EMERGE: Eight African designers hit NYFW
Renee Minus White | 3/12/2020, midnight
For the first time, Emerge! A Runway Fashion Show presented eight African designers’ collections on the runway during New York Fashion Week. The show was absolutely fabulous, and the designs were opulent!
Coming to America, leading African designers provided a window into their cultural cleverness in designing. Emerge! A Runway Fashion Show was founded and produced by Dionne Williams of D. Williams Public Relations Group, providing a platform for unsung designers to show their merchandise in the United States. This year, Emerge collaborated with London-based organization Wearable Art Collective. For the show, hundreds of designers from around the world submitted their work to a reviewing committee of top designers. Utilizing Emerge’s significant backdrop on the runway, the selected designer’s collections were dynamic and regal. Making their debut in the United States at NYFW was a dream come true.
The designers who showcased in the Emerge! fashion show included VanVorsh (Bespoke Women’s Wear); Jesu Segun (handcrafted luxury shoes); Clarence Clottey (menswear); Muggs Jewellery (men’s and women’s jewelry); Senyo Foli (menswear); Yetroselane Couture (womenswear); Nyonuvi (womenswear); Wearable Art Collective (women’s accessories)––special guest designer: Catou Designs (menswear and womenswear) .
Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, received the 2020 Innovator Award at the show, which was presented by designer Bibu Mohapatra. Past recipients have included Audrey Smaltz, president of the Ground Crew; Constance C.R. White, editor in chief of ESSENCE magazine; Andre’ Leon Talley, contributing editor of Vogue, Fashion Icon Mikki Taylor, and legendary model Patricia Cleveland. It was nice to see legendary fashion designer Stephen Burrows present Cleveland with her award.
Wearable Art Collective’s mission is to promote, strengthen, and empower African designers and artisans. The organization strives to serve as good global citizens, providing a foundation to African designers, empowering them, giving exposure and resources. “I am truly delighted that the Wearable Art Collective designers were highlighted during the Emerge! Fashion show,” says Lola Owolabi, curator for Wearable Art Collective. “The designers worked very hard on their collections and we are asking for major support for them.”
EMERGE! is sponsored by the following: Hair designs provided by Bennett Career Institute, Makeup provided by Lamik Cosmetics, Makari De Suisse, ORS Haircare, Missy Hair Boutique, Papi Wines and Backstage & Production Directors - Aaron Handy and Iran ‘Bang’ Paylor of Models, Inc. Emerge! A Fashion Runway Show has been consistent in providing a national outlet for emerging designers to showcase their work. For more info visit www.emergrunwaynyc.com.