The Lovers Lookbook: A Cultural Representation of Black Love Portrayed Through Music and Fashion

The representation of Black Love in the 90’s through genres such as R’n’B is certainly undeniable. Cheryl Osei, born and raised in South East London being inspired by the genre, wanted to create a fashion and music conceptual video based on Black Love. She describes the 90’s as being an era where the portrayal of love was solidified. Cheryl had identified that she had not yet seen a film which captured music and fashion, which led to The Lovers Lookbook creating a sense of nostalgia. This theme was successfully portrayed throughout the video through music, typography and visuals. Cheryl chose songs sung by Donell Jones, Brandy and Aaliyah to create the video, to represent love whilst using video to present the look book.

(Photo taken by Maria Prieto)

“I was motivated to create The Lovers Lookbook because I hadn’t really seen anything like it before in film. A couple months back, I kept listening to Brent Faiyaz’s ‘Stay Down’ who already has a strong 90s R’n’B sound. As an artist, he has only recently started releasing music videos for songs on his album and I kept thinking of a video for it. So, I said to myself I had to create something to honour that 90s R’n’B era and make people nostalgic about it.”
– Cheryl Osei

One could argue the portrayal of Black Love in the 90’s was a lot stronger than it is now. The use of music creates a nostalgic feeling, which makes The Lovers Lookbook a success. Which brings me to think would the Lovers Lookbook have the same effect using music from this era? Cheryl seeks to change things up and look at different eras in the future, which shall be eye-opening considering the changes in R’n’B music today.

(Photo taken by Maria Prieto)


“I’m currently working on another Lookbook however we’re going to be exploring a different era and add more drama to intensify the scenarios. My hope for 2019 is to direct and produce as many fashion and music conceptual videos as possible with anyone willing and keen to see something different. As a Creative, I’m all about making work to help get underrepresented communities visibility so that’s my focus in general.

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With the upcoming project, I’m going backwards in time because I think it’s important to show as much representation of black love and fashion as possible. There’s nothing more jarring than scrolling through Pinterest and finding it difficult to spot black people fashionably dressed throughout previous decades, did we just not exist? My generation grew up around a lot of amazing black popular culture and it’s time to bring that back.”
– Cheryl Osei

Check out The Lovers Lookbook here on Youtube, a unique concept which brings both music and fashion to the forefront.

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