Kosi Harris Talks “Hunter Haute” Fashion’s Newest Superhero


Kosi Harris talks the creation of Hunter Haute, Fashion’s Newest Superhero. and getting a graphic novel aimed at women who are into fashion off the ground.

As an Account Director for a public relations firm, writer and grad school student, it’s really no surprise that Kosi Harris isn’t promising the second issue of her comic book, Hunter Haute, until after graduation.

“I gotta get through school first,” she laughs. “I’ve got to take one big life change at a time.”

The reality that the first issue of the fashion / superhero book has garnered such demand for a second one is a good sign for the Brooklynite, who finally saw a labor of love result in her first foray into the comic world last November.

“It (the reaction) has been very positive,” Harris said. “People have said that it’s very realistic, and I took experiences from working in fashion and being a student at FIT and implemented them, so I think that adds a lot as far as dialogue, what these folks are wearing, where they’re going to eat, and stuff like that.”

Image via Kosi Harris

Featuring the story of Amina Williams, a fashion student dealing with the aftermath of her mother’s mysterious death, as well as the business empire left behind afterwards, the book may be set in the fashion world, but the story, penned by Harris and Phil Buck, will even appeal to those who have no interest in that world. That’s a tough line to walk, but they pulled it off.

“I want to cater to the girls who are into fashion,” Harris said. “Maybe they went to a fashion school, but they don’t read comics. And I also want to cater to the comic book fan. So I think what Phil and I did was merge our creativity and experience and give a very good story.”

It took a while to get to the finished product, though. Eight years’ worth.

“I started writing outlines,” she said. “In 2014, I decided to leave my job in fashion and I ended up getting a position at a blogger agency. They merged with a magazine and I got laid off.”

She chuckles, “Two weeks before I turned 30.”

The layoff was a lousy birthday gift, but while cleaning files on her computer, Harris came across those old outlines.

“I was looking them over and it gave me something to do,” she said. “I started revising and updating it, and I was like, ‘I should probably try and put this in a comic book.’”

Soon, everything came together. She got a new job with her current employer, enrolled in grad school, and found Buck and illustrator Candace Lee. Some would say a whirlwind like that can be overwhelming. Harris, 32, is calm in the eye of that hurricane.

“In my old neighborhood, there used to be a comic book shop, and I based a cover for Hunter Haute on my first comic book. It was an X-Men comic with Storm on the cover. And me being a person of color, I thought that was so interesting to see.”

“It wasn’t that stressful for me,” she said of the process of finding her collaborators. “I guess I’m used to marketing and PR as my background when I was at FIT, so it was simple for me. I also have a good eye, so I know what I want right away.”

And for a lifetime comic book fan, it’s satisfying to be in that world.

“I’ve always loved comics and I think I’ve been a tomboy at heart,” she said. “I used to love the 90s cartoons like X-Men and Batman: The Animated Series that got me into comic books. And in my old neighborhood, there used to be a comic book shop, and I based a cover for Hunter Haute on my first comic book. It was an X-Men comic with Storm on the cover. And me being a person of color, I thought that was so interesting to see.”

Image via Kosi Harris

Now it’s Harris’ turn to be the influencer for a new generation of creators, and she’s ready to do just that in an industry that isn’t the “old boys club” anymore.

“It’s a little bit tough for everyone, but I think women are being more embraced,” she said. “There’s Amandla Stenberg, who was in the original Hunger Games, and she has a comic book called Niobe. And pioneers like that are making it easier. Then there’s also this whole Geek Girl explosion coming up where it’s okay to be a geek and there’s all these comic cons and stuff like that, so there’s an increased demand for it and it’s becoming more diverse as well.”

Sounds like perfect timing for Kosi Harris.

“I think it is perfect timing,” she said. “I won’t say fashion girls look down on comics, but they’re reading stuff like ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ or biographies of designers. So I thought it was interesting to merge two things that I like and still do it in a way that’s sophisticated enough while also respecting the comic book genre.”

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Don’t expect it to be a full-time gig, though.

“I think I’ll always be a multitasker,” she laughs.