Ah, summer has arrived! With flowy dresses, open-toe shoes, trendy swimwear and vibrant makeup hues now in season, it’s the perfect time to get together with those you love. Over the July 4 weekend, we’re toasting 25 years of the ESSENCE Festival and reveling in our music, food, fashion and beauty. We’re overjoyed to bring ESSENCE to life once again in New Orleans and can’t wait to connect with you there.
Our beauty and culture are always cause for celebration, which is why we selected for our covers the legendary Iman and singer–songwriter Ciara (both of whom were guests at our first Beauty Carnival in the spring) and the multitalented “Rose in Harlem,” Teyana Taylor, who’s making her main stage debut at the Superdome on Sunday, July 7. They offer us a peek into their lives as women, mothers and creative visionaries. Plus, we are proud to present more than 20 Black designers, from the Ivory Coast to Sweden, whose work appears in this issue and on our three featured ladies. You’ll surely be inspired.
And there’s so much more. We sit down with three-time Grammy nominee Rapsody and shine a spotlight on YouTube beauty sensation Jackie Aina. We’ll tell you where to eat and shop in New Orleans too, as well as what to wear and whom to see during our three-day extravaganza. And we close this exciting double issue with a word from our Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama. We’re still pinching ourselves because the best-selling author of Becoming and nine-time ESSENCE cover girl is headlining our program on Saturday, July 6. Whether you join us in New Orleans or experience the festivities via essence.com and our social media platforms, it’s going to be quite the fete! Cheers!