Sade Lythcott heads the National Black Theatre in Harlem, where she was born and raised. The daughter of Barbara Ann Teer, the theater’s founder, Lythcott began her career as a fashion stylist. When her mother passed away unexpectedly in 2008, she stepped in to run operations, and what was intended to be a temporary solution has turned into her life’s work and passion. Growing up surrounded by such icons as Nina Simone and Maya Angelou, Lythcott has emerged as a fashion risk taker, expressing herself as an artist through her wardrobe. Not one to follow the trends, the self-proclaimed vintage hunter delights in obtaining uncommon items that have history and craftsmanship. “Sometimes I buy the most impractical things I know I will never wear—I see them as art,” Lythcott admits. However, she says, it is her mother and aunt who influence her most. Her advice on finding work-life balance: “I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes to center, to shed the stress of the day.”

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