Ladybrille® Blogazine


Monday, February 12, 2007

Celebrating Black Style Now

{Photocredit Lester Cohen/WireImage}
I could not help but notice the beautiful styles worn by all, especially Black Hollywood, at the recently completed Grammy Award Show. Mary J. Blige, for example, glowed in one of many outfits she wore during the night. I particularly loved her in the Michael Kors plunging neck line beaded dress, in platinum color. I also liked the clean simple cut of Beyonce's sequined see through gown; in which she performed her hit song "Listen". Ciara, Ludacris, TI were also samples of black celebrities that dazzled with their sense of fashion style.
The Grammys got me appreciating Black style. Last year, during NY Fashion Week , Spring 2007, I was invited and attended an event called "Black Style Now" hosted by Essence and Diddy. The goal was to showcase and pay respect to the contributions of Black Americans to the American Fashion Industry. Today, it seems only fitting to revisit the event through the video below. To me, the similarities of black fashion and the African fashions are pretty obvious. Prior to the 90s, so called "Black Style" was laughable at best by the mainstream fashion industry and considered "ghetto" or "gangster." Then, something changed. 1992 was the year that Russell Simmons launched Phat Farm and John Dammond launched FUBU [For Us By Us] clothing lines. Young black teenagers, who the industry later discovered had spending power, caught on to it. Shortly after, Black Hollywood began using their celebrity power to also diversify their enterprises into clothing brands. Before you know it, brands like Sean John, Roca Wear, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Enycee, House of Dereon became the norm. Indeed, no one in mainstream American Fashion industry, except maybe Tommy Hilfiger, imagined hip-hop would be HUGE. The desire for "gangster" clothing expanded to white surburban teenagers and was explosive. Cash registers in retail stores across the nation kept ringing and continue to. Today, "Black Style" is a global phenomenon. It is my hope Ladybrille serves as an instrumental platform towards a "Africa Style Now."


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