Rain and gloomy overcast skies were no match for the enthusiastic crowd of fashion gurus and brand influencers descending upon the Duggan Greenhouse in Brooklyn. Uniting the like-minded beauties was the return of the 2018 ESSENCE Street Style Festival on Sunday, September 9th. This was a celebration pumped full of energy and positivity, highlighting black culture, style, and community. The guest list was chock-full of notable personalities, including Amanda Seales, comedian and star of HBO’s Insecure, who stepped out in style to host the event. Kellie Brown, Teyana Taylor, Yemi Alade, and DJs Jasmine Solano and Olivia Dope were also in attendance.
Celebrities and attendees alike came together to embrace over 80 black-owned businesses. The Greenhouse was packed full of vendors, such as the Honey Pot, Nyakio, Kelewele, Diggin’ Her Roots, Cee Cee’s Closet, Soul Balm Sisters, and many more that offered products, giveaways, and prizes.
Nike gave away a pair of their signature shoes from LeBron James’ latest sneaker launch, “The Strongest” campaign. This campaign celebrates the strength of 16 incredible black women from across several industries. The shoe, gifted to an ecstatic attendee, was designed by Fe Noel, Kimberly Goldson, and Undra Celeste.
Many great products were available indoors, giving guests the option to shop around before heading outdoors to enjoy delicious bites from diverse cultures offered by a line of food trucks. With appetites satiated, budding fashionistas enjoyed live entertainment held on the large outdoor stage. DJ Olivia Dope warmed up the crowd with a set full of favorites. Afterward, Macy’s held an unconventional fashion show of its own, allowing audience members to put their skills to the test with “Putting It All Together,” an on-the-spot styling challenge.
As the festivities approached an inevitable end, two highly anticipated celebrity guests closed out the festival with a bang. Kelis, style icon and songstress, and Teyana Taylor, songstress, dancer, actor, and model, braved the rain with a high energy performance that left fans buzzing. Teyana herself brought along a special guest, her 2-year-old daughter Junie, who made an adorable appearance in support of her mom. At the closing of the festival, Julee Wilson and Cori Murray presented Kelis with the ESSENCE Street Style Disruptor Award.
ESSENCE has found a way to capture and highlight black women’s contributions to style and fashion at the height of NYFW and it was a resounding success!