Black Fashion Fair presents its AW21 designer class


Courtesy of Cameron André

Before the 2020 uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement, which pushed the historically white-centric fashion industry against the wall to address the lack of genuine diversity and equal opportunity for black professionals, there were hardly spaces or platforms for our community – if at all. While waiting for non-POC colleagues to catch up on anything black-related, we took matters into our own hands by creating our own databases and organizations that have centered the advancement of black-owned businesses. Since then, Antoine Gregory’s Black Fashion Fair (BFF) has been the spearhead in defending independent black designers and illustrating the diversity of the black experience.

The past weekend marked a year of activity for BFF and called for a well-deserved celebration which was held at NeueHouse Madison Square. By Mission: Black Fashion Fair is a conceptual retail, educational and cultural experience aimed at discovering and advancing black designers. And in 365 days, Gregory and his team met all of the goals and brought the vision to life.

The initial launch included a fashion story photographed by AB + DM showcasing the beloved Pyer Moss, followed by the organization’s first fashion show – an online retail store featuring exclusive designer goods and from carefully selected black image makers. Additionally, BFF launched an educational initiative with the Brooklyn Sewing Academy, made efforts to support Haiti’s recovery, and hosted a number of events celebrating black culture – including the first anniversary which also served as a gathering. for the next set of designers (some returning, and some new) involved in BFF’s AW21 fashion show.

Due to Gregory’s genuine advocacy for black designers, this class can’t wait to be a part of the fall fashion show. “I wanted to be a part of Black Fashion Fair because of its initiatives, but also because BFF brings us together, as people and creatives, in a world that likes to separate us and oppose each other,” says Antoine Manning. , designer of Tribute year. “It’s amazing to be a part of something so authentic.”

The platform gives new talent a stage and highlights their brilliance through a lens of understanding. Designer Sheila Rashid expressed that she felt considered by BFF to be an emerging designer and noted “a website and community that shines a light on all black designers is unheard of.”

This season’s designer lineup includes: Theophilio, Supervsn, Homage Year, Marco Ribero, ONLY MADE, Brandon Murphy, Luxe Livingston, NICOLE ZÏZI STUDIO, Menyelek, L’ENCHANTEUR, Ryan Knew, The Ekhator Label, Against Medical Advice, RENOWNED , Sunni Sunni, Sheila Rashid, RICHARDANDGRACE, Pierre Blanc and MARYIMAJ. And as part of an ongoing effort to carry a seasonal library book, photographer Joshua Renfroe will provide a special edition of his book ‘Black Boy Fly’ exclusively for BFF.

To celebrate BFF’s AW21 Fashion Show, a few of the designers are reflecting on what it means for them to join the platform.

“Black Fashion Fair is shaping up to be an incredibly important space in the fashion world, built for us by ourselves.” —Rayne Schlöss, ONLY DONE

“This opportunity means a lot to me because coming from a Rastafarian family I have always been raised to embrace my darkness.” —Menyelek Rose, MENYELEK

“Being woven into this league of extraordinary talent reinforces the breadth of genius that emerges among black designers.” —Donté Livingston, Luxe Livingston

“Coming from Houston, Texas presents challenges and so it is an honor to participate in BFF because they allow global opportunities.” —Josh Allen, RICHARDANDGRACE

“Black Fashion Fair means black alliance and empowerment. What attracted me to BFF was their equal appreciation for crafts, textiles and building our community. —Nicole Zïzi, NICOLE ZÏZI STUDIO

“Having B | M | C in their line-up this season is special because I know my footwear offering is going to reach a special selection of people who will connect with what I’ve designed.” —Brandon Murphy, B | M | C

Black Fashion Fair has created a safe and valued space and has become a confidante of the black fashion community. Ahead, a preview of the AW21 collection curated by founder Antoine Gregory.

SUBJECTS: black designers black fashion fair fashion

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