ESSENCE Fashion House NYC celebrated Black women making strides in the areas of business, styling and design. On Thursday, Best in Black Fashion Award-winning designers Felisha “Fe” Noel and Aminah Abdul Jillil joined ESSENCE Fashion Director Marielle Bobo for a candid discussion on building their brands, the road to success, and overcoming challenges.
Hailing from Grenada, Fe Noel has made tremendous strides in her career, from designing a Lion-King-themed capsule collection for Bloomingdale’s to partnering with Lebron James and HFR on a history-making sneaker. When asked about her brand’s aesthetic, she explained that she aims to create pieces that are fun and carefree. Fe Noel was named Designer of the Year at our inaugural awards dinner on Wednesday.
“Things aren’t always smooth. You have hurdles and trials, but you take care of it and move.”
Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, shoe designer Aminah Abdul Jillil started out as a professional dancer before diving into fashion. What makes Jillil’s designs unique is her eagerness to “try something different”–something that has attracted celeb fans including Yandy Smith and Tracee Ellis Ross.
While the ladies have been in the industry for some time now, they’ve definitely faced their share of challenges. During the insightful chat, the panelists warned those hoping to follow in their footsteps that there will be challenges along the way, however, resilience is key. “Things aren’t always smooth,” Noel told the crowd. “You have hurdles and trials, but you take care of it and move.”
While these women have achieved much success and enjoy being fully immersed in their careers, they also admitted that managing to find balance is a constant work in progress.
“You go up and down” Jillil added. “But just keep doing it and stay the course.”
For more of everything you missed at the first-ever ESSENCE Fashion House NYC, visit our official recap page HERE.