Women We Love: Khalana Barfield Brown

We are spreading major Black Girl Magic inspiration today. Serving us this inspiration is no other than Khalana Barfield, Fashion and Beauty Editor at Large of Instyle Magazine – one of the most circulated magazines in the world for beauty, fashion and style.

It seems rather unlikely for a young woman of colour to be among the power players in a magazine as huge as Instyle, and for Khalana, it has been a very long walk to having her ‘seat at the table’ even though it doesn’t seem like it; loking through her Instagram feed one would be easily fooled into thinking that the style goddess had it easy.

Born in Seattle, Washington, her journey to being a fashion and style editor started with her love for clothes and her grandmother’s influence; growing up, Khalana had always had an impeccable sense of style, and this coincided with her grandmother’s solid advice of always dressing well no matter where she was going. Discovering this passion set her on her career path. She always knew she wanted to work in the fashion industry and she understood that she was going to work twice as hard to get her dream.

With this realization that Khalana, armed with her journalism degree from Howard University, packed up her bags the day after she graduated and moved to New York City to chase her dreams. Even though she had no clue on how to break into the highly competitive fashion industry, she was not deterred. She was prepared to start from the very bottom of the food chain if that was what it took. She quickly secured an internship at Suede (a start-up magazine company) and was working a night job to pay her bills while keeping an eye out for other opportunities.  Shortly after she scored an internship at InStyle, and floated through different departments and did several odd jobs without complaining. The experience proved to be invaluable as it got her foot in the door, and gave her the exposure she needed.

The dream job didn’t come as she had hoped though because there were no openings at that time when her internship ended.  She packed her bags and moved back home to try out the fashion industry in Seattle, but fate had other things in store for her though. A week after she got home, she got a call about an opening from one of the editors she had worked with back in Instyle. She flew back to New York and started work as an Assistant Beauty editor. She has since climbed to the top of the food chain, scoring six promotions in all.

Our girl crush of the week is humble diligent and she is not afraid to step up to the plate if need be. The yummy mummy of one is living proof that talent might open doors for you but hustle and smarts let you in.

You can follow her on Instagram for more inspiration @khalanabarfield

Photo Credits: Instagram

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