WORDS BY KATIE DOHMAN
The sixth year of Black Fashion Week is here, and it’s bigger than ever, promises Natalie Morrow, founder and CEO of Black Fashion Week.
Morrow comes by big events naturally—she’s also in charge of the Twin Cities Black Film Festival Collective, the nonprofit umbrella for Black Fashion Week, and she’s seen a little bit of everything in her career, including working with some very A-list celebrities.
Her team of seven people will help pull off a week of events, including a Salute to Hip Hop runway show at the W featuring Puma, a panel at The District Edina discussing styling, and the finale on May 13: the Minnesota Met Gala, to be showcased on the steps at Mia.
“The importance of Black Fashion Week is that it reaches more people,” Morrow says. “What we try to do is find as many designers as we can from African Americans to Asians to Native Americans and really focused on getting the people of color involved. Our fashion industry community is small, but there are tons of creative, talented people right here and I think, for us, we’re growing so much because we try to showcase all kinds of people and not the same ones. There’s a thing called ‘safe diversity,’ and I want to show there’s more than five or 10 talented creatives that are people of color out there. I try to find them and bring them out of their shyness and let them know they can be one of the top designers in the country.”
It’s also the third year Black Fashion Week will offer a Fashion Forward Scholarship for any current students studying fashion, marketing, and social media influence.
“My whole thought is excellence and, for me, Black excellence,” she continues. “Whatever I do, I’m striving for excellence. Black Fashion Week is a platform to showcase work and feel good,” Morrow says. “And that’s super important.”
For the full BFWMN schedule and designers, follow @BlackFashionWeekMN on Instagram