How Nana Agyemang Is Creating Community for Black and Brown Women in Fashion Media

The multimedia strategist launched her company, EveryStylishGirl, in 2016.
Nana Agyemang
Nana Agyemang / Courtesy of Nana Agyemang

Nana Agyemang always wanted to pursue fashion journalism in New York City. To that end, following her undergraduate years at George Washington University, she applied to and attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. But it wasn’t until she was working her first job in fashion media at Elle that she realized Black and Brown women were seriously underrepresented in the industry.

“I remember being the only darker skinned woman who worked there,” she recalls in a conversation with SI Swimsuit. She found it confusing because “so many people I know growing up who look like me want to work in fashion.”

So, she approached someone in human resources about it. “She said, ‘Well, you know for some reason the women of color, for one, their applications just aren't up to par with other competitors who apply, but two, there might be a silly mistake on their resume or cover letter,’” Agyemang says.

It was at that point that Agyemang asked herself, “Why don't I start a media training program for women of color who look like me?”

She took her idea and created a media training program—the early iteration of her current company, EveryStylishGirl—where she taught 10 to 15 women a quarter how to write a strong cover letter, how to interview and what makes for successful photojournalism. It was one of her trainees who came up with the idea of an in-person experience called Sip N’ Slay.

Nana Agyemang
Ryan Destinay and Nana Agyemang at a Sip N' Slay Event in Los Angeles. / Courtesy of Nana Agyemang

The concept was simple: gather a group of women for brunch and teach them “how to break into the industry.” Thus, in 2016, EveryStylishGirl was born “out of a lack of representation” and “a pipeline issue in this industry” that Agyemang felt compelled to fix.

Since that first internship, she has worked at Refinery29, New York Magazine and The Cut. And to each one, she has brought innovation. Her focus, when it comes to media content, lies in what she calls the “three Es”: emotion, empowerment and education. It’s with that mentality that she was able to grow The Cut’s Instagram from 500 followers to one million in a year.

As the first Black woman on the company’s social media team, Agyemang didn’t want to just “hide in the shadows,” something that she feels Black women in her position tend to do. “When we get a prestigious role, we're like, ‘We're just happy to be here. Let's just work quietly, so no one notices us.,’” she says. “And I think for me, I was like, ‘No, I want to be loud. I want to take up space.’”

It was that active decision to take up space that allowed The Cut’s “community to expand to more diverse groups.” In the same way that she has dedicated herself to bringing more diverse faces to the fashion media space, she successfully brought the fashion media content to a more diverse audience.

These days, Agyemang continues to pursue greater diversity both in her traditional media roles at New York Magazine and The Cut, while simultaneously running meaningful workshops and events for EveryStylishGirl. There’s no doubt she will continue to make a difference in both arenas.

Nana Agyemang
Tatian Elizabeth, Brittany Hampton and Kayla Nicole at a Sip N' Slay Event in Los Angeles. / Courtesy of Nana Agyemang

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Martha Zaytoun

MARTHA ZAYTOUN

Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.