On Sunday, May 17, the world's largest traveling fashion show, The Ebony Fashion Fair, made its annual return to the Minneapolis. When the first LaRare suede boot heel was pressed against the stage, the temperature gauge in the room increased several notches, as the runway was continually lit with a trail of this season's hottest and sought after fashions.
To some, the mere mention of a fashion show ignites ideologies of couture designs escaping through the robotic catwalking sways of a typically whitewashed runway show. But as the quaint afternoon began at the brim of The 51st Annual Ebony Fashion Fair, that myth was quickly dispelled after a fleet of 13 uniquely beautiful models took center stage and stamped their imprint into the runway.
The intricate rhythms befit a soundtrack of Hip Hop and R&B, easily guided the atypically choreographed stage event towards an attitude of sassiness and sophistication, brought on by this year's theme, “The Runway Report: What's Hip, What's Hot. What's Now.”
The array of selected avant-garde pieces that accompanied this popular production gave the audience a peek-a-boo glimpse into the latest collections of African American designers and world-renowned fashion industry tastemakers like Christian Lacroix, Kevin Hall, b. michael, Carolina Herrara and Missoni. From boho chic, to tribalistic inspired ensembles, to goddess gowns and feminine influenced man-tailored suits, the runway was draped with the latest eye catching trends for the urban fashionista and bursting with a fountain of dramatic textures and daring patterns and color schemes.
The lovely ladies of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Delta Phi Omega Chapter and The Ivy Foundation hosted the popular event, which is always carefully enclosed by a bookend of purpose. Some of the other participating sponsors involved in this captivating presentation included TV One, Macy's, Allianz Life, Estes Funeral Home, Estes Airport Gifts and News, Blackwell Law Firm, Supervalu, PAMA, RBC DainRauscher, General Mills, and Medtronic.
Their individual commitment to serving the residents of this community was beautifully echoed through the room, under the veil of crushed velvet and taffeta gowns. After each eruption of invigorating style paved the runway, the gap between fashion and opportunity narrowed, as the audience's unique experience helped to generate revenue for an important purpose.
Eunice W. Johnson, director of EFF, and her continual commitment to both fashion and charity, has generated more than $55 million to help nurture several organizations throughout EFF's touring community. Together with the AKA Sorority Inc's Delta Phi Omega Chapter, EFF's reign has made a fashionable impact on the lives within the Twin Cities as well.
Proceeds for the event, that was packed by about 800 attendees, will go to help award academic scholarships to local African American and Latino High School students in an effort to make a continuing education for minorities, less a dream and more an attainable goal. Annually, in conjunction with The Ivy Foundation and several other partnering corporations and organizations, they've been able to present $40,000 to $75,000 in scholarships to deserving students in the Metro area.
Minneapolis was the last stop for the 10-month touring extravaganza. If you missed this incredible event, be sure to experience it next year.