Black Luxury With Mikki Taylor Front and Center At Essence Fashion House

Essence Fashion House celebrated the continued growth of Black luxury in fashion and beyond with a spirited discussion held during New York Fashion Week.

Fashion maven and Howard University professor Mikki Taylor joined forces with designer Tia Adeola and Shop McMullen founder Sherri McMullen to go in depth about “Black Luxury: The New Face of High Fashion,” Essence reports. The female fashion powerhouse trio discussed the importance of Black luxury and the crucial role the Black community plays in the growth of Black fashion creatives.

McMullen has been on the frontline of Black luxury’s expansion. Her retail shop has helped put a number of Black luxury designers on the map along with her Beyond M. incubator program which sets emerging BIPOC designers up for long-term success.

When she started Shop McMullen 16 years ago, McMullen recalls wanting to represent her hometown of Oakland, California, but seeing very little mainstream support for diverse designers.

“What I found is that big box retailers did not have Black and Brown designers on their shelves,” McMullen said. “But we know that Black designers and creatives exist because we create so much.”

“You find that so many designers are looking at Black culture, Black people, everything that we do, and they’re inspired by us,” she added.

Coming from Nigeria to America, Adeola saw the Western world through a different lens and recognized the existence of Black luxury in everyday life, incorporating that into her designs.

“From the sensing, to the cars, to the empowering; everything for me represents Black luxury. There aren’t many like me,” she said.

“I take this duty very seriously and I feel like I’m here to continue to push and knock on those doors to try to open up the space for the people coming after me.”

Taylor, Adeola, and McMullen all agreed that Blackness is luxury and the two are not disconnected. From the emergence of Black handbag designers whose products remain in high demand to the major retailers and brands partnering with Black creatives and influencers, the Black luxury movement continues to gain steam and show that it’s here to stay.

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