Mode Noir Inc.: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

September 12, 2012 7 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Located in the historic neighborhood of Springfield, Mode Noir is a local business that focuses on clothing for "REAL" sized women.

In an industry that focuses on aesthetics, the global fashion industry still upholds biases regarding height, and fetishizes “exotic” looks. Mode Noir Inc. is part of a new generation of a movement that focuses on inclusivity despite a models characteristics their motto is “Excellence is the only option.”

Mode Noir incorporates a peaceful and beautiful aesthetic incorporating flora, pink and black colors.

Mode Noir Inc. was established in September 2011, the boutique, management (talent agency), and home décor are part of a local business that is dynamic, and forward thinking. The boutique is quite charming, and welcoming. Inspired to cross all-cultures and ethnicities the founders Gabrielle and Aisha want to promote the positive image of what black fashion is.

The dress pictured is a true gem and is one of Mode Noir signature items.

Located next to Mode Noir is a beauty salon for local residents within the neighborhood and Greater Jacksonville.

The duo describe themselves as “retail therapists” Aisha (a former teacher), and Gabrielle (licensed and certified therapist) have clients from all over metropolitan Jacksonville and want customers to “look good, but also feel good as well” by boosting an individuals self-esteem.  

This fashionable piece is great for evening wear.

Mode Noir also makes African inspired baby slings (holds up to 40 lbs), and embroidery. Aisha noted, “instead of having citizens of the neighborhood receiving embroidered designs at regency, or the town center. Support your local neighborhood.” The company supports local-online designers based here in Jacksonville and throughout the country.

However, Aisha holds a progressive, and forward thinking view for Jacksonville. Her vision for the city is to better market assets such has historical neighborhoods, local businesses and boutiques, and making more progressive moves for the in-town neighborhoods.

Mode Noir's jewelry & accessory collection

Mode Noir Inc. Model Brooklyn

During my visit, I spoke with several supporters of Mode Noir Inc. such as Brooklyn (in-house model, and fashion designer) “I don’t have a set inspiration or focus. My fashion is inspired by everything, there’s too much copying in the fashion industry.” Model Tanisha who is a size 2 traveled to Wilhelmina in Miami was called “hippy.” Tanisha describes agents being “unrealistic,” and how agents must promote healthier body images.

During casting calls, agents consider “plus size” of being larger than a size 10. Average sizes range from 0-8. With height models must be at least 5’8 for runway, and 5’6 for commercial prints. In essence, there’s a potential growth by featuring models of all shapes and sizes. We must allow designers to have more creative freedom, by catering to various body-types and “looks.” Mode Noir has the potential of fueling diversity in Jacksonville and has the influence, to not just change a neighborhood but an entire community of citizens.

Mode Noir Inc.
1443 N. Main St.
Jacksonville, FL 32206'