E. Jaguar Beckford (company name Jag and Co), got their start in the industry as an entertainment attorney, They’ve been doing that for about 15 years and they’ve represented many high profile clients. They’ve also worked for Sony International in contract administration. They’ve represented artists from Blues to RnB.
So let’s chat!
How did you start working with Fashion?
The interesting thing about working with fashion is that I’ve worked with it my whole life, at an early age I was taught to sew by my mother, and my grandmother made sure that I kept up with it. I made clothing and jewelry, then I would sell it in Law School.
What clients have you represented as an entertainment lawyer?
I’ve worked with many clients, that include: Lyfe Jennings, who lived in my Brownstone for years, I was able to get him a deal; Chrisette Michele, whose deal I did in back 2005; I did the Ghostface Killah and Amy Winehouse deal, where they introduced Amy to the U.S. market, I worked on the production; I’ve worked with Michael Jackson and Alicia Keys- just to name a few high profile clients that I’ve represented in the music industry.
What sets Rainbow Fashion Week apart from other Fashion Shows?
I think it’s wonderful to have a large variety of designers that come from all walks of life. We have people that are just starting in the industry to people who have been in the industry for years and are more seasoned. To be able to get their support has been just phenomenal, being able to help facilitate the careers of up-in-coming designers is just fantastic!
This is the third year of Rainbow Fashion Week, what do you hope for going forward in the future?
We are starting to get more recognition, which brings more sponsors, because of this we will be able to create more amazing shows for more behind the scenes, creative people. Rainbow Fashion Week is really about taking behind the scenes people and allowing them an opportunity to do productions. For the Hair Du Soliel show, there is an amazing hair artist by the name of Egyptt Buck, he just won the Raw awards, which is an amazing accomplishment for someone in his industry. Being able to showcase artwork in the form of Hair and Makeup is wonderful, Rainbow Fashion Week’s tagline is The art of Fashion, and we truly mean that! We look at the industry as a whole and say “How can we show people unique types of shows instead of regular runway,” but we also give runway shows as well.
How does Rainbow Fashion Week show its solidarity with the Orlando shooting happening?
We sent out a notice to our community and to our specific market, basically telling them how heartfelt the situation was for us and that we wanted to somehow support that community in Orlando as much as possible. We made sure that in every event we do moments of silence for the victims of the shootings, and we’ve had our Organization called the Metamorphic Corner come in and speak on those tragedies. Metamorphic Corner continued to recognize this during our eight days of Queer.
What is Rainbow Fashion Week’s biggest accomplishment?
I don’t think there is a biggest accomplishment. I think in everything we do; we can do something greater. I feel as though every accomplishment is a step toward something greater. I don’t look at anything as big, but just more growth as an individual. I believe we can evolve to greater heights, we address things like: Global Warming, the water crisis, homelessness and trans violence, in order to make everyone aware, especially those in the LGBTQ community. We want to make sure that we tie into every show our social responsibilities, as a Queer show.
Has Rainbow Fashion Week ever experienced discrimination because it was a Queer event?
I’m a black woman, who is in the LGBTQ community, in dealing with Rainbow Fashion Week, we got shunned the first two years. Now, being that this is our third year, everyone is knocking at our door, because we represent diversity within the fashion community. Everything about Rainbow Fashion Week is diverse, in fact we had a model fly in from Norway one year! This year someone flew in from South Africa, so as far as striving to be diverse, our show fits the bill! I tell producers that when looking for talent, look outside your social circles. We reflect every year on the fashion show and say “How could we have made this show more diverse for next year?!” We’ve even gone so far as to look on Meetup.com and find talent on there.
What is the inspiration behind Rainbow Fashion Week?
My inspiration is personal enlightenment; I know that as individuals we are all meant to do great things and I know that as individuals we don’t see greatness in ourselves. I think it’s really wonderful to help young people see their own greatness early on, my parents made it a priority to know about my African heritage, I knew just about everything about the continent of Africa, and I knew just the greatness that I came from. My parents always taught me strong values when I was growing up. I think as individuals, if we learn at an early age of our greatness, then we can achieve anything! Everyone asks me how I can do so much and I reply “It’s all mental,” for example: I am starting the Rainbow Fashion Week Dream Academy, which is going to start the first women’s economic empowerment program, in Honduras. We will be taking some of the designers and production assistants from Rainbow Fashion Week to Honduras and we can eventually get into producers getting mass production.
You’re writing a book, when can we expect that? What will it be about?
I’ve got 13 chapters done so far, I am hoping after this Rainbow Fashion Week I can finalize it by the end of the year. It’s about a court case that I dealt with, probably one of the biggest cases in my career.
How can we reach you?
Facebook: Jag AndCo
Jag and Co is all about diversity within the fashion industry, the LGBT community now has their voice in fashion and as Rainbow Fashion Week enters its fourth year next year, we can’t help but to think to ourselves of how proud we are! Keep up the good work, there are BIG things on the horizon!
**This interview was written with gender neutral pronouns
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