Black in style: NYFW ends, Erykah Badu reflects on the head wrap
This week in style, CFDA Award nominees, Mielle debuts a campaign with Angel Reese, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone teams up with Neutrogena, and more.
New York Fashion Week has dominated this week’s style news, and fashion watchers are now turning their attention overseas to the launch of London Fashion Week. Giving a big finish to the American collections, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced its nominees and honorees for the 2023 CFDA Fashion Awards on Friday.
Presented by Amazon Fashion, this year’s awards ceremony will take place on Nov. 6 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Among this year’s roster of nominees is 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Christopher John Rogers, nominated for American Womenswear Designer of the Year, which he previously won in 2021. Additionally, 2022 American Accessory Designer of the Year nominee Brandon Blackwood is once again nominated in the category for 2023, and designer Raul Lopez garnered nominations in both categories for his reversed namesake label, Luar.
Erykah Badu gets real with The Cut
As the cover star of The Cut’s September Fashion issue, Erykah Badu opened up about her fashion evolution. When the artist first rose to stardom, she was widely known for her elaborate, towering head wraps. However, she explained that her misjudgment of a highly respected spiritual priest during a trip to Cuba inspired her to take a leap of faith and ditch what had become her signature style.
“Many people are not looking for a leader,” she said, per The Cut. “They’re looking for someone who looks like one.”
“I got special treatment on the airplane when I had that big dignitary head wrap on. I got special treatment in the ‘hood. I got special treatment everywhere because doesn’t that look like a swami? I think so. No matter what I really knew, they just respected me because of that and the way it looked,” Badu explained. “I didn’t wear the head wrap anymore after that day — not in that way.”
Despite critical reactions to Badu without the head wrap, the multi-hyphenate star explains that the decision was a test of her perseverance and the beginning of an ongoing journey of self-definition.
Channel your inner Olympian in Allyson Felix’s newest sneaker
This week, Saysh, the footwear brand founded by Allyson Felix and her brother Wes Felix, released its first running sneaker. Designed for women of all fitness levels, the “Felix Runner” reportedly uses unique technology to accommodate the proportions of the female foot, creating a more comfortable running experience for women.
“Designing and creating our very own running shoe has been an inspiring journey. Over the last three years, we’ve poured our hearts into crafting The Felix Runner — a shoe that reflects the strength and determination of women,” said Allyson Felix, Co-Founder and President of Saysh, in a press release shared with theGrio. “I’m so excited for women to experience the difference of The Felix Runner firsthand — the comfort, support and stability it brings. It’s not just about the shoe; it’s about empowering every woman to conquer her own path.”
From dedicated runners to avid walkers, consumers can purchase the Felix Runner for $165 and explore its three colorways on Saysh.com and retailers, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, REI and Athleta.
Olympic gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is Neutrogena’s newest brand ambassador
Proving strength is beautiful, Neutrogena announced track and field champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone as its first-ever athlete brand ambassador on Thursday. According to a press release shared with theGrio, the brand will be capitalizing not only on McLaughlin-Levrone’s photogenic beauty but also her health-focused lifestyle, “helping consumers to learn what’s vital for their skin’s health, and the best products to help achieve their healthiest skin.”
“My schedule can get pretty busy with training and meets, and so I don’t always have the time to spend scrolling and testing out the latest in skincare and beauty trends — especially when, in reality, they may not be great for my skin,” said McLauglin-Levrone, who will serve as both a spokesperson and campaign star for the brand, in a statement. “That’s why I’m so excited to be partnering with Neutrogena to help people everywhere learn what’s really vital for their skin’s health.”
“We’ve loved watching Sydney’s success over the years and can’t wait to continue to grow as a brand with her by our side,” said Natasha Haubrich, Head of Neutrogena Equity and Strategy. “We feel confident that this partnership will help inspire consumers across generations.”
Mielle debuts its first campaign with Angel Reese, “From One Queen to Another”
In more athlete-to-brand-ambassador news, on Thursday, award-winning textured haircare brand Mielle announced its first-ever ad campaign. “From One Queen to Another” stars Mielle CEO and founder Monique Rodriguez alongside LSU basketball champion and Mielle brand ambassador Angel Reese, in a campaign intended to encourage “women’s empowerment through sisterhood and the importance of dismantling beauty secret “gatekeeping,” according to a release.
“When our Mielle Mavens are excited about their favorite Mielle ‘IT’ product, they put their friends and family onto it,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “From One Queen to Another’ reflects the community we’ve built.”
As previously reported by theGrio, Reese, also known as the “Bayou Barbie,” joined the Mielle family in May. Issuing a statement at the time, she said, “I’m a longtime user and fan of the brand so this is the perfect partnership … I feel really blessed.”
Having recently inked partnerships with both the WNBA and Howard University’s Swimming and Diving Team, Mielle is making an impact in the world of sports — especially for athletes with textured hair. In tandem with both the start of basketball season and the “From One Queen to Another” campaign, the brand is dropping a limited-edition “Queen of the Court” bundle featuring Reese’s favorite products
Ozwald Boateng is moving into interiors
One of Savile Row’s most colorful tailors is bringing his legendary style home. As reported by Women’s Wear Daily, designer Ozwald Boateng, best known for his sharply tailored, vibrantly hued menswear, is debuting his first-ever home furnishings collection, a collaboration with Italian luxury furniture brand Poltrona Frau, at the London Design Festival, currently on through Sept. 24.
WWD reports Boateng’s much-beloved aesthetic, which marries bespoke British tailoring with his Ghanian heritage and love for African style, is the hallmark of the capsule collection, which includes furniture, accessories, textiles and wallpaper. Boateng explained to WWD his decision to explore new mediums in his work.
“It’s interesting because over the decades of me designing, it’s always been about this relationship with me and interiors and furniture because of my use of fabrics, my design [expertise] of textiles, which is something I’ve really built my name on,” he said. “And because I’m a stickler for quality, it was always about finding the right partner execution.”
Poltrona Frau proved the right partner for Boateng’s first foray into interiors and furnishings, reimagining many of its silhouettes in the designer’s trademark fabrics. Standouts reportedly include a Kente cloth-inspired embossed leather on a classic Chesterfield-style sofa.
“Creativity is about creating beautiful pieces that move your spirit, right? When you do that, that cuts through all levels of bias, you know? And so that’s basically what this collaboration is demonstrating,” said Boateng.
Two Black female sculptors inspire a New York Fashion Week collection
Never forget that fashion is art — and this New York Fashion Week, one designer looked to another art form for inspiration. Bibhu Mohapatra is an Indian designer with an eponymous luxury label, but his Spring 2024 collection was informed by the work and legacies of two Black female sculptors: Augusta Savage and Simone Leigh.
Though nearly a century separates the two artists’ work — Savage was active in the 1930s, while Leigh is an award-winning contemporary artist — “a parallel can be drawn between these artists, showcasing their shared commitment to exploring themes of identity, empowerment, and cultural heritage,” reads a statement shared with theGrio. “Savage’s pioneering sculptures, rooted in the Harlem Renaissance, paved the way for Leigh’s contemporary creations that challenge societal norms and celebrate the strength and resilience of onyx womanhood.”
Mohapatra’s evocative collection was presented by a predominantly Black cast of models at New York Fashion Week on Wednesday; you can view all the Black girl magic in our gallery below.
Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace and Adidas join forces to celebrate Hip-Hop at NYFW
Amid runways and showrooms, Adidas and Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace welcomed a stylish crowd to an evening of skating and celebrating Hip-Hop’s style and culture. Amidst the festivities, the brands also honored the legacy of the Adidas Originals Superstar by transforming the classic sneaker into a detachable rollerskate. With special appearances from Saweetie, Meek Mill, Myles Frost, Quincy Brown, Nick Cannon, and more, attendees skated along to the sounds of DJ T.J. Mizell and DJ Quiana Parks at The Rink at Rockefeller Center.
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