AVENTURA — Cameras flashed as each model hit the runway doned in fashion influenced by African-American style. Macy’s Aventura Fashion Store on Saturday celebrated Black History Month by gathering a panel of successful fashionistas to discuss past and present African-American fashion trends.
To share with a mostly female audience were journalist and style expert Constance White, Demetria McKinney of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne fame and Miss Nigeria Evelyn Onyejuruwa, with Local 10 Reporter Neki Mohan moderating. “Black style is self expression, glamour and roots of our African-American culture; it’s freedom to accept yourself for who you are,” said White.
White was invited to headline the black history month fashion show because of her expertise when it comes to understanding how African-American culture influences national and global fashion. She pointed to how African-American culture plays a big role on how youth and young adults dress today.
“Look how far we came, from Hip-Hop to sneakers to hair styles like braids, everybody is in tune with our culture,” White said.
Maria Thompson, who was wearing leather tights and a white see-through top, felt up-to-date when she heard the panelists say leather is a happening trend.
“The way I dress you couldn’t tell my age; you can tell that I’m in tune with my culture and heavily influenced with people of my race when it comes to fashion,” said Thompson, 53.
Onyejuruwa from Akara Miami, a South Florida company which follows African cultural trends, showcased her designs at the fashion show. Models from Miami Gardens and Africa displayed some of Akara Miami’s clothing that featured African texture and fabrics on the run way.
“Just the way the patterns are set up, our culture influences us young people how to dress,” said Ju’lia Samuels, 26, admiring the fashion.
The audience received fashion tips from the panelists during a meet-and-greet after the fashion show. Those who made a purchase of $50 or more, walked away with a copy of White’s new book, Constance White presents the Queens & Kings of Style, and McKinney’s new single Work with Me.
The panel of women commended Macy’s for recognizing black fashion and promoting black designers. “Love how Macy’s embraced our culture and recognize Africa fashion infusion with the new era,” Onyejuruwa said.
Melissa Goff, vice president at Macy’s said it’s a part of Macy’s culture to embrace and share diverse perspectives. “Macy’s has been collaborating with African- American diversity for years; it’s important to us to celebrate this and engage with our community,” said Goff.