The lack of diversity on the runways of New York Fashion Week has long been an issue.
Last year was no exception. During the Fall 2015 shows over 70% of the 618 models were white. Black models only accounted for 8.7%. Latina models only made up 3.5%.
But for Michelle Breyer, Founder of Texture Media, the lack of diversity isn’t merely about race—it’s also about hair. To counter that issue, she called on major hair care brands including Au Natural Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Design Essentials, Garnier Fructise, and Cream of Nature to host a runway show centered around curly, kinky, wavy, and textured tresses. Each brand chose a theme for their portion of the event.
“The idea for it came after covering fashion week over and over again and being frustrated by the lack of texture on the runway,” said Breyer who co-hosted the show with Patrice Grell Yursik, founder of Afrobella.com. “There were lots of straight ponytails and straight hair parted down the middle but not a lot of any kind of diversity, and I mean diversity in a lot of different ways. These people didn’t look like me and they didn’t look like most of the people in the world. So we thought why don’t we create our own fashion show where, rather than the hair being dictated by fashion the fashion was dictated by the hair and where we could have a counter point over what was going on.”
The Target sponsored event, which was held last Saturday, was an undeniable success.
We were there to capture the runway show and some of the fabulous attendees who flaunted their gorgeous tresses off the runway. (Check out the photos in the gallery above.)
We also got the backstage pass to cover the beauty preparation before the event. Scroll on…
“The look that I’m doing right now is finger coiling,” said Cantu Stylist, Maria Antoinette. “I’m basically taking her hair and I’m bringing all her curls together to elongate her hair so we can keep her natural curl and really bring length to her hair. It’s a great way if you have shorter hair to elongate your curl but not over manipulate them with a twist out or something like that.”
“Cantu’s theme was titled, “Essence Of Me.” “It’s all about all the roles we play in our lives as women, So we have the jet setter, we have the socialite, we have the boss, we have the multi tasker, we have the fit chick,” said Maria Antoinette.
“This look is a reversible braid,” said Michelle Swiny, Stylist for Design Essentials. “We crimped it and I divided the back into three sections. The front will have a ponytail and a French bang with a twisted knot at the top.”
For makeup, Design Essentials went for a soft cut crease using greens and purples. “The cut crease is strong to give off that military look to flow with the theme of, “War On Dryness,” said Christina Torian, Makeup Artist for Design Essentials. “The cut crease is the harsh part but it’s pretty because we’re using softer colors instead of black that’s usually used.”
“Today’s look it regal royal,” said Derick Monroe of the Dark and Lovely Style Squad. “Some of our styles are going to be ode to Coming To America. We’re just really glamorizing and enjoying and loving our textures. We’ve been using Twice as Nice, Curl Refresher. When you mix it up it has oils and the leave in conditioner in it, so it just gives your curls a little extra bounce and refreshes them without having to do the whole co-wash, shampoo, and conditioner all over.”
“We’re doing two combating textures,” said Tommy Buckett of Garnier Fructis. “Something super easy. It’s super sleek. It’s very architectural, it’s very done. We’re giving it a modern fresh touch to it by adding this crazy texture. It’s not curly, it’s not perfect. We’re just going with it.”