Black Excellence Shined At The Met Gala 2023, But Where Were The Black Designers?

The Met Gala flooded timelines on the evening of May 1 as some of entertainment’s biggest stars graced the red carpet for the annual fashion-forward event. There was plenty of Black star power in the room, but not so much when it came to the Black designers.

The 2023 theme was “in honor of Karl,” an exhibition that celebrated the work of the late German fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld (1933–2019), Vogue reports. He worked at prominent fashion houses during his lifetime, including Balmain, Chloé, Fendi, and Chanel, along with his namesake brand.

When considering this year’s theme, it might be why, despite the diversity in attendees, inclusion was scarce when it came to the fashion designers who were represented. First, let’s start with the small list of Black talent who wore Black designers at the show.

First up, we have Keke Palmer who has been slaying and not playing since giving birth to her son in February. The Nope star looked stunning in a gown designed by Sergio Hudson, whom she attended the Met Gala with.

Usher was also at the Met Gala wearing Bianca Saunders, who accompanied him at the Gala.

The hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs had the fashion on display in custom head-to-toe Sean John put together by creative director and costume designer June Ambrose, as noted by Vogue.

The Bad Boy founder brought Caresha “Yung Miami” Brownlee as his date to the event who slayed in Marni Senofonte.

While Caresha opted out of wearing a Black designer, others helped represent Black fashion designers. La La Anthony also wore Sergio Hudson and hosted the red carpet where she interviewed stars like rapper Ice Spice who wore Balmain designed by Olivier Rousteing.

Actor Jeremy Pope attended the Met Gala with Rousteing as the pair showed off two custom designs made by the French fashion designer.

That makes seven Black stars who attended the Met Gala wearing Black designers with one being the designer himself. But the Black Excellence was in full display at the fashionable event.

Stars in attendance who sported pieces made by luxury fashion houses include Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, with the pregnant superstar stealing the show in a hooded Valentino white gown, adorned in 3D camellia flowers she boasted took 30 hours each to make.

Veteran supermodel Naomi Campbell wore Chanel Couture.

Thom Browne was deemed the “stylist of the night” by one critic who cited the looks worn by A-list talent including Jenny Ortega, Teyana Taylor, Pusha T,  and Janelle Monet.

Actress Michaela Coel, who co-chaired this year’s Met Gala, slayed in Schiaparelli Couture.

Serena Williams debuted her second pregnancy in a Gucci dress.

Other Black talent who attended this year’s Met Gala included Quinta Brunson, Yara Shahidi, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade.

While everyone looked stunning serving their Met Gala looks, it would’ve just as nice to see more representation from Black fashion designers.

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