On Saturday, September 7th, as the start of NYFW SS’20 kicked off, with models running from fittings and shows, to designers clamoring last minute for the perfect look and all the other mess that comes with the ensuing glamour of Fashion Week, a special celebration took place.
The event, held at the chic Lower East Side venue The Delancey, was in support of The Black Vogue movement. Founded by Nareasha Willis, the movement supports black creatives in the fashion industry, which has constantly ostracized and appropriated Black culture without the due credit owed. Currently, the movement is undergoing a trial with Vogue Magazine, who claim the Black Vogue Movement tarnishes their brand name. In light of this, the day party was not only a space for black creatives to congregate and celebrate, but also a fundraiser to raise awareness and provide support.
Described as “not only a celebration of our presence and influence in fashion, but a moment for us to unify against racism and cultural appropriation in the industry,” the event certainly held up to its’ promises. Attendees showed up, and showed out, with their best regalia on full display: tailored suits, beaded jackets and blazers, colorful dresses and more. Formal, and certainly dapper, attire was present. Natural hair and protective styles took center stage, with hot girl summer certainly cascading into Fall, accompanied by long, swinging locs, inspirational updo’s and fancy adornments.
What was perhaps most important, and incredibly influential to be a part of, was the space the event provided for black creatives to mingle and get to know one another. As a black creative myself, I can count on one hand the number of events or spaces I’ve inhabited with a majority black crowd. Saturday’s event was fully for, by and attended by us.
It felt great to be surrounded by individuals who just get it. Attendees ranged from PR, marketing, fashion and jewelry designers, models, photographers, artists and plenty more. On hand was an illustrator, Brittany Symone, offering on the spot hand-drawn portraits, while custom-made drinks with names such as “ Dear White People” got the day drinking going and started early. As the crowd grew, the event spoke to just how important it is for spaces like this to exist. The Black Vogue Movement truly embodies a clear message for everyone to hear: we’re here, and we’re staying. The support was overwhelming, and the connections made possible only by events and spaces such as these.
All in all, the venue and celebration was the perfect kick-start to NYFW, as well as a great cause to raise awareness for, and to support, The Black Vogue Movement. Grateful to have witnessed such a positive environment for Black Excellence: let’s continue to champion for more.
Taj Cutting is an interior and experience designer who loves to travel. When not exploring the world, she enjoys writing, kickboxing classes and eating more Mediterranean food than she can manage!