ESSENCE Fashion House Makes Its New York Fashion Week Debut, Premiering the ESSENCE Best in Black Fashion Awards

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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ESSENCE, the number one media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, brings its ESSENCE Fashion House to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) for the first time on September 4-5 at Hudson Yards. With robust experiences across two days—including the inaugural ESSENCE Best in Black Fashion Awards, this celebration of all things fashion and culture will serve as a platform for thought leaders to collaborate and build economic empowerment and inclusion of Black talent around the world.

While the influence of Black culture remains the driving force of fashion and pop culture internationally, Black designers still struggle to maintain significant businesses of their own. ESSENCE Fashion House was designed to serve as a resource for Black creatives and designers via multi-platform content and curations, as well as events and experiences, focused on the elevation and economic empowerment of the Black fashion community globally. The ESSENCE Fashion House’s NYFW debut will build upon its successful launch during the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, where it convened and engaged legendary fashion icons and influencers including Iman, Dapper Dan, June Ambrose, Bevy Smith, Indya Moore, Joan Smalls, Flaviana Matata and others.

On opening night, Wednesday, September 4th, the Fashion House will feature ESSENCE’s inaugural Best in Black Fashion Awards dinner—an invitation-only event where ESSENCE will reveal its hand-selected slate of the best designers, stylists, photographers, models, campaigns and insiders who made an impact in 2019 and where winners will be announced based on online audience voting. Votes for nominees may be cast within the following categories: Best Fashion Campaign; Designer of the Year; Model Newcomer; Stylist of the Year; Emerging Designer of the Year; Red-Carpet Maven Award; Designer of the Year; Change Agent Award; and Photographer of the Year. Votes were submitted via

On Thursday, September 5th, ESSENCE Fashion House will present a diverse slate of programming including conversations that will uplift, inform and empower Black creatives in the fashion space through master classes, Black designer runway shows, influencer-led panel discussions, a fashion exhibit and more.

“The ESSENCE Fashion House and ESSENCE Best in Black Fashion Awards will be an epic display of Black excellence in fashion and a necessary demonstration of the impact of our culture on the runway and beyond,” said MoAna Luu, ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer. “From fashion leadership conversations to runway shows and designer exhibits, the ESSENCE Fashion House will celebrate the many iconic Black designers, influencers and other creatives whose influence inspires the fashion industry globally. This fits perfectly with our Global September Fashion issue featuring our dynamic redesign, and it couldn’t be a more exciting time for ESSENCE!”

ESSENCE’s Global September Fashion Issue—featuring multi-hyphenate tennis champion and style icon Serena Williams on the cover—also includes its first Best in Black Fashion Awards feature. This stellar editorial package celebrates creators of color for 2019 and highlights honorees Billy Porter (Trailblazer Award); Zendaya (Influencer Award); Pat Cleveland (Icon Award); and Rihanna (Disruptor Award).

The ESSENCE Fashion House is sponsored by Target. For more information on the ESSENCE Fashion House and more, visit

FOR PRESS: Media credential application to cover the ESSENCE Fashion House can be found here:

About Essence Communications Inc.

Essence Communications is the number one media company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 24 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.


Dana Baxter, ESSENCE

(929) 298-6369

Sheila Harris, ESSENCE

(929) 298-6403

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