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'Black Panther' Comes To Life During NYFW With Epic 'Welcome To Wakanda' Fashion Presentation


It was a Wakanda wonderland in NYC on Monday night, as New York Fashion Week kicked off week 2 with a star-studded presentation inspired by looks from Marvel’s highly-anticipated Black Panther film.

The Meatpacking District’s Industria venue was transformed into a real-life Wakanda rainforest, which proved the perfect backdrop for the stunning NYFW presentation of models outfitted in Black Panther-inspired designs by CHROMAT, Cushnie et Ochs, Fear of God, Ikiré Jones, LaQuan Smith, Sophie Theallet, and Tome. Following the show, each of the bespoke looks were set to be auctioned off at CharityBuzz.com in support of the Save the Children international humanitarian organization.


The event also featured stunning displays of Black-Panther-inspired capsule collections from Brother Vellies, Douriean Fletcher and Josh Bennett, each of which will be available for purchase on the designer’s websites beginning February 13. 

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Several cast members were on hand to support the event, including Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright. 

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Designer LaQuan Smith says he aimed to combine glam with power as inspiration for his design.

“I wanted it to be something that was sort of like my glamorous take on what it meant to be a woman who lives in Wakanda,” Smith told ESSENCE. “And if they were doing exactly what they were doing and being who they were [in the film], they would be wearing LaQuan Smith.”

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Carly Cushnie of Cushnie et Ochos was also empowered by the women in the film and made sure to incorporate that spirit of strength into their design.

“There was such strong, empowered women in the movie so, it was a great time to create something that embodied these characters,” she said. Later adding, “It was such a badass film that you felt empowered and strong afterward.

For Douriean Fletcher, choosing gold as the signature color for her design was a reflection of both her collection in general and the strength displayed by the women in the film.

“My personal aesthetic for my collection and my brand is always gold,” Fletcher said. “I feel like that reflects the regal, proud, strong woman. A visionary. Because I felt like that was definitely something that was in the movie, I wanted to reflect that in this collection.”

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Ikire Jones, who designed several of the scarves featured in the actual film, aimed to create a piece that provided a glimpse into the fashion sense of an African king living in the 21st century.

[I was inspired by] just the character as a whole,” Jones said. “The idea of like, what would a literal king from Africa look like if he was walking the streets of New York or Berlin or London in 2018.”

Black Panther hits theaters on Friday, February 16.



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