My artwork captures narratives of women of color through their fashion, personal style and culture. Growing up Haitian-American in Brooklyn, I was constantly surrounded by traditions that celebrated powerful remnants of the African Diaspora. I became fascinated with people in my neighborhood – watching them in their everyday lives became a hobby for me. My favorite thing to look out for was a women’s poise. Her stance and demeanor would completely transform depending on what they were wearing. I wanted to capture that essence of confidence in my drawings.
My illustrations are an exploration of ethos; fashion merely connects the treads of the untold narratives of women whose personalities and culture is not often celebrated. Incorporating texture in my art enhances the tactile nature of design as well as highlighting the artisanship in the creation of garments. The composition of each of my characters is inspired by charisma of the everyday women.
The methodology of my process follows the traditional fashion illustration structure. Though the mediums in my art vary; they are linked by the recurring subject matter. Each series consists of multiple works that are arranged by a specific personality and culture of women from the African Diaspora.
Stephanie PhaFa Roy was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York in 1988. Her parents are Haitian immigrants that migrated to America in the 1960’s. PhaFa is the youngest of five children and she comes from a family of artists and educators. At the age of four she began to copy drawings by her brother Stevey Ray Roy who would adjust her sketches and teach her new artistic techniques. In order to escape her reality from the impoverished community that she was raised in PhaFa began to create fashion illustrations of clothing that she was not allowed to wear and could not afford.
As her love for illustration grew so did her love for history and education. PhaFa attended the High School of Fashion Industries where she was able to develop her sewing and illustration skills. She also had the opportunity participate in and win the Teens in Fashion competition and intern in the boys department at Rocawear before the age of seventeen.
PhaFa then went on to graduate with honors from State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art History & Museum Professions and a minor in Film & Media Studies. She also has an Associate degree in Fashion Design. PhaFa is an Artist and Creative Consultant. She uses her artistic talents to support social/civic issues and communities in need. Recently, she has collaborated on projects with the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Queen Geniuses, Inc., The Office of Educational Opportunity at SUNY F.I.T, AFROPUNK, and the U.R.B.A.N Tattoo Convention, where she combined her creative instincts for product development and branding.
PhaFa is committed to using art as a tool for inspiration and innovation. Her fashion illustrations of alternative women of color whose personal style does not conform to the social norms.
Stephanie PhaFa Roy continues to produce imaginative illustrations in Brooklyn, New York where she lives and works.
Museum of Impact: Upstanders, January 2017, Urban Art Gallery - Philadelphia, PA
The Art of HERstory: Dreaming While Awake, March 2016 - June 2016, Bed Stuy Restoration Corporation - Brooklyn, New York
Museum of Impact: Movement is Rising, February 6, 2016, Brooklyn Museum - Brooklyn, New York
Seven Day Fashion Forecast on Seventh Avenue, December 2015, Seven Grams Caffe - New York, New York
Women of the Diaspora: We Be Rational, June 2014 - October 2014, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning - Queens, New York