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It’s not a New York Fashion Week event unless there’s a red carpet involved. Complete with a background reminding attendees that the “Sky’s The Limit,” associate editor D’Shonda Brown caught up with some of our favorite celebrities, influencers, designers, and fashion powerhouses on the ESSENCE Fashion House carpet. Attendees included The Lion King actress Shahadi Wright Joseph, iCarly actress Laci Mosley, model and personality Toccara Jones, fashion architects April Walker and Groovey Lewy, and ESSENCE CEO Carolina Wanga.

As our CEO said on the carpet, “the smell of melanin has been needed for a while,” and ESSENCE Fashion House was fragrant with the scene of Black women and men throughout the evening. “We’re a group of people who thrive when we get together. We could do well alone but when we get to gather, there’s a different effervescence,” Wanga continued, dressed in Black-owned luxury womenswear brand Pantora.

“Obviously ESSENCE is a beautiful Black publication and I wanted to celebrate Black artists just like you guys are doing so I’m wearing Andrea Pitter-Campbell,” iCarly actress Laci Mosley revealed to D’Shonda. Known predominantly as Andrea Pitter, the designer worn by Mosley was crowned the most recent winner of Amazon Prime’s second season of Making The Cut. As the star of a Nickelodeon reboot, she chimed in on her thoughts on Gen Z fashion trends thanks to her new role. “Gen Z had me scared of wide-legged jeans and I’m a thicky-thick girl. I have thighs so I love a skinny jean with a high waist. I was married to it, I did not want to let it go but [while] being styled as Harper, I got to wear different cuts of pants.”

The fabulous Toccara Jones styled herself and the incredible result was no surprise. From her natural hair texture throughout her afro down to her white custom-fitted suit decked out in Chanel jewels and broaches, the “Thick House” host was a stunner in every sense of the word. When asked by D’Shonda how she has seen the fashion and style industry change for Black women, Jones did not hold back her admiration for how far the industry has come.

The America’s Next Top Model alumna named off Ashley Graham, Tabria Majors, and Precious Lee, the first Black plus-sized model to walk in Versace’s spring 2021 show, as examples of change agents in high fashion and how the fashion industry is evolving for curvier women. “We can drop so many names now which is so amazing because when I was growing up, I couldn’t drop names like that,” Jones admitted on the red carpet.

Want to learn more about when your favorite Black celebrities fell in love with fashion and what they were wearing on the red carpet? Take a look at the full video above to watch the full interviews at this year’s ESSENCE Fashion House!

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