Emerging Designers of NYFW

By Keyeara Newsome

(Rafael Ruiz/ Ghetto Love Apparel 2023 Collection/NYFW)

Fashion designers and artists advocated for social inclusiveness and community wellness as they showcased their designs on February 11 at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture center during New York’s annual fashion week.

Kyrone Ricketts, the creator of Ghetto Love Apparel originally from Brooklyn, presented an electrifying collection that opened with a timeless gender-neutral varsity jacket and focused on a variety of wearable trendy tops, shorts and stylish two-piece sets. Ricketts spoke about how as a young African American man he often dealt with challenges that affected his mental health. “My main goal is to help people with their mental health,” said Ricketts. “I use my anger as fuel to motivate me to do something better.” Like Ricketts, CEO of JFlex Eyeware Jabez Robinson opened up about his eye condition, which he says inspired him to never give up even when mentally things get hard, especially as an entrepreneur.

Known for his hand-crafted chic evening wear, Harvell Livingston pushed boundaries using unisex models that expressed gender-free identity. The models posed in gowns and sheer tops flaunting body-positivity, embodying a demand for reform from those who are underrepresented from different races, backgrounds and sexual orientations. Livingston’s closing floor-length sequined dress had guest in awe as the tight-knit community cheered him on admiring his lavish bold couture line. Other designers, including Jessica Dixon, Gallery Particulier, and Grayson Stokley, also spoke passionately about embracing adversity to empower their underserved communities.

(Keyeara Newsome/Livarh 2023 collection/NYFW)

Barriers of inequality that BIPOC report facing in NYC include over-criminalization, lack of representation in local decision-making and accountability of government entities, and a need for services that promote social change plus emotional wellbeing, according to a 2021 report by The NYC Racial Justice Commission.

Organizations like The Fata Fund and The Fashion of the Arts continue to challenge these inequities by providing a platform for talented artists to create impactful change. The Fata Fund says its mission is to promote change, build greatness, shape communities, and provide artists with the support they need to pursue careers in the arts. Fata founder and executive director Philena Taylor organized the fashion showcase to bring awareness to those who she believes are often overlooked. In her program statement, Taylor writes “Being an artist is often a vulnerable path. Despite the risk and fears. Our mission is to assist in fulfilling your dreams using this platform. Let’s keep striving together.”

After the show closed, DJ Dime played songs like Alien Superstar by Grammy winning mogul Beyonce Knowles Carter, bringing the hopeful group to their feet as they danced the night away. Their celebration paid homage to the designers’ successes as local business owners who use fashion and the arts to promote community wellness, social equality and change in their beloved neighborhoods.

2 Responses to Emerging Designers of NYFW

  1. Harris&Brooke Publishing Corp March 19, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Happy that you guys were able to cover “emerging artists” – I’m one myself; and it’s sometimes challenging to receive the rightful recognition. Cheers to Bx Journal!

  2. Iris Robertson March 24, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    It does the soul good to see young entrepreneurs follow their dreams. Let’s hope we get to see more of them in the future.


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