During the flurry that was Fashion Week in New York City, BET was everywhere: at Lincoln Center for the formal shows, at Grand Central Station, a new adjunct space and everywhere else we could be to take the temperature of the fashion world—particularly as it relates to diversity. Here’s our harvest. –Harriette Cole
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Model-turned-designer Lois Samuels presented her collection, The Vessel by Lois, at Grand Central Terminal to an enthusiastic crowd. Among her high-profile attendees were legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson and veteran celebrity stylists June Ambrose and Memsor Kamarake.
In one of several private spaces within Mercedes Benz Fashion Week’s tents, legendary supermodel and designer Iman presented her new home fabric collection.
As exclusive as the presentations of Fashion Week are, there was one event open to “the people.” Fashion’s Night Out, the brainchild of Vogue magazine’s Anna Wintour, is a partnership among hundreds of retail outlets throughout New York City – and now in Los Angeles and Miami – that invites people to come out and shop and enjoy the best that fashion has to offer. Many designers, manufacturers and retailers provided bonus entertainment to welcome customers to their stores. Macy’s attempted to manage a crush of people, primarily young brothers, who came out to lay eyes on Sean Combs. We made a quick stop at the Sony Style store for a 3-D presentation of women’s designer Byron Lars’ work. A bonus: we interviewed style expert Constance White. We also visited Ralph Lauren’s Soho store where Vogue’s contributing editor Andre Leon Talley helped Lauren host Janelle Monae. The NY Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire was there giving us his take on fashion.
Sometimes we had to walk away from a big show in order to see a Black designer, which was fine by us. Such was the case on the day of Laura Smalls’ show. Her lure, great fashion presented at the Plaza Hotel, drew quite a crowd, including Desiree Rogers, Johnson Publishing Company’s new CEO; celebrity stylist and author Phillip Bloch; designers Keisha Whitaker and A.J. Crimson; supermodel and philanthropist, Veronica Webb; and style and culture icon, Russell Simmons.