Essence Beauty Carnival brought out black women of all shades, ages, and sizes from all over New York City who all came to slay.
Pier 36 saw off the shoulder, peplum, African print, ruffle sleeved and wrapped tops on April 27. The Carnival presented these women with the opportunity to dance with moko jumbies and sing along with Beyoncé while showcasing themselves, networking and embracing their beauty. Seizing the moment, many of these women got creative with their outfits and hair allowing them to stand out individually despite being apart of such a large crowd.
Day one of the two-day event opened with Felicia Walker’s talk on “How to Serve Flawless Face.” This was followed by another talk with Tiffany Rothe titled “Femme Esteem,” a little friendly competition and an extensions workshop. Around noon women took a break from shopping at the market place and taking photos to claim their seats for the “Embrace Your Beauty Marks” conversation between Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, Ciara and Essence Global Beauty Director Julee Wilson.
Beauty Marks is the title of Ciara’s upcoming album and describes what she now calls the stretch marks that appeared after her pregnancies. The album will be released on May 10th and Ciara is proud of not only her work but her family and herself. After about 15 years in the music industry, she finally understands the importance of being patient; something many people struggle with. “It’s so hard to be patient,” she said. She continued, “You gotta trust the process and life. And that is really hard to do but it’s the best thing we can do. The plan that’s for you is for you.”
After Ciara, the iconic Harlem designer, Dapper Dan, and Hip Hop’s favorite stylist, Misa Hylton; took the stage to talk fashion. Dapper Dan, a fan of metaphysics and history books, is all about the black community having a presence in the fashion industry and credits black Twitter for calling out brands who have stole his designs. As a thank you and for his own personal goal, “Dap” has plans to “blackenize” fashion. “The future for Dapper Dan is to incorporate African symbolism the same way I did Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton symbolism and create this whole new trend for us to glorify our culture,” he said.
On the other hand, Hylton is giving back through her school Misa Hylton Fashion Academy which is undergoing expansion. “We’re adding fashion technology, streetwear, branding, and business,” she said. She continues, “We teach our students how to harness their creativity and drive.”
Later in the evening, Sevyn Streeter got the crowd dancing with a performance that ended with her latest single “Yearnin,” and Somalian supermodel Iman was presented with the 2019 Beauty Carnival Icon Award. All about having “a seat at the table,” the Iman Cosmetics creator glowed in her orange blazer with gold detailing setting a true example of what it means to embrace your roots while using them to stand out.