Thanks to the good family at MadamNoire, I had a chance to attend Fashion Bomb Daily’s 3rd annual runway event, The Bomb Fashion Show. Held on Sept. 9, during the height of New York Fashion Week, the dynamic event celebrated emerging Black multicultural designers from across the globe, giving them an opportunity to showcase their bold designs.
Hosted by Fashion Bomb Daily CEO Claire Sulmers and former Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes, the lavish event, which took place at a stunning venue in lower Manhattan, brought in a slew of celebrity A-listers like Real Housewives stars Marlo Hampton and Ashley Darby. Other attendees included Lil Mama, Beyoncé‘s trusted stylist, Ty Hunter and singer-turned-entrepreneur Latavia Roberson.
I dressed to impress for my very first New York Fashion Show extravaganza. I opted for my classic Karl Lagerfeld suit dress adorned with gold buttons and satin detailing. Mom helped me tie the fashion-forward look together with her sparkling platform heels. I topped off my Fashion Week ensemble with a beige hat and a gold rope chain. The look did not miss!
Before The Bomb Fashion Show kicked off, attendees sipped on tasty cocktails and snacked on tiny bites as they schmoozed with the who’s who of fashion in the room. When the red carpet came rolling out, it was on and poppin’.
On The Red Carpet
Leakes was the first celeb to hit the red carpet. The “Queen of Reality TV” shined in a stunning Michele Lopez “Mila” dress that snatched up her curvy frame. She completed the look with metallic gold heels and tiny stud earrings. At one point, Sulmers hopped in to grab a picture alongside the Atlanta socialite. The Bomb Life author beamed in a white one-shoulder mini dress and silver heels.
Marlo Hampton‘s fierce, fun and radiant personality was on a hundred thousand trillion in her Fashion Week ensemble. The Le Archive founder ate and left no crumbs in an Evana Ruched Faux Leather Mini Dress with a massive Floral Applique designed by Rachel Gilbert. Hampton styled the ensemble with black futuristic boots designed by Alexander McQueen. The paparazzi were clamoring for pics – myself included.
Another stand out from the red carpet was rapper, K CAMP. The Atlanta hip-hop star rocked a brown wool balaclava mask that covered his entire face–leaving enough room for his designer shades to pop out from underneath.
The flashy rap star jazzed up the striking face mask with icy chains and bracelets. For clothing, the “Comfortable” hitmaker kept his threads casual. He opted for a pair of distressed jeans and a simple work shirt. The laid-back fit looked fashionable as hell.
As eventgoers made their way to the runway, I made sure to get close enough to watch all of the action go down. The seats were lined with pink swag bags that featured an assortment of goodies from Mielle Organics and other local brands.
Before the show started, folks in the audience got up out of their seats to dance along with a fun youth marching band. It set the perfect tone for the rest of the incredible night.
Here are some of my favorite moments from the runway extravaganza.
Jolie Duzon by Zillah Duzon-Hazel
Hailing from St. Marteen, Caribbean digital artist and fashion designer Zillah Duzon-Hazel kicked off the show with her colorful fashion brand, Jolie Duzon. Hints of neon green, magenta and lush tropical patterns oozed throughout Zillah’s eye-catching collection of satin and chiffon maxi dresses, skirts and resort-ready tunics.
Several pieces from the exotic line featured beautiful watermelon patterns, like the maxi tunic, Zillah’s favorite piece from the collection. “It’s, like, you’re fabulous and on vacation,” the happy designer told me after her Bomb Fashion Show debut.
A graduate of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Zillah pulls from her drawing and illustration background to design unique digitized prints that she transfers onto her colorful and dynamic garments.
“I take inspiration from my Caribbean surroundings because I’m from the beautiful island of St. Maarten. So our flowers, fruits, our atmosphere. It’s all a part of my prints.”
Adorned with the Caribbean designer’s radiant watermelon pattern, the maxi tunic featured a deep v-neck and a long slit, marrying elegance and poise with the right amount of sex appeal. Her chiffon neon green maxi dress was also a standout. The light-weight monochromatic look clung to the beautiful silhouette of the model like a glove as she stormed down the runway effortlessly.
Warm and inviting, I could easily picture myself wearing Duzon’s tropical garment to a beach party or a date night– and that’s exactly her mission. The emerging designer hopes women feel “confident,” sexy and powerful in her dynamic clothing wherever they go.
For Zillah, being a part of The Bomb Fashion Show was a huge milestone. “This was my first international fashion show. I have done some other fashion shows in the Caribbean, but this one, doing it in New York for New York Fashion Week. It has been a dream come true.”
Zillah has big plans for 2024.
“I’m going to come out with another bomb print, and I just want for my brand to move from operating locally to operating on an international level,” the designer said. “Having my brand stocked at different boutiques around the world. That is where I see myself going this next year.”
Fayah Athletics by Ayo Abiola-Goertzen
Fayah Athletics, spearheaded by the talented Ayo Abiola-Goertzen, was the next designer that caught my eye. The Canada native’s athleisure brand boasted big and bright floral prints with geometric patterns and fun pop art. The Fayah Athletics collection had a little something for everyone. From funky-colored swim trunks and pants for the gents to bright and animated kimonos for the ladies.
With accessibility at the forefront, Ayo told me that she created all of her designs with versatility and comfort in mind. The fashionista said that her size-inclusive clothing can be worn to the gym or out to cocktails and dinner with friends.
My favorite piece from Fayah Athletics was a cinching bodysuit that featured a colorful glitch all-over print designed by Ayo. The cozy and stretchy fabric of the bodysuit snatched at the model’s waist as she strutted down the catwalk.
“I love architecture. I love angles but making things cohesive,” Ayo said of her eye-catching patterns. “It kind of gets me thinking and gets me working. Then, I add and take away. I love experimenting with the arts and experimenting with different digital media.”
Sustainability is a key component of the brand’s style and aesthetic. Ayo uses luxe eco-friendly fabrics that come equipped with built-in SPF 50+ protection – perfect for a hot sunny day or a fun beach outing. “You don’t have to worry about wearing sunscreen whenever you have my fabric on,” the designer laughed.
Ayo has been busy showcasing her whimsical and animated athleisure wear throughout 2023. Before she stormed The Bomb Fashion Show runway in March, the hardworking designer made a splash at the Revive Fashion Week in Los Angeles. In July, she debuted her Fayah Swim collection during Miami Swim Week.
Earlier this year, Fayah Athletics teamed up with Miss Black California USA for the Fayah X MBC collection. The floral-inspired athleisure capsule line was worn by contestants in the 2023 pageant.
Ayo is grateful to be thriving at this exciting time in fashion. “I always want to support people who may not always get the opportunity. So, I hope people will do that for me,” she added.
Allison Elizabeth Brown
Haute, glamor & style are three words that describe Allison Elizabeth Brown’s dazzling Luxury Capsule Collection with Mano Swartz. The bespoke designer’s awe-inspiring collection was whimsical, elegant and reimagined everyday wear under an opulent lens. Mano Swartz is America’s oldest furrier brand since 1889.
Striking brown and black furs, pristine tailoring and recycled denim were sprawled throughout Brown’s extravagant collection. Using textiles and a wide range of stunning silhouettes to construct her pieces, Brown rendered stylish and elegant clothing that had the audience gasping in awe.
During the show, one model donned a massive wide-brim Swakara lamb bespoke saucer chapeau that covered half of her face as she walked down the catwalk in a long flowing pleather shall and a Mongolian lamb crossbody muff. Another muse rocked a maxi gown sewn with patches of distressed denim that created a large pool along the runway floor.
With over a decade of experience in the fashion and branding development industry, Brown has helped some of the biggest names in fashion to scale their companies behind the scenes. The fashion virtuoso was a brand specialist for Marjorie Harvey’s Closet, a selection of high fashion consignment handbags, clothing and sunglasses curated by Marjorie herself. Brown was also the branding guru behind former President Barack Obama’s southern gospel artist tour, Embrace the Change.
Now, the style aficionado is at the helm of her own brand, and her unmatched creativity has opened a new door of opportunity for her promising fashion career. After the show, Brown told NeNe Leakes that she was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the CEO and creative director of Mano Swartz.
Brown’s beautiful collection was a site to behold.
The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy Collection
Fashion juggernaut Misa Hylton dominated the ‘90s with her eclectic designs for a bevy of female hip-hop stars and R&B singers. Her custom creations altered the perspective of what women in the music industry should look like–and they made a lot of noise while doing so.
Hylton’s lengthy fashion resume includes iconic pieces like the purple pasty and sequin jumpsuit that she created for Lil Kim during the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. Hylton was also the mastermind behind all of the sizzling monochromatic looks in the femcee’s “Crush on You” music video. Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott and LaLa Anthony are a few more celebs that have been styled by the fashion laureate.
Now, Hylton is cultivating the next generation of designers with her incredible program, the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy (MHFA). Established in 2012, the MHFA empowers, educates and mentors young fashion creatives interested in pursuing a career in the industry.
MHFA graduate Heaven Jarrett’s fun and vivacious denim line scorched the runway at The Bomb Fashion Show. The collection featured impeccable tailoring and stitching. One muse pranced down the catwalk in colorful plaid high-waisted denim trousers tailored perfectly to her beautiful figure. Another melanated muse rocked a denim unbuttoned crop top with a pair of high-waisted ripped jeans.
The fabulous fit evoked the spirit of ‘90s hip-hop. For some extra flair, the MHFA crew styled the model in a Black fitted baseball hat and kitten heels. “Pretty Girls Walk” rapper Big Boss Vette performed as the MHFA models and Hylton dazzled down the runway.
After the show, Hylton spoke to Leakes about the importance of her fashion academy.
“I decided to start the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy because it was imperative for me to pay it forward,” the style icon told the audience. “Far too many times creatives of color are not given the opportunity,” Hylton continued. “They don’t understand the work or the culture. They aren’t immersed in environments where they can excel, so I decided that I wanted to focus on mentorship, education and empowering the next generation of fashion creatives.”
The Bomb Fashion Show was incredible and I can’t wait to see where all of the designers go next. The future of fashion is big, bold and bright.