Harlem, New York- Harlem Fashion Week took place last week at the Museum of New York City.
The marble floors of the 94 year old museum was aligned with rows of black fold-able chairs and fashion enthusiast. Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy took over the space as guest crowded in for a chance to get a glimpse at new and seasoned designers.
Harlem Fashion Week was curated by Yvonne Jewnell.
We attended the Sunday night 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm shows where 11 designers were featured. The 8:30 presentation showcased designs from The Brownstone by Princess Jenkins, Bobette Eiza, Jamia Jordan, Shiffon Wiggins, Tracy Lall Dass, and Shay Shoe Heaven.
The 9:30 pm show featured Yvonne Jewnell New York, Daniel Mozzes, Queen E. Collection, Marvin Williams, and Mind of Kyemah McEntyre.
The Emerging Designers competition was the 8:30 pm fashion presentation where Princess Jenkins, and Bobette Eiza were awarded proceeding the runway show. Bobette was awarded with the Emerging Designers award while Jenkins was also awarded.
There was a brief intermission following the Emerging Designers showcase. Guests had the option of patronizing the market downstairs where there were vendors of local black businesses selling unique merchandise. Vendors in attendance included Uniquely Wired, Free Me Brand, and Doll House Rebel among many others.
Following the short intermission fashion show attendees gathered on the 2nd floor of the historical museum for the 9:30 pm show, which featured social media fashion star Kyemah McEntyre.
It was safe to say the majority of the attendees were eager to see what this young 20 year old African inspired designer had in store. The organizers of the fashion show were sure to have us wait until the end by saving the best for last.
First up for the 9:30 presentation was designer Yvonne Jewnell New York, who made a pungent political statement in her showcase as her models wore clothing the color of the African American flag; red. green, and black. Jewnell’s models walked the runway to James Brown’s ‘I’m Black and I’m Proud“. One of her models even carried the Pan-African flag waving it in the air as she walked the runway. During the finale the models walked out holding up their clinched fists. This was #EVERYTHING and merged our current political atmosphere with modern fashion trends.
Proceeding the presentations of Daniel Mozzes, Queen E. Collection, Marvin Williams, it was time for the McEntyre’s showcase. And the crowd waited with anticipation and once her name was called as the next designer to hit the stage everyone began cheering as her first model hit the runway.
McEntyre who’s now 20 made her fashion debut via instagram at the young age of 18, after she designed her own African inspired prom dress, equipped with minor jewelry and her biggest accessory was her blown out afro. And yes she won as the prom queen award for her high school.
Immediately following her viral prom dress debut Kyemah was featured in numerous media outlets including Pix 11 News, Cosmopolitan, and Essence magazine just to name a few. Suceeding her press run to discuss her inspiring designs the then 18 year old was tapped to design a dress for Power actress and New Jersey native, Naturi Naughton.
Now,that you’re caught up to speed on McEntyre’s rise to internet fame, let’s get back to the show.
As Black Girl Magic enthusiast, Solange Knowles’s ‘Don’t Touch my Hair’ crept through the speakers, McEntyre’s models walked the runway and so appropriately one dress was made entirely of beaded cornrows and another floor length gown made of braids. Her models’s hair was styled in bantu knots, braids, and fro hawks. The #Blackgirlmagic slay was in full effect…..
McEntyre said her inspiration was her identity as an African American woman in America.
“My biggest inspiration was myself as an African American woman, what it means to be black in America, what it means to be a woman in America, what it means to be black and a woman in America. I liked the idea of using things that we do on a everyday basis like cornrow our hair and transform it into this idea that it is art and that it is beautiful. I also used African print in the beginning and transitioned into canvass couture. I really liked the idea of images and that’s how I get my messages across.”
Gift bags were sponsored by Shea Moister, and Curls hair products. For more information on Harlem Fashion week visit www.harlemfw.com
To view photos from Sunday night’s show look below.