All Articles Tagged "New York Fashion Week"

The Real Problem With Marc Jacobs’s Defense Of Those Fashion Week Faux Locs

September 17th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Marc Jacobs dreadlocks

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

On Thursday, designer Marc Jacobs showed off his newest designs, closing out New York fashion week. And while the clothes were lauded, per the usual, it was the hair that didn’t sit so well with people.

The models rocked faux locs made out of multicolored yarn as they stomped down the runway, and soon after, the Internet had a lot to say about the choice of hairstyle for the event. The cultural appropriation conversation resurfaced, with people noting that when Black men and women wear locs, it’s deemed unkempt or unprofessional, but when White women do so in fashion shows and as public figures, it’s “in style” and cute. The debate raged on.

Making matters worse, the stylist who helped to bring those yarn locs to the runway, Guido Palau, emphatically told New York Magazine‘s The Cut when asked if Rastafarian culture influenced the look, “No, no at all.” Palau stated that inspiration came from Lana Wachowski, one half of the duo behind The Matrix, the ’80s, Boy George, raver culture, and Harajuku girls of Japan.

But nothing could make a stinky situation smell worse than the response from Jacobs. He took to Instagram to respond to the criticism with this:

“All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner — funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race — I see people.”

To be completely honest with you, I wasn’t bothered by the locs on the runway, and I wear locs. I’m well aware of the fact that people all over the world wear them and have been doing so for centuries. But Jacobs’s response to the critiques of his show definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.

For one, to say that those who speak out about the unfair ways in which mainstream culture takes from cultures they don’t care about for personal gain are crying about it (“it” being the “nonsense,” as he calls it), insinuates that there is zero validity in such arguments. It also paints these same people as overdramatic, constantly making much ado about nothing.

Then there is the issue of him trying to compare putting fake locs in the hair of White women to Black women straightening their hair. Ah yes, the straight hair, blond dye and weave defense. It would work perfectly if not for the fact that many of us were told that we should straighten our hair in the hopes of making a good impression to get ahead. Relaxers were pushed our way since childhood to form a look that was deemed more professional, more ornate and pretty, while being encouraged to turn against our natural hair, which was deemed unkempt for so long and still is. Wanted to look cute for Easter as a kid? You took a hot comb or no-lye to straighten your hair so you wouldn’t look as ordinary as you did every other day with your natural hair. It’s taken too long for us to stop looking at our coils as the enemy.

And as far as Jacobs not seeing color or race — boy, bye.

As someone who used to relish reading fashion magazines growing up, I’ve always been a fan of Marc Jacobs’s work. The way he thinks? That’s another story. To me, it’s very harmful for a person with such influence to speak in such a way, and so assuredly. It’s a testament to the way these people we admire from afar really think (and think about us), and who they surround themselves with (not a one single person who looks like us).

With the young girls in Pretoria, South Africa having to fight to be able to wear their natural hair in school, a Kentucky School unsuccessfully trying to impose a ban on locs, and the military having a ban on locs and twists for so long, it’s unsettling when we see these styles worn by White women on the main stage not in solidarity, but for profit, and it’s looked at as the hot new sh-t. It’s especially upsetting when someone asks them the influences behind such a look The response to being asked about the inspiration of Black culture is an emphatic “No, no at all,” as though the way we do locs is anything but chic and tidy when compared to White and Japanese people.

When you’re constantly told that you should straighten your hair or not wear natural styles like locs if you want to succeed and not be a “distraction,” it’s hurtful when people plop such styles on their head to stand out and be different, knowing they can take it off, when we want to wear it to comfortably be ourselves.

Jacobs doesn’t have to get it. Neither do the millions of other people who don’t understand just how important attribution is when this cultural appropriation conversation comes up. But when these things happen, they can’t tell us how to feel and not to speak out about the hypocrisy of it all.  Especially when they don’t use the same passion and energy to encourage those who condemn our hair to stop using whatever methods available to hold us back.

Passion For Fashion: Black Women Do New York Fashion Week Street Style

September 12th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Tracy Reese. Hood by Air. Christian Siriano. Heron Preston. Prabal Gurung. Alexander Wang. Yeezy Season 4. New York Fashion Week is a celebration of the hottest new looks and collections from seasoned and new fashion designers alike. And while attention is rightfully paid to the hundreds of designers and models ripping the runway, there’s a whole other fashion scene that takes place outside of the coveted NYFW venues. Eye-popping and intriguing fashion is seen on the catwalk that is New York City streets. Fierce looks. Funky mashups and unique pairings. From the catwalks to the city streets, you never know what you’ll see. Here are some of our favorite street style looks from women spotted at New York Fashion Week so far.

10 Year Old Clothing Designer Talks Debuting at New York Fashion Week & Being Bullied (WATCH)

July 20th, 2016 - By jade
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Egypt “Ify” Ufele is a 10-year old fashion designer who was bullied in school because she was overweight due to taking steroids for severe asthma. As a result, she started a non-profit Bullychasers and her clothing line ChubiiLine to bring awareness and help other kids that are being bullied. Egypt has a clothing line for kids, women, and men. On top of all of that she also has a dog AND a doll collection. Can you tell us what you were doing at 10?

Check out the video above to hear her story and see her in action creating a garment. We were also in attendance at the 2016 Full Figured Fashion Week Runway show where she received the Junior Trailblazer of the Year Award and deservingly received a standing ovation.

Egypt’s clothes are available via online and in the following stores:

  • Dr. Jays
  • Macy’s
  • Rainbow

Follow Egypt on Instagram to shadow her journey.


Check out our Be The Boss episode featuring Marley Dias discussing her viral #1000blackgirlbooks campaign.


Leomie Anderson Defies The Odds With ‘Black Model Survival Kit’

March 6th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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When it comes to calling out the not-so equal opportunity fashion world, British-born, New York City-based model Leomie Anderson has no problem whatsoever sharing her personal gripes with the industry she has a love/hate-like relationship with.

Recently, while wrapping up a hectic week-long journey of New York Fashion Week, the 20-something model took to her personal blog, Cracked China Cup, for a mini rant of what most of us have already either experiencing in our personal lives (as black women) or heard through the grapevine.

To begin, Anderson used Twitter as an outlet to engage her followers for the blog post that would ensue. “Had to ask her straight ‘do you have foundation for my skin tone orrrr?”, she tweeted in regards to the makeup artist that she was working with before storming the runway. “My girl started sweating and said ‘I like to mix brands.'”

“Don’t tell me you’ve been a makeup artist for ten years yet your fingers develop a stutter when I mention brightening my complexion… WE NEED MORE MAKEUP ARTISTS AND HAIR WHO ARE COMPETENT WITH ALL RACES BACKSTAGE AT SHOWS,” she continued.

The Victoria’s Secret model went onto channel those same feelings in a video called “Black Model Survival Kit,” with the goal of helping others “survive the black model mishaps that you come up against.”

Press play on the video above and get into Leomie’s “most cherished products” that have saved her from Fashion Week mishaps.

Yay For Progress! This Was The Most Diverse New York Fashion Week In Years

February 24th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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New York Fashion Week


Just last year, Bethann Hardison, a former fashion model who has spoken only about her fight to diversify the fashion world (including increasing the number of opportunities for women of color to walk the runway), explained why she doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.

“I noticed that when I took my foot off the gas for about three years, everything went completely backwards. Now I realize it’s got to stay on. I’ve gotta keep calling people out. You gotta keep nudging them.”

Well, maybe all that nudging worked because according to a survey of 120 shows done by, this most recent New York Fashion Week was the most diverse in years. Of course, a majority of the models were still White (68.1 percent), but progress was made, with non-White models making up 31.9 percent of the women walking in NYFW shows. That number is up from the 28.4 percent of non-White models who did their thing in shows during Fashion Week in September and is much higher than Spring 2015 shows, which only included a dismal 20.9 percent of models of color.

Those who made an effort to switch it up include Zac Posen (whose show featured a majority of Black women), Chromat, Brandon Maxwell, Sophie Theallet and Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 show, which included no White models. Still, big names like A.P.C. and Rachel Zoe were on the opposite end of the diversity spectrum, with their shows having some of the smallest numbers in non-White models. Zoe came in at 10 percent after only having two non-White models out of 20.

And in reference to that Zac Posen show, while some trolls did come out to slam it online, his decision to use more models of color on the runway sent a major message that he was proud to make clear: “Black models matter.”

Not only that but Posen’s inspiration for his new line was Uganda’s Elizabeth of Toro. And because she was his muse, it only made sense for Posen to have models who reflect her strength and beauty. He says the addition of Black models, 25 out of 33 featured, made the collection all the more “striking,” as he told CNN.

“Within this global environment – diversity is very important and it is something that has always been equally important to me as well as a key component of my collections whether it is shapes, sizes or skin color.”

Kudos to Posen, and all the designers who were more inclusive this New York Fashion Week. But here’s to hoping that diversity will also include changing up the size of women who walk on the runway. Sophie Theallet and Chromat included multiple plus-size models in their shows, but that’s about it. Either way, let’s hope the positive changes continue in the fashion world and the world as a whole.


Rihanna’s Next PUMA Installment Is Reportedly Headed To NYFW

November 28th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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#THECREEPER returns with new colors and men’s sizes! #FENTYXPUMA #AvailableAtMIDNIGHT

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

2016 is bound to a be big year for global pop sensation Rihanna.

From teasing her faithful #Navy with her eighth studio album ANTI to gearing up for a world tour featuring Travis $cott, The Weeknd and Big Sean to creating her very own talent agency, chick has a lot of exciting ventures lined up in the near future.

Recently, it has been reported that Rih Rih is adding yet another bullet point to her laundry list of ideas for the new year and it includes her position PUMA’s global brand ambassador and women’s creative director. Aside from her wildly popular PUMA Creepers that have been selling out in just minutes upon arrival, the “Presh Out The Runway” singer is reportedly planning to debut a new PUMA collection at New York Fashion Week for Fall 2016.

According to Fashion Bomb Daily, the show will feature her entire collaboration with the apparel and footwear company that has been a huge success and revived the brand’s presence. In addition to reports, Rihanna’s own website for her Clara Lionel Foundation actually unveiled the exciting news, as the foundation will auction off one ticket to the fashion show for a lucky fan–the starting bid is a steep $15K so may the best #Navy faithful win.

The package includes a business class flight to New York City for two nights, a pre-show styling package; backstage access following the show; an invitation to the afterparty; one of each style of the entire Fall 2016 Rihanna x PUMA collection; an autographed pair of her PUMA Creepers and much more.

Sounds like Rihanna is pulling out all the stops for this runway show, and we already know the fashions will be top notch.


Instagram Glam: Some Of The Best Street Style Looks From New York Fashion Week 2015

September 16th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Dandies and dandies #gqinsider #GQFW #day2 #nyfw

A photo posted by @ninatothenines on

New York Fashion Week 2015 is in full swing, and serious style moments aren’t happening solely on the runway. People are making major statements on the streets, moving to and from a variety of fashion shows. When it comes to New York Fashion Week, the sartorially gifted are all about stepping out in style. Check out these amazing street style looks, including hot hair and makeup moments from the week so far.

New York Fashion Week Men’s Hires More Models Of Color Than Ever Before

July 18th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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NYFW Men's


Men’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW) occurred this week and was met with rave reviews. With designers like Rag & Bone, Richard Chai and Public School revealing their exclusive Spring/Summer 2016 collection, viewers got a peek on the upcoming trends, along with diverse eye candy.

The Huffington Post reports at the time of their published article on the various fashion show events (July 13), over 90 models had appeared throughout the Men’s NYFW. Designer Todd Snyder told the media outlet, “My collections are diverse, my travel is diverse, my outlook is global. My runway is reality.”

However, Snyder’s reality is not shared with the NYFW for women, that occurs twice a year (February and September).

That particular fashion week is going on its 20-plus year stretch and lacks terribly in hiring models of color. Jezebel reported during the Fall/Winter 2014 season, there were only 21 percent of 4,621 female models who were non-white. The percentage became significantly lower for the Spring 2015 shows and London, Milan and Paris’s Fashion Weeks.

Fashion activist Bethann Hardison believes designer clothing for men makes a point of reaching a broader audience but its business is not as strong as women’s fashion. Hardison also says more money pours into the women runaway shows so there can be more exposure for designers who are trying to reach an influential female audience. Because of this, the fight for diversity is a challenge.

Hardison’s comments suggest that white beauty archetypes are highly regarded in the women’s fashion world. For inclusion to happen, some designers will have to let go of the belief that their brands will become tarnished by diversity.

She Be Killin It: Brown Girls Slaying at NYFW 2014

September 12th, 2014 - By Rich
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For as long as fashion has been around it has catered to a specific type of audience and clientele (or so it was thought). The scene at showed the world that fashion was decidedly saturated towards one body type / perspective for many years. Fast forward to the new millennia in which we live and now it seems the roles are reversed and ‘street style’ is having more of a profound presence on the runways and in the seats lining the catwalk. And it’s not just the models of color that are infiltrating the runways.

As bloggers are gaining more and more respect among the fashion elite, the scene outside Lincoln Center is decidedly getting a little more colorful and we couldn’t be happier about. Influencers from all corners of the world showed up and showed out! Everyone from magazine and blog editors, to buyers, photographers and fashion fans made it a point to let their style speak for them. Here we’ve compiled a few of our favorite street style snaps from the week long fashion fest. Tell us, which are your faves?

She Be Killin It: 10 Brown Girls Slaying at NYFW 2014

Bukola Are Brings Her Latest Collection HVS DeLuxe 15 To New York Fashion Week

September 12th, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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HVSGoldChromeTee1The modern day fashionista: Sophisticated. Self-assured. Playful. Bold. These words are used to describe the House of Versatile Styles woman and the young female fashion designer and creative director of the fashion line itself, Bukola Are. Her new Spring/Summer 2015 collection, HVS DeLuxe 15, features African, European, and American-inspired dresses, tops, and bottoms. But the road to showcasing a fashion collection at New York Fashion Week is paved with more than passion and peplum. There is also hard work, sacrifice, ambition, faith, a willingness to listen to your instincts, and a dash of luck to lean on. We sat down with Are after her recent NYFW presentation to get an idea of how she went from a teen with fashion dreams to the self-made style entrepreneur she is today.

HVS LogoMadameNoire: Congratulations on your Spring/Summer 2015 collection! Where are you from originally?

Bukola Are: I was born in the United States. I went to elementary school back home [in Lagos, Nigeria] and then came here for college for my love of fashion.

MN: What inspired you to start a career in fashion design?

BA: I always had this desire to make things look beautiful.  I started my path in fashion design doing a fashion show in college. People gravitated to it and loved it. I received enough support for me to keep going!

MN: What did your business plan for HVS look like? Did you have one at all? Did you start off with a lot of capital?

Are: No, I did not have a lot of startup funds. I actually started with nothing. I was 17 and ambitious. I had huge dreams, so I did what I saw on TV. I created my own board room in my little apartment, in the living room, and gave all my friends a position in my company.

MN: What were some of the business-related obstacles you faced in building your own fashion line from the ground up?

Are: Knowledge. There are so many things I wish I was exposed to earlier on. In order to be successful in this industry, you have to understand the business of fashion. At the time, I was more driven by passion and the excitement of sharing my work with an audience.

MN: What are the major components, in your opinion, that one must have to begin a career in fashion?   

Are: There are many opportunities in the fashion industry. It’s important to figure out what area one would like to specialize in. Some people are lucky enough to work in different areas of the industry. For example, in addition to being the head designer at HVS, I also work as a Creative Director at a creative firm I founded called Of A Kind Creatives.  


MN: What are the most essential personality attributes, in your opinion, required to be a skilled fashion designer?

Are: I am completely self-taught, and I believe that you must be realistic enough to be honest with yourself and humble, but aggressive enough to get the job done successfully.

MN: Who or what motivates your artistic flair?

Are: My artistic flair…to be honest, right now I just want to make clothing that people desire to put on. It’s all about the business for me right now.

MN: Do/did you have any mentors in the fashion industry?

Are: Tory Burch and Kimora Lee Simmons are my mentors in my head. I appreciate what these ladies have been able to do with their brands.

You can also follow Bukola and the House of Versatile Styles fashion brand on Twitter or email