasis on being crafty. Additionally, mudcloth - one of Africa’s most traditional fabrics – is used. As a Pan African this particular textile is important for the collection as a representation of her culture. And lastly silk is a material that is traditionally what a kimono is made of so keeping that authenticity is crucial. Most of her fabrics are carefully sourced from Japan, Italy and Africa, making a deliberate and vocal effort not to support unsustainable economies in China.
Anitra makes special pieces that people can infuse in their wardrobes and set themselves apart from the rest. This is why the brand works to consistently find creative ways to speak to women through the art of the design. After walking away from the brand when it wasn’t speaking to her and then re-launching, Anitra is confident that her work will transcend entrepreneurial spirits across the globe.
Today the Plutocracy woman is feminine and chic while also showing strength and authority in her personal style.
WATCH PLUTOCRACY ON JANUARY 28TH 10P/ 9C FOR PREMIER OF QUEEN BOSS (via Centric TV) - The Business Competition For Black Women
All photos courtesy of Plutocrcy