Tag: New York Fashion Week

Nigerian-Born Taofeek Abijako, 19, is Youngest Designer to Show at Men’s New York Fashion Week

Head-of-State+ founder Taofeek Abijako (Photo by Nicolas Hunt via Getty Images)

by  via teenvogue.com

At just 19-years-old, this week, Nigerian-born designer Taofeek Abijako became the youngest designer to present a collection at New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Taofeek held a presentation for his brand Head of State+s spring/summer 2019 collection, which paid homage to 70s afro-futurism styles and West African youth culture.

Head-of-State+ first caught the eye of the fashion community weeks after its official launch in 2016. According to The New York Times Style Magazine, Japanese luxury retailer United Arrows found his self-produced lookbook on Twitter and began stocking the brand shortly after. The following year The New York Times Style Magazine labeled Head of State+ a “brand to watch”, and sure enough, the industry took notice. At the time, Taofeek was a senior in high school living in his parents Albany, New York home. He had only immigrated from Nigeria just two years prior and had just retired his soccer cleats to focus on fashion completely.

The brand’s latest offering, entitled Genesis, is the fourth collection from Taofeek. Genesis reflects the high-end streetwear aesthetic Taofeek has been exploring since its inception, and featured light trucker jackets, white tailored pants, and fitted knitwear. Speaking to the CFDA Taofeek explained, “Genesis is the translation of Afro-futurism portrayed by the likes of Parliament-Funkadelic and Sun Ra through the lens of West African youth – while at the same time celebrating the vibrancy of West African youth culture in the ‘70s and drawing parallels to modern time. The continuous homage to Fela Kuti is also portrayed.”

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SS19 “Genesis” – LOOK 5 (Jean Mark)

A post shared by HEAD OF STATE (@headofstate_) on

Now in its second year of operation, Head of State+’s visions as a brand is beginning to manifest into something that is much bigger than clothing. “I approach Head of State+ as less of a brand and more of a case study,” Taofeek told the CFDA. “It’s me digging into my cultural upbringing while trying to have a firm grasp and understanding of it.” In addition to his cultural advocacy, Taofeek is making a case for youth culture and providing the blueprint for how young designers can bypass the fashion industry’s hierarchy and establish a solid brand with minimal financial backing or formal training.

Source: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/taofeek-abijako-mens-nyfw-youngest-designer

Anok Yai Becomes 1st Black Model since Naomi Campbell to Open the Prada Show at Milan Fashion Week

Model Anok Yai (Getty Images)

by Lauren Alexis Fisher via harpersbazaar.com

Last week, model Anok Yai made history at Prada‘s Fall 2018 show during Milan Fashion Week.

The 19-year-old became the second black model to ever open a Prada show. The first was Naomi Campbell back in 1997. Yes, it’s been over two decades since a woman of color opened a Prada runway.

Anok took to Instagram to thank Miuccia Prada, along with her team, for the opportunity, writing, “Can’t believe I’m the first black woman to open for Prada since queen @iamnaomicampbell, forever grateful.”

The model’s monumental runway walk is especially incredible as she was just discovered last fall while attending Howard University’s homecoming. Weeks later, she signed with Next Models. And just one month ago, she made her runway debut at Prada’s Menswear Fall 2018 show.

Of course, the fact that Prada hasn’t cast a woman of color to open its show in over two decades is problematic in itself. In the past, the brand has come under scrutiny for its lack of diversity both on the runway and in its campaigns. Hopefully, Anok opening the Fall 2018 show is an indication the Italian fashion house is headed in the right direction when it comes to diversity.

Extremely slowly, but surely, more and more brands are recognizing the importance of casting diverse runways. This season’s Fall 2018 shows at New York Fashion Week marked the most racially diverse of all time—with women of color accounting for 37.3% of all castings. Still, there’s a lot of work to be done.

Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/models/a18696458/anok-yai-black-model-prada-show/

5th Grader Egypt Ufele Starts Clothing Line After Being Bullied About Weight

Egypt Ufele (photo via clutchmagonline.com)

article via clutchmagonline.com

A 10-year-old girl from Queens, NY was constantly being bullied about her weight, and decided to put her sewing machine to work and designed a plus-size clothing line that debuted at New York Fashion Week.

Egypt Ufele, Ify for short, says she was inspired to start designing clothes after she was bullied at school. Ify told the Today Show that she wanted to turn the “negative attention into positive attention,” by embracing her style and creativity to start her own fashion line for people of all shapes and sizes.

Ify’s Instagram account is aptly called bullychasers, and she named her line “Chubiiline” to not only embrace herself, but also to make the world realize, chubby isn’t negative. To see video of Ufele and her story, click here:

To read more, go to: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2016/02/5th-grader-starts-clothing-line-after-being-bullied-about-weight/

Pharrell’s Making the Ocean Happy with Fashion Line Using Environmentally Conscious Recycled Plastics

G-Star RAW Presents RAW For The Oceans SS15 CollectionMother Earth is certainly “Happy” with Pharrell Williams. The music genius, fashion icon (remember that Arby’s hat), NBC’s “The Voice’s” new judge and king of all things cool has teamed up with “G-Star RAW,” “Bionic Yarn” and “Parley for the Oceans” to make a splash at New York’s Fashion Week.

This past weekend, Pharrell led New York underwater for the ocean night event to unveil the second season in his co-designed collection. Ready for the 2015 Spring/Summer season, this collection is dedicated to helping Mother Earth’s oceans as well as revolutionizing the denim industry.

Pharrell took to the stage to present the environmentally conscious collection. The clothing line seeks not only to make a statement on style, but also to fight plastic pollution in our oceans by using technical innovation. Pharrell said, “Denim is one of the most cherished fabrics on Earth–and one of the most traditional. With ‘RAW for the Oceans,’ we have created its next generation.”

The collection is a creative collaboration among “G-Star,” “RAW for the Oceans” and “Bionic Yarn.” “Bionic Yarn” develops and manufactures premium yarns and fabrics made with fibers derived from recycled plastic bottles. They have joined forces to innovate denim while making a serious impact on plastic bottles. Plastic bottles, you see, often end up in our oceans. The collaboration hopes to address the fast-growing threat of plastic pollution by retrieving plastic debris from the beaches and oceans and recycling it into yarn and fabric. The collaboration also urges awareness for the pollution problem and encourages people to support the cause by becoming a part of the solution.

article by Melissa Unger via act.mtv.com

Black Beauties: 10 Black Models And Celebs Featured In Spring Fashion Campaigns


New York Fashion Week is once again underway as runway photos and street style shoots flood the Internet. It has only been a few months since September’s NYFW, when veteran supermodels and magazine bigwigs like Bethann HardisonIman, and Andre Leon Talley called the industry on the carpet for failing to showcase diversity. And it seems like things have changed, as fashion houses worldwide are seeing the beauty in brown skin.

Models of color like Cindy Bruna, Malaika Firth, and Liya Kebede have infiltrated even the most exclusive fashion houses. But considering that there are literally continents full of people of color, one face per spread might not be enough. Still, it’s a start. Flip through to see which Black beauties are striking a pose in the spring/summer 2014 campaigns.

To see more of this article, go to uptownmagazine.com or click here.

Former Model Bethann Hardison Continues Push For Racial Diversity On Runway, Sends New Letter

Bethann Hardison

When New York Fashion Week kicks off on Thursday, many commentators will be watching the runways closely — not just to see which collections will be most coveted come fall, but also to see whether designers have heeded the call to showcase more black models.

That call for action was sent out in September, at the start of the previous NYFW, by Bethann Hardison, a prominent fashion activist and former model. On behalf of the Diversity Coalition, a group of like-minded advocates and industry members, Hardison wrote a letter to the governing bodies of Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris, London and Milan, asking why “fashion design houses consistently use … one or no models of color,” and accusing specific designers of racism on the runway.

“Whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society,” the letter read in part. “No matter the intention, the result is racism.”

Hardison and the Diversity Coalition sent out another email to the governing bodies of the world’s Fashion Weeks Tuesday, detailing the progress — and lack thereof — seen on the runway this past season.

The letter reads:

Last season we addressed the international fashion industry for their lack of conduct in being racially diverse. There was a marked improvement on the runways and a positive response to the letters received by the major fashion councils and the designer brands they count as members. First we will share the results.It is important to say that there are design houses serviced by casting directors and stylists who are latent, as they seem comfortable with stereotypical images.

Although progress was made last season within certain houses, the objective is to continue this improvement across the entire industry. We look for consistency and not because of advocacy or a season lending to darker skin.

So we will continue to watch and reveal season to season.

Diversifying is not difficult. The resistance to do so is intriguing.

Hardison and the Coalition provide a tally of models of color employed during the September 2013 shows by several designers, all of which had previously cast one or no non-Caucasian models during the February 2013 shows. Overall, as Jezebel noted at the time, there was an uptick, with some design houses adding as many as four or five models of color.

Here is a breakdown of New York Fashion Week’s numbers in the letter:
diversity coalition

The Coalition also provided numbers for Paris, Milan and London.

Continue reading “Former Model Bethann Hardison Continues Push For Racial Diversity On Runway, Sends New Letter”

NYFW Recap: Best Spring 2014 Looks by Black Designers

Kithe Brewster
Kithe Brewster has styled a who’s who of fashion icons from Halle Berry to Eve to Julianne Moore to Heidi Klum, not to mention Andre 3000. He’s lent his expert sartorial spin to clients including Puma, Revlon, and Flaunt Magazine. Now, the talent has turned his fashion focus on designing bait for Best Dressed Lists. This canary yellow number from his Spring 2014 collection has Zoe Saldana’s name all over it. (Getty Images)

From established names like Tracy Reese to emerging designers like Azede Jean-Pierre, black designers were behind some of the hottest looks on the New York Fashion Week runways.  Taking luxe liberties with classic sportswear shapes, presenting fresh takes on color blocking, and daring us all to flash flesh via sexy slashes and airy panels in many of their designs, these ateliers made a strong case for commandeering extra room in our closets in the coming months.

Black designers made quite an impact with strong representation, if not in the main tents of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Many independent shows and group showcases brought their looks to the forefront.

New black talent, center stage

The Spring 2014 season was a particularly strong one for new talent. Designer competition shows like Harlem’s Fashion Row, Elle Fashion Next, and, of course, Project Runway, introduced unknown designers to insiders and influencers while fresh faces enjoyed the crucial support of industry authorities.  Charles Elliot Harbison, for example, formerly a senior designer at Billy Reid and LUCA LUCA, burst onto the scene with nods from The New York Times and WWD.comwhile being featured in Vogue’s September issue.  Shayne Oliver’s sport couture brand Hood by Air was praised across the blogosphere in addition to receiving coverage on GQ.com, Vogue.com, and WWD.com.

Breaking through to the mainstream

Likewise, many designers who have heretofore enjoyed a following limited to their niches, have broken through to the mainstream. On the heels of receiving the coveted CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear in June, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow’s haute sportswear label Public Schoolreceived widespread coverage for their Spring 2014 offering.

The new attention on these strong black talents of high fashion is long overdue, but welcome all the same. The talent has clearly always been there — but now more customers will know about it.

For more great upcoming names in fashion, click through our slideshow above for future pieces, or fashion inspiration.

article by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond via thegrio.com

Fashion Week: Meet Models Committed to Making a Difference

Liya Kebede's Liya Kebede Foundation engages in a range of charitable projects that help improve maternal healthcare in her native Ethiopia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Liya Kebede’s Liya Kebede Foundation engages in a range of charitable projects that help improve maternal healthcare in her native Ethiopia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Fashion Week isn’t only about glitzy runway shows and star-studded front rows; nor is the industry solely about dreamy designer pieces most of us can’t afford and rich, skinny models. Some of those beautiful mannequins and marquee names are as much about substance as style.

As New York Fashion Week entered its fifth day on Monday, supermodel Liya Kebede explained to theGrio how she used her fame gained walking runways to raising awareness about maternal health. At an intimate gathering in the rooftop bar at Manhattan’s SoHo House, hosted by La Phête, a new online destination focused on spotlighting fashion’s philanthropic stars, Kebede shared her journey.

Continue reading “Fashion Week: Meet Models Committed to Making a Difference”

Tracy Reese Relaunches Website

Tracy Reese has relaunched her e-commerce website, TracyReese.com, and on it the fashion designer is not only going to offer her latest collections from both Tracy Reese and Plenty by Tracy Reese, but some of her inspirations as well. The section Tracy Loves features some of the hottest items and trends Reese is currently falling for like mixing bold colors and patterns. She also spotlights Butterscotch by Sally Hansen nail polish, which she’s used for her show and says that “romantic blue roses inspired a number of items in this collection.”
Her blog, Reese’s Pieces, shows sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes coverage as she travels around the world, chooses colors for her latest collection, dresses the First Lady, and preps for fashion shows.

Speaking of shows, New York Fashion Week is upon us and Reese recently shared her inspiration behind the Fall 2013 collection she’ll be sending down the runway Feb. 10. The New York-based designer was influenced by city’s “harshness and beauty” and will attempt to liven up the typically all-black ensembles New Yorker’s tend to fall for with pops of scarlet, cerise, teal, aubergine, tan and lychee. Expect feminine silhouettes in floral patterns, long skirts, sweater tunics, and vibrantly-hued outerwear.

article by Dorkys Ramos via bet.com