MEET OUR FOUNDER
My name is Joanis Duran, the founder of Kalani + Wolf.
As a Queer Afro-Latina born in the Dominican Republic, and raised in Sunny Miami. This city is known to be a melting pot of culture, food, styles, and rhythm under the sun but lacks representation of our Queer and Afro-Latinx community. For a child who didn’t mirror the portrayal of cis-white Eurocentric Latino, my parents did their ultimate best to empower our Black and Latinx Roots in the face of adversity.
Yet, there were moments that reminded me that I wasn't Latin enough- nor welcomed. Since the age of six, I knew my heart would walk the beat to a different drum but the world wasn’t ready- ’till this day there are children facing the same discrimination. Fast forward to my early twenties, is when I decided to come out to my family and friends and there isn’t a day that I look back. So when Lady Gaga sings “I was born this way…” that’s my anthem to anyone defying our rights.
My fashion journey started when I landed my first job at the age of 17, held odd jobs here and there but fashion kept calling me back. Possessing a formidable 19+ years of fashion experience, I’ve learned how companies use our BIPOC and Queer employees as their tokenism to keep up with appearances, profiting of their craft while stealing-credit, demanding more and still underpaying us in a white cis-gender industry.
In 2017, Kalani + Wolf was born and at this precise moment, I realized the value of US. Creating a community that’s reflective of myself, values, ethics and community was all the reason to change the industry from within.