One of the first fashion shows on the official third day of New York Fashion Week was hosted by Victor Glemaud’s collective, IN THE BLK. In efforts to continue the organization’s mission to unify, build solidarity and economic independence for Black individuals in the global fashion industry, Color of Change and UPS teamed up to sponsor the presentation that highlighted three luxury, Black-owned brands: KHIRY, House of Aama, and Third Crown.
As IN THE BLK is built with a foundation to focus on politics, economics, and innovation, the narrative of each respective segment was centered around the three pillars. For the three featured designers, telling Black stories is at the core of each of their brands, and this showcase was purely a collective continuation of their previous work.
Third Crown, founded by co-designers Kristin and Kofi Essel, opened the show with its “Edelsteen” collection – the name derives from a native South African language and translates to “gemstone”. To highlight the brand’s beautiful gold jewelry, the models were dressed in classic silhouettes constructed from nude sheer fabrics. With support from stylist Rasaan Wyzard, melanin and gold jewels shined in the most beautiful way during this segment of the runway show.
Next up, House of Aama, founded by mother-daughter duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka, took center stage. The Black women owned brand often refers to African spiritual roots and Black culture to inspire their collections – the brand’s previous collection, “Salt Water”, was influenced by Black sailors and the water spirits of Yemaya, Olokun and Agwe that have served as spiritual anchors of African traditions in the diaspora. For this season, Henry and Shabaka presented “Heritage Bloodroot Collection – Into the Archives”, a new rendition inspired by the brand’s Heritage Bloodroot collection shown in 2017, which introduced the brand’s storytelling appeal and timeless silhouettes. The latest collection is an ode to Southern Creole spiritually, African roots, and an educational display of the Rootworker, Southern lady and Bluesman archetypes unearthed for a new audience.
Closing out the showcase was Afro-futurist brand KHIRY, founded by Jameel Mohammed. Although Mohammed is best known for his fine jewelry beloved by celebrities, this is the designer’s second time showing a runway collection at NYFW. This time around, Mohammed presented the brand’s “Fights Reveal Futilities” collection. The new demi-fine jewelry collection showcased alongside custom-made garments are shaped with spikes, thorns, daggers, and stingers found in natural habitats. Within KHIRY’s segment, Mohammed orchestrated an artistic presentation that represented the external and internal battle Black Americans experience.
View select looks from all three collections ahead.