A celebration of the best and brightest creators of color within the fashion space, ESSENCE’s inaugural Best in Black Fashion Awards shines a light on top designers, stylists, photographers, models and insiders who made an impact in 2019. The star-studded roster of honorees and nominees will gather at pre-NY Fashion Week dinner on September 4th.

Meet the visionary finalists for our Designer of the Year award. Known for creating high impact pieces with intricate details and folds, Senegalese couturier Omar Salaam’s Sukeina clothing line is a Naomi Campbell favorite. Designer Felisha Noel’s Grenadian heritage informs her colorful, free-spirited looks; in July she partnered with Bloomingdale’s on a Lion King-themed capsule collection. Meanwhile, Beyoncé wore standout designs from Sarah Diouf’s Tongoro line in her video for “Spirit,” the first single from the film’s soundtrack.

Read more about these standout creatives below and visit ESSENCE Fashion House on September 5th for exclusive runway shows where you can see their collections up close. Stay tuned to find out who takes home the prize!