“Let’s have some fun,” Black in Fashion Council cofounder Sandrine Charles announced Wednesday in the main room of Barclays Center’s Crown Club—officially kicking off the organization’s third annual New York Fashion Week dinner. “And obviously, when cameras go down, you know what time it is,” she continued, alluding to an imminent late-night dancing “turnup.”
Soon after, DJ Isaac “Soup” Campbell, wearing a black T-shirt that read “WNBA Black History Month Every Game,” started spinning Beyoncé’s Renaissance, setting the tone for an evening celebrating Black changemakers within fashion and media. Hosted by BIFC cofounders Charles and Lindsay Peoples, editor in chief of The Cut, the collective’s annual dinner began after its founding in 2020. But what started out as a small gathering for their supporters has now evolved into one of the most coveted events ahead of NYFW.
“I think it’s just something that is organic and authentic to what we’ve been trying to do with Black in Fashion Council. This is one of those events for us that was really important, because we don’t get to get these kinds of people together in one room to celebrate each other and the love that we have for all the Black people in the industry who have supported other Black people and made the industry what it is today. This is our love letter,” Peoples said.
Charles added, “Over the past three seasons, it’s grown into something we didn’t necessarily imagine.”
Held at the Crown Club, Major Food Group’s exclusive club that is usually a hangout for Nets season ticket holders and athletes, this year’s dinner welcomed sisters Danielle and Gabby Prescod, photographer Tyler Mitchell, Vogue global contributing fashion editor-at-large Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, designer Fe Noel, Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka of House of Aama, and more into the restaurant’s stately wood-paneled lobby and jewel-toned candy room.
“This really is the Black fashion reunion,” Blake Newby, former beauty and style editor of Essence, said while greeting fellow guests.
“There’s no one here I don’t want to see,” Gabby Prescod said, echoing Newby’s sentiments. “Fashion Week gets so crazy and everyone’s schedules are different, but this event allows me to have genuine conversations and catch up with who I want to see. You think that you can do that during Fashion Week, but you can’t.”
Throughout the evening, guests mingled in the club’s main room, which features black lacquered walls that glow with the accents of gold, and gathered around the chandelier-illuminated bar to enjoy the event’s signature cocktails: “The BIFC,” “Fellowship,” and Chandon rosé.
In between chats about new season collections and manifesting Renaissance world tour tickets, guests enjoyed a full four-course meal that featured Carbone’s famous spicy rigatoni. Rainbow cookies were presented at the end of the dinner, but for an extra dose of dessert, some guests made their way to the candy room to take a treat to go. And once Charles and Peoples gave the go-ahead to descend upon the dance floor, guests crowded around the DJ, belting out lyrics to Beyonce’s “Cuff It” and moving to songs like Roscoe Dash and Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands” and “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” by GloRilla and Hitkidd. Within minutes, hands and drinks were in the air.
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