Xuly Bet was a huge name when I came to NYC in the 1990s. He made a comeback to New York after doing his thing in France for awhile. His Spring 2017 collection was a celebration of his intricate prints and color combinations. The patterns had African advertising motifs, traditional tribal prints with some contemporary motifs of other cultures mixed in. There were killer shoes with coordinating prints and models were styled in fierce headwraps. Spike Lee, June Ambrose and Kelly Osborne were on hand to support him.
|photo from WWD.com|
|Photo by Mariana Leung|
|photo from African Fashion International|
Public School designer Maxwell Osborne was one of the few prominent designers to publicly embrace the Black Lives Matter movement. Together with partner Dao-Yi Chow, they recently stepped down from their posts as creative directors at DKNY. Their spring 2017 collection was a mix of collegiate styling with the proportions tweaked (extra-long sweaters, shorter pants), with a lot of too cool for school attitude.
|Photo by Luis Monteiro for Duro Olowu|
I fell in love with the aesthetic of Duro Olowu's work when I encountered his big collaboration with J. C. Penney. It was probably the first and last time I could afford anything with his name on it. That doesn't mean I can't admire his spectacular collections from afar. His Spring 2017 collection was a mix of ladylike dresses and capes with a retro silhouette. Prints were mixed from florals to big polka dots to color blocked stripes.
After this last election, the fight to see diverse creative forces will be more challenging than ever. Show publishers that you not only want to see different models representing your clothing but tell your retailers that you want your fashion to come from designers of color as well. Check out FIT's Black Fashion Designers exhbit then, since they don't have a gift shop, get to the boutiques!
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