When I learned that Carol’s Daughter’s theme for this year’s Texture On the Runway was Brooklyn: Then & Now I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to bring it to life. Style in Brooklyn is multi-faceted, cutting edge, diverse, prophetic, iconic – how could they possibly encapsulate all of this in one 15-minute collection?
By pulling together a star-studded team of hairstylists, models, and wardrobe stylists that includes Mezei Jefferson, Gabrielle Corney, Diandra Forest, Temitope Adesina, Ty Hunter, and Imani Rose. That's how. If you recognize those last two names from your Instagram feed it’s because they’ve been styling Beyoncé and Solange for years. The degrees of separation between us and the Knowles sisters are small right now, ladies.
So how did the team collaborate creatively to bring the many elements, textures and idiosyncrasies of Brooklyn style to our catwalk? I spoke with Mezei backstage as he was prepping the models for the show to find out.
Could you tell us about the styles you’ve chosen to represent Brooklyn tonight?
Since our theme is Brooklyn: Then & Now we really chose styles that you would see out in Brooklyn, so we pulled from Afropunk to the Caribbean carnival scenes, and the hip Brooklynites that you see walking down the streets. We’re doing something really different for Carol’s Daughter, all of the styles are wearable styles but taken to the extreme. So we have two feet tall afros, we have braids dragging on the floor.
For the huge afros, we did some really big chunky twists, not to give it definition but just to stretch so you can really see her length. We also have a tapered style that’s focusing on the height on top. So with those styles we have width, we have height, then we also wanted to feature braids. With our braided style we wanted to do a mixture of Lemonade braids and more traditional African heritage, but super, super long. Shout out to Nicki Minaj! For the Caribbean look we’re doing a blowout and adding tongs to it so it has a nice wave to it. Not super straight, we’re not doing housewife hair, we still want it to have that afro-textured feel to it.
With all of the styles we made sure to take them to the next level because we believe Brooklyn is the place where the fashion happens in New York. It’s where the cool kids have always been, but now everyone knows it.
That’s why I was so excited about this theme, because what’s born in Brooklyn has a tendency to impact popular culture in the rest of the country, and the world. Can you talk to us more about the role has Brooklyn has played in the natural hair movement?
First off we have to give props to Lisa Price because she was the cool kid in Brooklyn when no one else was talking about natural hair so really her products coming out of Brooklyn and representing the natural community before there was a natural community!
Which trends are you seeing from women in Brooklyn that you're loving most right now?
We’re seeing a lot of braids and a lot of afros! More women now who are wearing their hair natural are forgoing twist outs and bantu knots, they’re really just rocking their natural texture. Type 4c hair has come to the forefront. Before everyone wanted 3a, 3b hair, but now you see 4c hair everywhere. That’s a mainstay in the natural community and especially in the Brooklyn scene.
What do you see as the next big thing to come out of Brooklyn?
Color – for hair and makeup. You know we just got finished with Afropunk and color was everywhere. Makeup for hair is really big now, and we’re seeing a lot of body painting and face painting, it’s a trend that’s really starting to grow into the other boroughs.
The inspiration coming from Afropunk attendees was unreal this year. Are there any other style icons, past or present, who you’ve been pulling inspiration from leading up to the show?
Right now a lot of our inspiration’s coming from Solange since she released A Seat at the Table and the braided styles she featured. And then we also had Beyoncé come out with “Lemonade braids.” They’ve really kind of set the tone for where we’re going and taken us back to our roots with the African heritage. On the Brooklyn streets you’re seeing the African heritage and the Caribbean heritage fusing itself together.
Do you have any tips for our audience who may want to try these looks at home?
First check our social media because we’re gonna have tutorials for recreating some of the looks. At our booth at Texture on the Runway we have step by step instructions and pictures of the models and the products we used on them, which will be online as well. My number one tip is that water is your hair’s best friend. Keep your hair moisturized, use any of our leave-ins because they’re really lightweight and can be used as either a curl refresher or a detangler. Start your style there.
Gone are the days where we’re trying to get a lot of definition, you can start your twist out from dry or from damp hair to help it dry quicker and to give you that stretched look that you’re going for.
Which products are you reaching for the most today? And what makes them Holy Grails?
Right now we’re pulling from all of our Carol’s Daughter products but we’re really focusing on our Pracaxi line, which is based on styling, and obviously the Monoi Hairspray because everybody loves the Monoi Hairspray. It smells so good and the Monoi oil leaves the hair in such good shape. Then we sprinkled in our Hair Milk line, like we’re using the Hair Milk Foam just to give some soft texture to it while keeping some hold, but never crunchy.
I really think it’s gonna be different from what we’ve seen from Carol’s Daughter before, which is a good thing – we’re always evolving.
If you'd like to try any of these Carol's Daughter products you can find them at Sally Beauty.
Stay tuned for more coverage of Texture on the Runway for a full look at the styles and products launched at the event.
This post is sponsored by Carol's Daughter.