Kenya Hunt, Fashion director at Grazia and author of new book, GIRL.


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In this episode of our JOY series, we talk to Kenya Hunt whose new book GIRL: Essays on Black Womanhood was released in November 2020.

Episode notes

Kenya Hunt is an American editor and writer based in London. She is currently the Fashion Director at Grazia UK and previous positions include Deputy Editor at ELLE. Kenya also founded R.O.O.M. Mentoring, which provides support for those trying to get into the fashion industry and works to help the sector become more diverse.

Kenya’s book GIRL: Essays on Black Womanhood is a collection of essays about what it means to be a black woman in our time, told through her own story and experiences and those of some of her peers. It was published in November 2020.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Why writing this book was so important for Kenya (0:35)
  • Who Kenya had in mind when writing the book and the mantra ‘For us, by us’ she kept returning to (1:56)
  • Social media and hashtag culture, and the role of women in social movements and the recent US election (2:51)
  • Kenya’s experience starting out in the fashion industry and the importance of dedicating time to try to shift the industry to be more inclusive (7:33)
  • How Kenya thinks about the experience of being a black woman today, and her hopes for how she would like this to evolve (12:15)
  • The initiative Kenya started in response to the homogenous publishing and fashion industry she encountered in the UK, which helps graduates break into the industry and gives them support to progress within it (13:25)
  • The influence of Kenya’s parents, and how they continue to impact her own approach to parenting (16:04)
  • How Kenya finds joy spending time with family and writing (18:23)
  • The music and magazines Kenya uses to lift her mood and find joy (20:08)

You can find Kenya @kenyahunt on Instagram and her book is available to buy online and in bookshops. We can’t recommend it enough.

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We would love to know how this conversation resonates with you - have you read Kenya’s book or are you planning to?

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