(L to R)Jerome Lamaar Fortez, Briana Bigham, Chanel McFadzean
By Filecellia Sampson
What a wonderful night to support young black art. The Youth and College Division of the NAACP, which was created and established in 1936, celebrated young ethic talent with “ Runway to the Future”. The event was held at the Marriot Marquis in the madness that is called “ Times Square”. Reality TV star and on the rise designer Briana Bigham was joined on stage with former Phat Fashions designer; current image consultant Jerome Lamaar Fortez to host the inspiring event. They were dressed to impress as they entered the stage to introduce themselves and the roster of designers, who would be showcasing for the night. The crowd was alive and kicking as DJ Zeke played blast from the past hits. Although, the designers all showed a multitude of excellence and talent, there were a few that took my breath away! The first designer who presented was Autumn Adeigbo, who transformed traditional Kente cloth, to elegant women’s wear. She was featured in WWD magazine for her multi green Kente baby doll dress that she paired with a matching pillbox hat in the show. Next up was an amazing t-shirt designer; Durant by Robert Durant. His styles have been featured not only in magazines such as YRB and XXL, but Day 26 seems to be big fans of his, rocking Durant tees on previous episodes of MTV’s Making The Band. His pieces were created for the new-age man, presenting fitted and well-tailored knits. The designs are meant to have a transitional approach of casual to formal. Images of motorcycles and slogans such as “My Swagger is so Brooklyn” highlight the roots and inspiration of this young designer. B. Marie By Briana Bigham showcased a varied collection of inventive totes, clutches, shoulder bags and weekender bags. Creativity was evident on the runway with patchwork denim, fringe accents, and army fatigue patterns. Although, a few of the pieces were a bit over worked and done to death by previous designers, Bigham came strong with an overall impressive presentation. Last but definitely not least was “ Project Runways” Terri Stevens. She devoted her whole collection “ Funkinbeautiful & Michael Joseph” to the late great King of Pop himself; Michael Jackson. This collection sparked an array of emotion as maxi dresses to crotch-less sequined pants pranced down the runway, with an equal amount of ruffle detail. Jackson’s music was blasting through the speakers as the designer and models danced down the runway to close the show. The night was full of energy from the youthful crowd and I was proud to be apart of such a powerful night of fashion!