AFROPUNK Exhibits Black Fashion Designers at Shopify NYC: Recap – VIBE.com

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Afropunk has taken the initiative to become one of the leading forces in black culture dedicated to breaking down barriers to entrepreneurship and creative expression in marginalized communities. The globally integrated media platform and music festival platform did just that on Wednesday (July 13) at the Shopify store in New York’s SoHo with their first Black fashion show. Fashion Accelerator.

In an effort to showcase and uplift aspiring black fashion designers while growing their businesses, Afropunk partnered with Shopify and founded the Dark Fashion Accelerator Program: an intensive six-month program that has helped prepare nine outstanding creative designers for longevity in the fashion industry. The hard work and creativity of each designer was on display for all to see at the first fashion exhibition.

Afropunk presented the creations of the following nine mentees and founders: Bronté Laurent (By Bronte Laurent), Archie Clay III and Tajh Crutch (Wear visors), Corin Lindsay (Corin DeMarco), Sophia Danner-Okotie (Besida), Melissa A. Mitchell (Bee Creations), Paakow Essandoh (MIZIZI), Sylvester Ndhlovu (RuvaAfricWear), Valerie Blaise (Vavvoune) and Jelisa Smith (House of Fleek).

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

Kendel Levi/Afropunk

Led by program mentor and DYNE creative director, Christopher Bevans – who has worked with Yeezy and the MacArthur Foundation – the class of nine received valuable resources from the fashion guru as well as other industry-specific resources , including the assistance of three guest mentors. The end goal of the course was to build the success and sustainability of their brand.

The fashion show took place in the lower half of the two-story retail space. Upstairs attendees enjoyed light snacks from charcuterie boards and sushi platters. Guests were also treated to hourly wine and cold brew, with a special performance from the rising R&B star Laia between exposures.

Sponsors also provided guests with freebies such as natural hair care line Mielle, vegan nail polish brand Pear Nova, Boxed Water and makeup brand owned by Black Thread Beauty. As attendees moved around the building mingling with others, some held it up in front of the stepper, while others watched the ongoing exhibit from the shaded balcony and adjacent stairs.

Check out more photos from the event below.

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

Kendel Levi/Afropunk

Kendel Levi/Afropunk

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

Jamel Martin/Afropunk

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