Fashion month is on the horizon and with the return of in-person shows for the first time 18 months, it is sure to come with a packed calendar full of elegant afterparties, intimate dinners, and other events to herald the new fashion season.
New York City is already buzzing thanks to the ongoing US Open tennis championships and the upcoming Met Gala taking place later than its usual date in May. Add in the excitement of New York Fashion Week and the energy of city will definitely be on another level.
While some aspects will have changed due to the new era we’re living in, there is no doubt that fashion with a capital “F” will still be the order of the day. Many brands are returning from Paris to show in NY this season and thanks to the work of the Black in Fashion Council, in collaboration with IMG, 13 emerging Black designers will be showing their collections at Spring Studios.
So, if you are lucky enough to get caught up in the whirlwind of afterparties, launch events or celebration dinners that come with NYFW, which runs from 8-12 September this year, then it’s a good time as any to show off some glamorous pieces by talented designers and Black-owned brands from the African continent and the diaspora.
The five pieces in our edit below have been chosen for their statement-making qualities and each one will be sure to aid you in being one of the best-dressed people in the room.
Malia Abstract Leopard Print Blazer by Onalaja
If you’re going straight from the office to an after-work event, you won’t have to change when you’re wearing the Malia Abstract Leopard Print Blazer by contemporary Nigerian brand Onalaja. Handmade in Lagos from 100% georgette fabric, the jacket is cut in a flattering but not constricting silhouette, with an abstract leopard print in a fiery orange shade. For a high-impact look, pair it with the matching pants to create a dynamic power suit.
Onalaja prides itself on creating eye-catching texture and color clashes, with heavy emphasis on smart tailoring that combines the designer Kanyinsola Onalaja’s Nigerian heritage with the sophistication of British fashion and the craftsmanship of Italian design.
Quad Earrings by Lorne
Accessories can make an outfit just as much as a dramatic skirt or vibrant shirt, so don’t miss out on framing your face with a unique and striking pair of earrings, such as the Quad Earrings by South African jewelry brand Lorne.
The lightweight and sleek earrings, which are delicately handmade in Cape Town, demonstrate Lorne’s modus operandi of casting unique doodles and “accidents” into brass and memorializing the unpredictability of the present. These particular earrings feature an opposite and asymmetrical design by featuring the hoop on top of one earring, and on the bottom of the other. They are sure to start a conversation the next time you’re getting refreshments at an event.
Elia Joux Dress by Onalaja
A sophisticated black dress is impossible to go wrong with, but why not add a fun and flirty spin on an old classic? You can accomplish just that with the floor-length Elia Joux Dress by Onjalaja. This formal and elegant piece is handcrafted in Nigeria from a striking metallic fabric that features a subtle but stunning leopard print. The dress features a unique cut-out design at the shoulders, along with an open midriff and a flattering slit up the back of the skirt. Pair with delicate gold earrings and a colorful pair of shoes to complete the look.
Mali Black Clutch/Belt Bag by Thalia Strates
An elegant clutch is a necessity for any sophisticated night out, and an option that doubles as a hands-free belt bag is a practical for the modern working woman. The Mali Black Clutch/ Belt Bag by South African accessories brand Thalia Strates offers both function and beauty to carry your belongings, while keeping you looking chic.
Crafted by hand from springbok fur with a suede lining and a detachable strap that can be worn on the wrist or around the waist, this clutch bag will make a fantastic compliment to evening gowns and business suits alike. Whichever way you use it, this bag is a refreshingly functional and fashionable carrier for your next dinner party.
Casablanca Flemenco Layered Dress by Sisiano
Make an impression the moment that you walk in the door with the striking Casablanca Flemenco Layered Dress by Nigeria-based brand Sisiano. The colorful dress features a strategically pleated tiered skirt that spans 13 feet and moves as you do. Created by former choreographer Paolo Sisiano, the brand creates vibrant and bright pieces that celebrate the colors and hallmarks of African design. The deep V-neckline at the front and back, paired with a flattering waistline, create a clashing color road map to draw your eyes to the wild and striking look of the skirt.