The streets were slaying, the conversations were popping, and the drinks were flowing at the annual Essence Fashion House on Monday, September 12 at The Walker Hotel in Tribeca New York. An immersive experience of panel sessions and workshops, up-and-coming designer presentations, digital “shoppable” marketplaces, and a digital runway, the event brought a unique New York Fashion Week (NYFW) experience to fashion lovers from across the city.
The day was separated into two panels. Each time slot offered attendees the opportunity to hear from influencers, designers, celebrities, and tastemakers while allowing them to network, grow and connect.
Kahlana Barfield, whose new Futures collection with Target dropped on Sunday, September 11 was a fan favorite. She spoke to attendees about the art of street style, owning your own style story, and her new line.
“I always knew I wanted to design a collection, but it had to be with the right partner because I wanted whatever I created to be accessible,” Kahlana told HelloBeautiful. “Target is that girl. We shop there, that’s where we are, it is where we spend our coins.”
Kahlana continued. “They gave me a lot of creative freedom, they really wanted me to be happy with what we did. It wasn’t just putting my name on a tag. I was intimately involved in every step of the process. From photography to marketing, all of the designing, the fabrics, colors, all of that I was there, it was me in it.”
Russell Westbrook and Justine Skye were two other celebrity participants that attendees couldn’t stop talking about. Justine interviewed emerging designers as part of a partnership with Lagos Fashion Week and Russell joined ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga to discuss his personal style and influences.
“My mom.” Russell smiled and said when asked who his major fashion influencer is. “She introduced me to not just how to dress, but how to shop. More so how to buy certain things, not super high-end but how to be able to put things together. She inspired me to do that and still inspires me to this day.”
Other key panelists and attendees heard and spotted were TikTok influencers, Yusufs (Nastea & Nuni), writer and influencer PR maven and Black in Fashion Council Co-Founder Sandrine Charles, and fashion entrepreneur and store ownerTelsha Anderson
The in-person experience was complemented by a one-of-a-kind virtual presentation with The Walker Fashion Experience Powered by The Place. The platform is a NYFW hub combining tech, fashion, music, and blockchain with a focus on creating more financial opportunities for Black creatives and supporters in the fashion industry.
Immediately following the day event, ESSENCE hosted a private Best in Black Fashion Awards Dinner at Lume Studios in Soho. The dinner honored fashion favorites such as Christopher John Rogers as Designer of the Year, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson as Stylist of the Year, and Amanda Murray as Influence of Year at Lume Studios in Soho.
See our gallery below of street-style looks from ESSENCE Fashion House attendees this year.
NYFW Street Style: The Fab And Fly At ESSENCE Fashion House was originally published on hellobeautiful.com