BET Awards Celebrate Black Designers and Stir Calls for Fashion Industry Change

Ira A. Johnson

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There wasn’t an actual red carpet, but Sunday’s virtual BET Awards was an impressive showcase of Black style nonetheless, starting with host Amanda Seales, representing all Black-designed clothing, jewelry, hair-care and makeup brands, including a custom gown by Los Angeles-based rising fashion star Claude Kameni.

“We wanted to tell a story of Black creativity, pay homage to iconic moments of Black style, and amplify the work of these Black fashion innovators,” said Seales.

“The BETs are our Oscars, our Grammys, our everything, where we are able to show ourselves and have fun and show off,” said her stylist Bryon Javar of the 13 looks, using pieces from Pyer Moss, Romeo Hunte, Sergio Hudson, Sister Love, Brother Vellies, Grayscale, Bishme Cromartie, Dapper Dan-Gucci and more, and paying homage to iconic moments in Black style history, from Hilary Banks’ Nineties power wardrobe in

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7 queer-led brands you should be shopping

Ira A. Johnson
Getty Images
Getty Images

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Happy Pride! Annually during the month of June, people around the world celebrate and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community, while honoring the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York.

While many Pride marches, parties and large gatherings were canceled this year due to the global pandemic, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still show your love and support for the queer community. Donating what you can to charities and organizations that help uplift LGBTQIA+ people is a great place to start, and this charity navigator is a fantastic resource if you’re in need of a few suggestions. You can also show your pride by waving or

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Everything you need to know about wedding dress shopping post-lockdown

Ira A. Johnson
A couture bridal design by Phillipa Lepley - Phillipa Lepley
A couture bridal design by Phillipa Lepley – Phillipa Lepley

Weddings are back! On Wednesday, the government announced that from July 4, ceremonies could resume in England with up to 30 guests. Small weddings have been allowed in Wales and Northern Ireland since mid-June but they are yet to get the go ahead to make a comeback in Scotland. 

For many brides, this will be the cue to get serious about wedding dress shopping again – whether you’ve already chosen your gown, put the process on pause during lockdown, or are just getting started. 

Choosing a wedding dress is, most of us hope, a once in a lifetime experience so it’s understandable that you might feel wary about beginning the process at such an uncertain time. But as someone who has recently dipped my toe in the water, I can assure you that bridal designers are full of ingenious

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Fifth Avenue is going out of style for luxury retailers, as coronavirus erodes sales

Ira A. Johnson

High-end fashion stores on New York’s Fifth Avenue used to play the role of a showroom, where shoppers could browse through curated racks of clothes with a glass of champagne. However, with shopping at a near standstill and in-store sales hovering at zero, that prime real estate is becoming a drag on retailers’ balance sheets.

Italian fashion house Valentino sought court approval on Monday to immediately terminate its lease on its four-story New York Boutique on Fifth Avenue, saying its premium address had been “substantially hindered and rendered impractical, unfeasible and no longer workable,” according to a complaint filed to the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Valentino blamed “COVID-19-related restrictions, social distancing measures, a lack of consumer confidence and a prevailing fear of patronizing, in-person, ‘non-essential’ luxury retail boutiques.”

It is the latest luxury retailer scrambling to adapt to a new world order of contactless shopping and

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