You've attended Texture On the Runways in the past, what stood out to you this year?
It’s an event that really brings everyone in the community into one space: the brands, the influencers, the stylists who come from all over for New York Fashion Week. The setting of Gotham Hall is a beautiful venue, and seeing Amara LaNegra was one of the highlights for me. Just seeing all of the girls who I’ve been coming up with in this industry.
Was there a moment of the runway show that has stayed with you?
Yes, Mielle Organics. Her presentation showed all of the different emotions we experience in our community specifically of envy, jealousy, hate, low self-esteem, she really called those things out by having her models run down the runway in stunning looks. They were painted in black and gold and were trying to steal the crown. Her overall message was that everyone can wear a crown, and it was a beautiful thing to see all of the women represented who were battling different issues, whether it be that they fear they don’t fit the mold, their hair isn’t curly enough or the right texture, they don’t have long enough hair.
How do you feel like textured hair is being represented in the fashion world as a whole right now?
I feel like it’s still very much political. When well-known designers are featuring natural hair it’s still seen as a political stance or controversial because we’ve had designers appropriating the culture and making it their own. I have seen natural hair on the runway but I felt it was to prove inclusivity, so I’d like to see that continue five years down the line. Hopefully, it’s not a trend. At Texture On the Runway I think it’s amazing to see natural hair being styled by brands who've embraced it, like Cantu, and to see the owners and people who work for these brands working to make their vision come together.
You mentioned being able to see the people who have come up with you in the audience, what’s that experience like?
Well the first thing I noticed is that the influencers are getting younger, I’m not the young one anymore, so I was like hold up! Let me introduce myself so I’m not out of the loop. One of the young influencers was telling me that they never used to wear their hair curly until seeing Texture On the Runway 2016 on social media! It was the Crème of Nature collection where they were all wearing red and Victoria, aka @vic_toryy, was one of their models. Seeing Victoria’s hair inspired her to embrace her natural hair and embrace herself. The representation coming down that runway that night inspired a young girl two years ago, and then here she is at that very event. And I know Victoria so I introduced her to Victoria since she was there that night. It’s all about re-establishing connections, catching up with people you don’t get to see all the time. I just like the camaraderie – everyone is so welcoming and friendly.
I’ll definitely have to tell our team that story about the impact of Texture On the Runway from two years ago.
It’s been great to see the show grow. I remember the location in 2016 and have seen it in Gotham Hall twice over. It’s an influencer family reunion, it’s a good kiki. I enjoyed myself and it just felt amazing to be there.
A couple people have said that about the family reunion, so I think that’s really what people are getting out of it.
It’s so refreshing because I get to see all of these familiar faces, like when I first moved to New York and was just starting out, Sabrina was my manager. I got to catch up with her at Texture On the Runway. We all help each other in some way, or we’re going to, or we have in the past. So that’s what makes it a family reunion.