Black fashion influencers haven’t always been given the shine and recognition they deserve. They are often overlooked for their white counterparts, while consistently setting trends across the world. Fashion and style influencer Jeneé Naylor, aka High Low Luxxe, took the leap from retail store manager of one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. to becoming one of the most well-known Black fashion influencers of today.

Naylor has had her fair share of obstacles along the way, from feeling like she always has to over-excel to spending countless hours ensuring her content is top tier. But, the fashionista has now found her footing and is showing the world that you can wear what you want—without feeling like you're doing “too much” or being "too loud." Amassing a whopping 374K followers on Instagram alone, it’s safe to say that she’s doing something right. 

EBONY recently spoke with the fashion expert to gain deeper insight into her life as a budding style icon, and what she has planned for the next 5 years. She even name-dropped a few of her favorite fellow Black fashion influencers.

EBONY: What was your first introduction into fashion?
Jeneé' Naylor: I would say my first introduction to fashion dates back to middle school. I remember when I initially discovered fashion magazines and how I would spend hours sketching my own designs and ideas. It wasn’t until I went to college and studied Fashion Marketing when my true passion for fashion started to develop. Even after graduating from college, my first job was at Nordstrom, and I absolutely loved being able to style people and help them piece different looks together. That’s when I really noticed how natural fashion came to me and how much I truly enjoyed it!

Did you always know that you wanted to work in this industry?
Absolutely yes! I just never knew in what capacity. Mind you, this was before social media, so I had no concept or aspirations of being a content creator. When I was younger, I had my heart set on being a fashion designer. Once I started working in retail, I thought styling would be my focus. At this point in my career, I’m just so happy to serve as an example to others who are also passionate about building a career around fashion. 

How did you make the jump from working for a huge retailer to being your own brand?
I served as the store manager for Target and absolutely loved it. Not only was I naturally good at my job, but I thoroughly enjoyed the people interaction, leading a team, and putting my fashion marketing skills to use. I was so committed to my career and just knew deep down that I would make it to the C-suite level. However, when I started my content creation journey, it became difficult to give both Target and my own brand 100%. There came a point where I had to choose one because I couldn’t equally excel at both. It’s always interesting and exciting when your passion takes a natural progression and starts to take on a mind of its own.

How long did it take you to get noticed among the street style photogs?
To be honest, this is still something that I’m constantly working towards. I’ve been attending Fashion Week since 2019, so it's definitely something that has taken time and requires patience. This industry is very much a marathon and not a race!

What were some obstacles you faced as a Black influencer?
In full transparency, there are definitely a few obstacles that I face as a Black influencer, and at times it can be frustrating. Everything from feeling as if my style can be perceived as “too much” or “too loud”, to feeling as if certain spaces simply aren’t for me or interested in including me. I think black influencers in general have to combat an underlying expectation of excellence when creating content. Feeling as if any and everything we produce must be the best of the best can get exhausting. I’d say the one struggle that impacts me the most is feeling as if my community isn’t always properly valued. I really pride myself on having an amazing and engaging online community, mainly of women. Unfortunately, I don’t always feel as if their value, engagement, and dollars matter to certain brands.

What was a career defining moment that made you say, “yep, I made the right decision”?
I would say being invited to host the Hanifa Digital FW22 Presentation, along with hosting Nordstrom’s Live Anniversary Sale Lunchtime Livestream, were two of my most career defining moments to date. Both events really embody the type of impact I aim to make within the fashion industry, while also showcasing my enjoyment for hosting live events. I love being able to lend my fashion expertise and really hope to move towards more live hosting opportunities in the future.

Where do you see yourself and brand within the next 5 years?
I definitely still see myself creating thoughtful and purposeful content for my community within the next couple of years. My north star will always be ensuring I’m providing value, being of service, and being as helpful as possible. Exciting news, but I am in the super early stages of working on a personal brand, so I definitely see that being a forefront priority in the coming years. I’m so proud of the foundation and team I’ve built, so I can’t wait to see the heights we reach. The sky's the limit!

Who are some of your favorite Black fashion influencers to follow on social media?
In the words of Issa Rae, I’m rooting for everybody Black! I really enjoy following people that inspire me to be creative and think differently. That said, some of my favorite Black style influencers on social media are: @TheYusfs, @MonroeSteele, @Tenickab, @TamuMcPherson, @SlipintoStyle, @HodanYousuf, @ItsCarolyngray, @CandiceBrathwaite, @_MarisaMartins_, and @TheInspiredi.