By Etu Evans
Unbelievably, the Coronavirus has shut down the city that never sleeps! More than ever people are searching for ways to express their suppressed individual style after months of being locked in to avoid contraction. However, It feels like an impossible dream for New Yorkers not to
share their closets with the streets, while witnessing the closures of some of their favorite retail stores, restaurants, theaters, and of course Broadway.
It is hard to fathom that even the trains are shutting down between 1:00-5:00 a.m. to be sanitized. Masks have become an essential style accessory to express our personalities.
I concede, “masks are the new unisex condom that prevents the spread of social and infectious diseases.”
They save lives contrary to the negligence and alternative health forecast from the White House. Despite the many new changes of our new normal, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the vivid and inspiring imagination of Black Creatives across the city.
Black designers are survivors who create everything out of nothing. Give them rags and they evoke quilts, give them cotton and they will create couture, give them guts and they will conjure up gourmet; give them thread and they will weave lifelines.
Since they are used to working with less, they are in many ways better prepared to handle a pandemic in contrast to their contemporaries.
As the largest consumers and trendsetters, they for the most part have become isolated by the very industry in which they support.
Black designers are no strangers to being forced to hang off the fringes and having to remain quiet with their lips buttoned, no
Sponsors and Host
Anissa Rochester – Black Fashion Matters
Zap Life App
Three designers flushed with melanin magic united to form a trinity of style.
They decided to form a designer collaboration as a means of visual healing and hope via a virtual fashion show showcase with some of New York’s premier celebrity designers.
The event commenced in Crotona park with host Etu Evans, the sounds of DJ Manny @mannymontanez0102, and makeup artist Jo-Ann Cortez @makeupbliss_75 beating their faces for the gods.
It’s no secret that creativity inspires, arouses the senses, sparks conversations, and entertains.
The designer showcase was particularly therapeutic in a climate where there is noticeable uncertainty and an uptick in violence, financial depletion, mental illness, and homelessness. The designers blended their talents to express optimism and to boldly affirm that Black Fashion Matters.
Franklin Rowe designed cutting edge apparel that was accentuated by footwear and jewelry designer Etu Evans. Designer Claudia Washington of FunKnCrystals provided the eye candy to complete the looks.
The three stylishly proved that Covid could not cramp their style. They had the models dripping in Covid Couture.
Etu Evans – @Etu Evans
Etu Evans is a Celebrity Footwear and Jewelry Designer, Creative Director of Harlem World Magazine and Founder of the Solesville Foundation.
His exquisite designs have been worn by Beyoncé, Sharon Stone, Halle Berry, Tyra Banks, Erykah Badu, Micheal B. Jordan, Danny Glover, Andre 3000, Cynthia Bailey, and Eric Benet.
He has been featured on the Hottest Designer Segment of the View, America’s Next Top Model, and Good Morning America. Editorial features include Marie Claire Spain, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, and Essence magazine just to name a few.
It is Etu’s goal to expand his business locations from New York to Accra Ghana and Atlanta. Lastly, to blaze a trail in the luxury sector that will dismantle barriers preventing Black Creatives from becoming company owners and corporate decision-makers.
Franklin Rowe – @FranklinRoweInternationalNYC
Franklin Rowe is a Celebrity Men’s and Women’s Fashion Designer. His talents were discovered at an early age. After high school, he won a scholarship to attend the Traphagen School of Fashion.
He has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico which has added a unique flair to his design sensibility. His fabulous designs have been worn by Tate Diggs, Queen Latifah, Grace Jones, and Dionne Warwick.
Currently, his unique creations are on display in a fashion installation at Nordstrom in New York. Fans of his designs may frequent his boutique located in New York or Atlanta.
Franklin is an industry insider and known for his futuristic leather designs and lavish evening gown creations.
FunKnCrystalsEyewear – @FunknCrystal
Claudia Washington is the epitome of being”Framed and Shady.” She believes that people want the funk, so she created a unique eyewear company called FunKnCrystals.
What sets her designs apart besides impeccable craftsmanship is that they are bejeweled in genuine gemstones. Her line of frames is nestled in amethyst, tourmaline, tiger eye, and jade to ruby.
She has been interviewed by fashion journalist Constance White and featured on the Wendy Williams show, Dr. Joy show, DH Style, and several notable reality stars.
Claudia believes although the eyes are the window to the soul, her stones are healing to the body. Her creations are the personification of eye candy.
Photo credit: 1-17) @RichBrat Photos and @Notoriousphotos