Tai Beauchamp is a major player in the fashion industry. With the premiere of her new TLC show, Dare to Wear the veteran journalist has entered the big leagues. ESSENCE.com caught up with the style maven to talk all things fashion and what she wants to accomplish with her new platform.
ESSENCE: Dare to Wear takes everyday women and shows them how fabulous they can be. What do you hope fans at home take away from the show?
I want women to know just that: you can be as fabulous as you want to be, no matter your budget, background or fashion savvy. I hope that women are empowered through style watching the show and that they come away with helpful insight and tips on how to be their most stylish selves. I can’t tell you how many women have said to me, especially on the show, that they love and appreciate fashion but they just don’t know where to begin. By having two women come together and swap clothes, they learn that the messages they have been sending because of the way that they dress is not reflective of how they really see themselves or want the world to see them. And they also have the opportunity to connect with another woman, who though different from them stylistically, is able to help support the other on their style journey. It becomes a style sisterhood of sorts. And on the other side, we can celebrate their style and self-confidence evolution.
ESSENCE: Empowering women seems to be a running theme in Dare to Wear, what do you wish every woman knew about style and confidence when it comes to fashion?
While trends are a fun part of fashion, I want women to know that you shouldn’t be a slave to trends. I think it's more important to develop something signature to you and your style sensibilities, whether it be your hairstyle (for me it's my signature pixie), or your favorite lip (for me it's my red lip), or statement jewelry and then incorporate other things around it. I think this is especially important for those who are trying to understand and develop a unique sense of style. After that, then it’s all about having fun. Fashion and beauty, in my opinion, are a way for women to self-express. That’s powerful!
ESSENCE: What fashion trend makes you cringe?
I’m really over the sheer dresses that show off every ounce of flesh on your body. OVER it! I so appreciate a gorgeous physique and I certainly understand wanting to show it off if you’ve worked hard for it. But honestly, it's all very Cirque de Soleil acrobatic costume to me.
ESSENCE: How to feel about diversity in the fashion industry? Do you think it’s improving or do we still have a long way to go?
Both. I think it has improved but we still have a long way to go. Because in 2015 diversity isn’t just about ethnicity or race or nationality but it’s about age, geography, shape, size, all of it! Until representation mirrors a global identity and also promotes a narrative that is celebratory of uniqueness but inclusive of our diversity, there is still work to do. That said, I think about individuals from the fashion as well as other spaces that impact image awareness like Bethann Hardison, Edward Enniful of W, Esi Bracey Eggleston of P&G, Kyle Hagler, President of Next Models, Elaine Welteroth of Teen Vogue, Oprah, Kahlana Barfield of InStyle, Ava Duvernay, LaVerne Cox, Nadiyah Bradshaw Spencer now of Phaelen formerly of Suno, Andrea Lim of Lexus, Shonda Rhimes, Mara Brock Akil, Janet Mock, dream hampton, Mo Abudu of Ebony TV on the Continent, Iman, Ellen Johnson Sherif, president of Liberia and so many others who as influencers, executives, and folks who have a platform and who committed in their own way to helping direct a different narrative about who Black and African-American women are in their respective fields. These examples, alone, serve as inspiration and examples of barriers broken that will pave the way for the next crop of women of color who will impact the space.
Tune into Dare to Wear every Thursday at 10 p.m. EST on TLC and keep up with Tai Beauchamp on TheTaiLife.com.