Fashion model Erica L. Carrington paid tribute to her late friend and designer Vernest Moore with a sickening catwalk during his “Red Carpet Viewing” at the Newark Art Museum in New Jersey Nov. 10.
While some netizens applauded the muse’s fashionable tribute, naysayers argued that her gesture was “awkward” and insensitive.
Carrington’s salute became the topic of discourse shortly after she took to Instagram to share footage of her catwalk at Moore’s viewing. The short clip, posted Nov. 12, captured the statuesque model strutting down a red carpet in one of the late Newark-based designer’s Ve’Moore Couture gowns.
The model paired the haute couture ensemble with a sparkling headdress adorned with crystal beads. Attendees clapped and cheered as she worked the runway in the dazzling ensemble.
Toward the end of the video, Carrington stopped to pose in front of Moore’s casket and blew the designer a kiss before she ended her fashionable tribute.
“To say that this was one of THEE MOST CHALLENGING things I have had to do would be an understatement,” the model captioned her viral video. “I CAN’T BELIEVE this would be my final walk for you. I WON’T! From now on…even if I’m not walking FOR YOU, I’ll be walking WITH YOU because I know you’ll ALWAYS be with me,” she added.
Some netizens on Instagram were shocked to see Carrington posing up a storm in front of the designer’s casket.
A few Instagram users slammed the model’s homage, calling it “confusing” and “insulting.” One netizen claimed that it was wrong for the model to perform her “outrageous” tribute.
“This was actually a joke of a funeral… Anything for attention. There’s no way humanly possible the ones in charge of this funeral respected this brother.”
Some Instagram users stepped in to defend Carrington as backlash poured across the comments section.
“THIS IS HOW YOU HONOR & CELEBRATE SOMEONES LIFE !!!! I love everything about this. Funerals are intended to be celebrations, and this was so creative and over the top. I don’t know him, but I’m sure he’d have it no other way. Sending you love and condolences. You ate this!!!”
Another fan penned, “I pray that when it’s my time… all my creative friends like yourself arrive with this type of energy. This is beautiful, and it gave me chills. RIP to your friend. Love u, Erica!”
Carrington addressed the backlash connected to her runway homage during an interview with TMZ Live Nov. 15.
During her interview, the model defended her tribute. She also revealed that the idea was discussed with Moore shortly before he passed away Oct. 22.
“I think we sent Vernest off the way that he would have liked, and that’s really all that matters,” Carrington explained. “He actually planned the three-day celebration.”
The model grew emotional as she reflected on her fierce runway performance. Carrington told TMZ Live that she was nervous and “hyperventilating” moments before she took to the catwalk.
“I had to have not one but two people kinda calm my nerves. And then I just really heard [Vernest] saying to me — he calls me Erica May — I heard him say, ‘Erica May, I need you to pull it together.’ And so, that’s what I tried to do for him, and it was an honor to be able to do that.”
What do you think of Carrington’s special runway tribute?
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