As concerns around the pandemic began to shift, more states are putting in specific notions to open businesses back up. Despite the eyebrow raises around COVID-19 cases fluctuating, creatives are finding unique ways to enjoy their summer. Assuring that they are abiding by state and CDC guidelines, the diffrent outlooks that millennials have on the pandemic, correlate to the controversial events, parties, and outings that have garnered social media call-outs.
“I was honestly scared to have the event,” celebrity stylist Zoe Dupree tells ESSENCE. Dupree is the mastermind of style behind some of Atlanta’s buzziest talent like Young Thug, Lil Keed, and Renni Rucci. Last week, Dupree hosted a Coachella-inspired gathering for his birthday and was able to secure a location where attendees enjoyed a socially distant event. “The location was large enough to make sure that everyone would be 6 feet apart,” he says.
As the season begins to change, the pandemic has questioned if “normal” will ever return. Arguably, society has started to shift their practices to being protected when out rather than completely ridding social events from their routine. Most importantly, when entering spaces that have a large audience health requirements will need to met to attend. According to Dupree, guest went through an extensive check before entering his event. “All safety measures were followed,” he exclaimed.
ESSENCE got a chance to talk to Dupree about his Coachella inspired event and what he thinks the new normal for events will look like moving forward.
ESSENCE: Can you describe where the idea came from to bring a festival inspired event to Atlanta?
Dupree: The idea of Zoechella stemmed from the original music festival Coachella. The festival was cancelled this year due to Covid-19 and so many people were upset. I knew my birthday was coming up and I started to think about creating my own version called “Zoechella”. Another major highlight of the event was being able to bring a Black Lives Matter garden where all attendees could sign their name on the garden floor. I also made sure to have all Black vendors who were able to sell their products.
ESSENCE: With COVID-19 concerns, were you worried at all?
Dupree: I was very hesitant and remembered the event was outside of Atlanta. The location was large enough to make sure that everyone would be 6 feet apart. Due to the extensive nature of the virus, hand sanitizer was provided along with masks and temperature check before entering the venue. All safety measures were followed.
ESSENCE: How did everyone come dressed? Were there any outfits that you loved?
Dupree: Everyone came dressed in Coachella inspired outfits. It was almost like the met gala as well with a theme and outfits. I saw a lot of prints, cowboy boots and hats.
ESSENCE: As a stylist, what are some tips you can give someone when trying to go out to a party during this time? Should their outfit match their mask?
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that fashion has no boundaries. Wearing a mask with an outfit, it does not always have to “match” in the terms of normality or what society defines as fashion. I feel like being safe and fashionable is always a good thing.