Models strutted across the stage of the Bronx Library Center Saturday wearing an array of diverse clothing that featured glitter, sequins, colorful fabrics, and innovative patterns showcasing the passion, talent, and creativity of Bronx aspiring fashion designers.
Ever since the foundation of Bronx Fashion Week in September 2014 by Flora Montes, it has provided a platform to aspiring fashion designers and models, especially, those native of the Bronx.
This year, the show also celebrated the culmination of Hispanic and Latinx Heritage month.
Fashion enthusiasts spent the rainy evening admiring the creations of upcoming Bronx fashion designers while they enjoyed the presentation and music of DJ Latif McIntgre.
The runway opened up with designer Nandilou’s clothing line “Color Me Melanin.” Nandilou’s up-cycled clothes reflect “the vibrant tapestry of West African culture” in combination with “urban street wear,” said DJ Latif as he presented the collection.
Nandilou’s collection featured a palette of vibrant greens, oranges, blues, purples, and reds. Denim and intricate patterns could be seen on every piece of clothing worn by the models.
Following was Ashley Stewart, a size-inclusive clothing brand. Models wore dresses, lingerie, and matching sets, ranging in sizes from 10 to 36.
Up next, the stage was overtaken by a swirl of blue, white, black, and red from Don’s Custom Apparel, consistent in an array of hats, graphic tees, and print jackets.
The private label was created out of founder and Bronx native Ray Don’s desire to spread awareness about Leukemia, after his 3-year-old daughter was confronted by it, said DJ Latif, making it “a business born out of love and resilience.”
Then came Vine by LC, a collection characterized by soft colors, fitting silhouettes, where glitter and sequin wasn’t used coyly. Every step taken by models exuded confidence and was followed by gracious movement of fabric.
In contrast, the succeeding collection, WACKO, featured bold colors and graffities, depicting a very urban setting. The models invoked a strong statement of power and imposed a clear presence on stage.
The show concluded with fashion designer Habyi Manzanillo and her brand, Habyia Styles.
Manzanillo presented the audience with a compilation of dresses and matching sets ranging in length and depicted in black, red, and grays.
After the show, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson honored and recognized the ambition, passion, and talent of the Bronx community. She urged the community to keep writing their own narrative and invited the present and future generations to follow along.
“Fashion is much more than fabric, it’s a culture, it’s a style, it’s a phenomenon, it’s who we are,” she said.