On September 2, Atlanta Black Pride is hosting a fashion show showcasing local Black queer designers along with local LGBTQ Greek organizations. The show, which is chaired by new board member and friend of Georgia Voice Tiana Clay, promises to be a diverse and incredible event.
“This fashion show is going to rock your socks off,” Amber Moore, the COO of Atlanta Black Pride, told Georgia Voice. “You’re going to see transgender people, gay men, lesbians, studs. You’re going to see a reflection of that in the artists and designers, in the crowd, in the entertainment, in the models.”
One of the featured designers in the show is Alexandria, more commonly known as The Thrift Jesus. She is a self-taught designer who has been in the industry for the past three years. She participated in last year’s fashion show and she said it was such an encouraging and supportive atmosphere that she happily accepted the offer to be in it for a second time.
Eras that influence The Thrift Jesus’ work are ones where Black excellence and beauty were the blueprint of the fashion at the time, such as the ’70s, ’90s and early 2000s. Some brands that inspire her work are streetwear brands Fear of God, Chrome Hearts, and Pyer Moss, as well as Hanifa, a fun, colorful brand with sexy, yet eccentric clothes that have modern silhouettes with a ’70s flair. These inspirations should come as no surprise if you look through her body of work. Her earlier designs could be best described as regal, but this upcoming collection is a full 180-degree turnaround, with a “streetwear meets thrift shop” vibe.
As a bisexual woman, her queerness influences her designs as well; she creates with inclusivity in mind.
“I am aware of different body types and how people want to be represented through their look,” she told Georgia Voice. “Style [serves as] a freedom of expression, especially for the queer community. I just want to make the community proud by creating designs that make them feel unique and powerful.”
Alexandria’s love of secondhand and vintage clothes helped ignite her brand. As the name The Thrift Jesus suggests, sustainability is an important aspect of the brand. She is a fan of secondhand shopping and vintage clothing due to the creativity of the designs and the quality of the clothes themselves, and she tries to incorporate those vintage sentiments into the brand as much as she can.
You can buy her clothes through pop-ups around the city, but in the past her work has been featured in The Pink Zebra in Little 5 Points, Merge Co. at Phipps Plaza, Mutiny Artwrx at the MET Atlanta, Citizen Supply in Ponce City Market, and at her website, thethriftjesus.com (which is currently under construction, but will be complete by winter). She is currently looking into commercial property in Midtown to open her own boutique, so be on the lookout! You can follow her on Instagram @thethriftjesus and on Facebook to get updates about all of her drops, pop-up appearances, and updates regarding her potential future boutique.
The advice she has for other Black queer people interested in getting into fashion design is, “to find your voice and project it through your designs. Tell a story with each collection and never allow people who don’t understand your vision to be the ones who destroy your confidence. You aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay.”
Atlanta Black Pride’s fashion show will be held at 120 Ralph McGill Blvd from 7–9pm. To learn more, visit atlantablackpride.org.