Thursday, February 23, 2023

Kheris Rogers Interview

 360 Magazine released its coveted 2023 “Most Interesting” list, which includes teen CEO, fashion designer, social influencer and anti-bullying advocate Kheris Rogers among other notable figures. According to the publisher Vaughn Lowery, “The list champions the most powerful emerging personalities; many of whom have had an impact within marginalized communities around the world, outpacing many social constructs."

Six years ago, Kheris Rogers came to national prominence when she turned the tables on bullies at school who made fun of her dark skin by launching her apparel brand Flexin' In My Complexion.™ Overnight, Kheris and her streetwear line, which champions self-love, self-worth and representation for Black girls and women, became a viral sensation! Iconic celebrities and pop culture figures including Lupita Nyong’o, Alicia Keys, Whoopi Goldberg and Taraji P. Henson became some of the young fashionista's earliest supporters. Represented by LA Models, Kheris made history as one of the youngest designers to ever debut her line at NY Fashion Week.

At the still tender age of 16, the Los Angeles native and fashion CEO has added 'author' and 'humanitarian' to her growing list of attributions. Kheris hopes her children's book Shine Bright encourages kids -- especially from the Black community -- to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate themselves even when others don't. Luana Kay Horry, Senior Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, calls Kheris "an inspiration to anyone who has ever been bullied for the things that make them beautiful," and noted that her story will "encourage all children to shine as bright as they can and on their own terms.”

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

What got you first interested in fashion?
I’ve honestly  always been interested in fashion. As a little girl I loved tutus and sparkles. It’s just always been a part of me. So when I created Flexin’ In My Complexion, it was just a full circle moment.

You've turned what could be a negative story into a very positive one - how can all people learn to be proud of who they are, regardless of how others feel or act?
You have to believe in yourself! I know this is not always easy. Continuing to speak positive affirmations, think positive thoughts and doing things that make you feel good are important to help you feel proud of who you are.

Why is it important for people to have books and fashion that celebrates who they are?
I always say representation matters. When you read books or see fashion created by people who look like you, it reinforces your belief that you can do it too.

What advice would you have to youth who are being bullied for their appearance?
I would advise them to tell someone and just know that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you, all that matters is what you think about yourself. Know that we are all unique and have something about us that makes us shine bright in this world.

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