An instigator by definition is a person who brings about or initiates something. In my life, I’ve realized how often I am seen as an instigator for wanting to discuss and tackle issues head-on  – and for never wanting to be silenced. As the Black Lives Matter Movement grew and with the tragic deaths that occurred this year, I felt our voices being even more stifled. I decided to use my platform to highlight my original muses (women) but more specifically, Black women. I met with Livia Rose Johnson to hear her thoughts:

An instigator by definition is a person who brings about or initiates something. We (black and brown people) are often referred to as instigators for protesting and speaking out about issues that are affecting us daily. I constantly encourage this, especially in our generation. What’s your take on this?

An instigator is really just someone who can awaken something in someone else… The power of an instigator is completely dependent on the amount or extent to which they can awaken people and draw awareness to a problem. Instigators are ESSENTIAL because of their ability to draw exponential influence.

You are extremely vocal and vulnerable to your audience. People can often stereotype as the “angry Black woman/man” troupe. I often try to explain how our “anger” is actually extremely valid in any form–Instead of asking if we are angry / we should be asking why. So, why are you angry? 

I would say definitely don’t mistake my anger for passion. I am passionate about Black lives and I just want to see them flourish.

flower coat, @asha.le.


There’s been a lot of performative activism and discourse specifically towards those who are not being more active. What do you have to say to those people and why is it important for EVERYONE to fight?

I want to say that everyone feels pain differently in a way; protesting is just one way of dealing with the pain so I don’t want to tell certain people to be on the streets if that’s not the best way of healing/ dealing. However, there are different methods for us to fight. You can be donating, calling your local legislation, trying to get people to vote,  it’s a team effort that involves much more than just marching. Just because you’re focusing on a different part doesn’t make you performative. We cannot be gatekeeping how people participate in activism or fight for Black lives especially, for the Black community.

Mesh Dress , Khendar @hausofkhendar. jewelry , Johnny Nelson @johnnynelsonjewelry.

Corset+Veil, @hausofkhendar. jewelry, Johnny Nelson @johnnynelsonjewelry.

What does freedom mean to you?

Freedom means accepting myself and the purest form in my true dimension. I feel that as a Black woman I’m told to be this or that conform to one stereotype or another, and I  never truly get to be myself society doesn’t want. I’ve learned how to be comfortable in my skin down to the bone and to unapologetically be my most authentic self.

Lastly, how are you feeling? Do you have any projects coming up that you want to share?  

I feel drained yet there’s a flame that has been fueling me since May and it won’t stop now. A lot of the new work that I’ve been doing is creating digital space that reflects what we had in the streets; making it accessible for everybody. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to physically go out and protest, mainly due to the pandemic; so I’m focused on activism that is accessible to those who aren’t able to go outside, especially with the state of the world. We want activism to be able to be utilized by everyone!

Denim Coat , @asha.le



 Livia Rose Johnson  @liviarosejohnson  

photos /  Juliet Wolf @julietwolf

fashion direction + story / Jay Khendar @hausofkhendar

location / Shot @ Mi Casa NYC