With the weeks beginning to blur into each other months ago, many of us may have forgotten that this is, in fact, New York Fashion Week. While none of us will (or should) be gathering in-person this season to see next spring’s fashion trends—especially since we still may not be going out much, come spring—our new normal has presented some unique and innovative opportunities. As we reconsider our democracy as a whole, the fashion industry is also considering what the democratization of luxury fashion might look like, as it expands the traditionally exclusive realm of runway presentations to broader demographics and visions. Incubators, councils and new collaborations abound, making this Fashion Week potentially one of the freshest and most creative in many years.
If that sounds optimistic, one can only hope. As Toni Morrison wrote during the election season of 2016, in dark eras like the ones we are currently living through, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
With that in mind, we’re looking forward to several creative offerings this week, the first of which starts tonight, Monday, at 7 pm ET. Fresh off the NBA Playoffs, Portland Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony presents “A Black Future,” the inaugural launch of the basketball player’s StayMe7O Propel Program, via a “hyper-real 3-D virtual show.”
The debut presentation is a collaboration between StayMe7o and seven Black designers “who inspire a culture of change through fashion and creativity,” according to a press release sent to The Glow Up, which added: “The StayMe7o Propel Program is dedicated to the movement for Black independence and freedom of expression; the platform will also act as an educational resource and sales point for Black creatives.”
For A Black Future’s inaugural collection, Carmelo Anthony collaborated with and all-Black designer roster, including Tier NYC, Ghetto Gastro, Shakira Javonni, The BK Circus, Demestik, Does it Even Matter & Barriers. Anthony has been promoting and teasing each of the designers on his Twitter and Facebook pages, each of was tasked with creating “a piece of clothing that honors their joint vision of the Black movement,” says the release, which reads, in part:
Throughout history, Black people have suffered and continue to suffer discrimination and systemic oppression.
At a time of unquestionable change, collective communities must intentionally reflect and unapologetically reawaken the civil rights movement to create opportunities that have, for so long, been withheld from the Black community.
The Propel Program will allow historically marginalized and underrepresented voices to use their creativity to amplify their mission for a future they plan to progress.
‘What is the future? What is the future for us?’ Anthony asks in the closing of his promotional video.