Iconic Moments in Black Fashion History, According to The Kimbino

The archivist walks us through 7 of her favorites.

Kim Russell, widely known as The Kimbino, is quickly becoming the internet’s favorite digital fashion archivist. The 26 year old’s feeds are an endless compilation of iconic moments in recent fashion history perfectly paired with her own witty analysis. For a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of Sex and the City, she captioned it: “Another day another outfit that forces me to forgive Carrie for her shenanigans. In her Chloé Spring 2001 horse pants and long dirty blonde [ponytail].”

Her references range anywhere from Mariah Carey’s earliest red carpet looks to the Gaultier spring 1994 dress Emma Watson favored at age thirteen. Russell has over 121,000 followers on Instagram, including Marc Jacobs and Bella Hadid. It’s a testament to her talent (not just anyone gets a Happy Birthday tweet from Kim Kardashian, a longtime supporter of Russell’s work). With her relatable banter and smart perspective, Russell’s influence is only growing. In honor of Black History month she walks Vogue through some of her favorite moments in fashion history.

Tracee Ellis Ross and Diana Ross for Thierry Mugler, Spring 1992

This show is one of the most fabulous moments between mother and daughter on a runway that never disappoints. It felt like such a defining moment for Tracee Ellis Ross in her style and fashion journey. Diana Ross has had such a wide reach and influence on designers and the fashion industry. For Tracee’s mom to usher her down the runway for her solo walk was beautiful. This is definitely nepotism I stand behind.

Serena Williams in a Denim Skirt at the US Open, 2004

I was about nine when this match aired, and it hasn’t left my mind since. Who wins a tennis match in a denim skirt and sneaker boots? Serena is such a performer, and the fact that she brought fashion into a game of tennis like this is something no one else [does] successfully.

Luther Vandross at an Oprah Magazine Party, 2000

When I saw Nygel Sartorial post this moment of Luther I almost jumped out of my seat. It feels so rare for men of that generation to pull a look, but he definitely did exactly that. We only ever got to see Tom Ford’s Gucci menswear on models, so to see a Black man wear this lush silk shirt and python pants was everything.

Janet Jackson Wearing Custom Alexander McQueen for the Super Bowl, 2004

I always get really passionate about Janet and the Super Bowl. When I learned the outfit she wore was designed by Alexander McQueen I became even more enthralled by the whole moment. I wish more people appreciated the fashion and moment for what it was, instead of the outrage [that came after].

Seal Wearing Early Raf Simons, 1997

It can be hard for me to find moments in men’s fashion that really rock me, but this is one of those hell yeah moments. Seal was an avid supporter of Raf Simons before he really popped off, and I love that it’s documented.

Lenny Kravitz in Spring 1999 Gucci, 1999

Lenny Kravitz was seen wearing Gucci a lot during this era, but this one stands out to me for personal selfish reasons (it’s my favorite Gucci collection). He took a piece from the womenswear collection and served it with a silver spaceman suit which looked very camp but nonetheless stylish.

Ananda Lewis in Alexander McQueen, 2000

Ananda is an unsung hero of fashion. Whether it was [clothing from] a huge label or a niche brand, she knew how to style everything just right. This Alexander McQueen moment solidifies her iconic status to me because of how particular McQueen was about who wore his pieces. She also looks stunning!