Ethnic Influence on Fashion

The collage above shows how “natural hair” has ultimately evolved into mainstream fashion and entertainment. It began in Africa where the women just wore their hair braided and then in the early 1900s the African women began to wear more European style adornments in their hair. As slaves, African women were more excepted when their hair was straight which brought about the use of relaxers. “’Historically, for many African Americans, ‘A lot of it has to do with it fact that the ability to be seen as American and not foreign or ‘other’ had a lot to do with their look,’ Mark Anthony Neal said. ‘Because skin color couldn’t change, hair became a way to articulate a sense of American-ness. If kinkiness marked them as foreign, the ability to straighten hair marked them as more acceptable to the mainstream or ‘American’. There’s been a shift in attitudes about natural hair beginning with the black pride movement of the 1960s, when people wore their Afros and took pride in that. In the ’80s and ’90s, blacks embraced natural styles, twists and locks, and that kind of thing,’ Neal said.” (For Many Black Women, Hair Tells the Story of Their Roots, 2009) African American women are beginning to get back to their African roots by wearing their hair in its natural state and not letting society dictate how they should or should not wear their hair. Now this trend of wearing ethnic hair has reached African American celebrities, commercials, and the runway making the “natural hair” look more and more acceptable.

Technology: Converge Technology with Fashion 

Technology has meet fashion in a new and innovative way.  The high technology fashions we saw in the movies twenty years ago are finally becoming a reality in today’s fashions. New developments have come in having LED lights fitted into all kinds of fabrics and materials such as glass, rubber, plastic, and cotton. (Fashion meet technology: new tech could change your wardrobe, 2010). The picture featuring Katy Perry was taken at the 2010 MET Costume Institute Gala. The dress she wore, designed by CuteCircuit, was made of chiffon and had over 3,000 LED lights strategically placed to create a random rainbow of colors (Kate Perry lights up the MET Gala, 2010). Lady Gaga unveiled Polaroid sunglasses with a 12-megapixel camera at the 2011 Consumer Electronic Show. The sunglasses she wears are always fashionable and this is a way for consumers to take part in the fashion (Lady Gaga camera sunglasses from Polaroid at Consumer Electronic Show, n.d.). Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has been transformed into a stylish QR code which shows how all levels of fashion have been integrated with technology.

Sustainability and Going Green

The University of North Texas at Denton is living up to the “Mean Green” image. Sustainability is a major trend on the campus given the numerous programs and initiatives UNT is making to conserve and reduce energy use. For instance, Apogee Stadium is the first Platinum certified LEED stadium ever built (Wind Power at Apogee Stadium, 2012).  A grant was rewarded to the university to install three powerful wind turbines which help power Apogee stadium and its surrounding offices (Wind Power at Apogee Stadium, 2012). UNT encourages the use of reusable water bottles instead of buying a new bottle of water or soda every time. A UNT fibers class is experimenting with producing natural fabric dye so that the environment is not hurt as much by harsh chemicals (UNT Fibers Class Hosts Natural Dyes Workshop, 2012). The University of North Texas is a highly innovative university and that conducting research to decrease energy use.


Abdullah, H., & Douglas, W. (2009, October 9). For Many Black Women, Hair Tells the Story of Their Roots. In McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/10/09/76915/for-many-black-women-hair-tells.html

A Look Back at the Black Hair Story. (2009, February 12). In Naturally Curly. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/a-look-back-at-the-black-hair-story

Katy Perry lights up the MET Gala. (2010, May 4). In Cute Circuit. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www.cutecircuit.com/katy-perry-lights-up-the-met-gala/

Samaniego, J. (2010, February 13). Fashion meet technology: new tech could change your wardrobe. In PC World. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www.pcworld.com/article/187503/fashion_meets_technology_new_tech_could_change_your_wardrobe.html

Lady Gaga camera sunglasses from Polaroid at Consumer Electronic Show. (n.d.). In Big City Pictures. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www.bigcitypix.com/lady-gaga-camera-sunglasses-polaroid-consumer-electronic-show-photography-tech-wearable-technology-gizmo-gadget-fashion-style-video

Yelvington, M. (2012, March 7). UNT Fibers Class Hosts Natural Dyes Workshop. In UNT Sustainabiltiy. Retrieved March 28, 2012, from http://sustainable.unt.edu/unt-fibers-class-hosts-natural-dyes-workshop

Cocco, N. (2012, February 22). Wind Power at Apogee Stadium. In UNT Sustainabiltiy. Retrieved March 28, 2012, from http://sustainable.unt.edu/wind-power-apogee-stadium