Jeofroi, Diotima, Madamette, and All the Highlights from NYFW’s Black in Fashion Council Discovery Showroom 

The Black in Fashion Council and IMG presented their sixth seasonal showroom as part of New York Fashion Week. The work of nine designers was showcased over the span of four days at Spring Studios. With brands hailing from LA, Nigeria, Jamaica, and beyond, a meaningful breadth of the African and Black diaspora was on display.

The showroom provides critical exposure and face-to-face time with key industry players for emerging designers, in particular newcomers who might not have the funds or resources to stage events in New York on their own. “Being here is better than what I would get on my independent press days,” explained Rachel Scott, who heads the fashion line Diotima. Scott, who is of Jamaican heritage, said that she launched Diotima as an attempt to present a fresh vision of what modern Caribbean style is. “One that isn’t nostalgic,” she added, pointing to her mesh dresses and crystal-embellished tops. “Luxury isn’t always from the places we expect.”

DIOTIMA_PF23Photo: Deirde Lewis/ Courtesy of De

A kindred ambition to educate and decolonize imbues Oak and Acorn, another brand that took part. The LA-based, Black-owned denim brand sells sustainably made jeans. It also strives to teach customers about the under-highlighted history of denim and its connections to slavery. “We talk about the history of denim—and how it didn’t start with Levi’s or Wrangler,” said the brand’s founder and designer Miko Underwood. “It actually started on the plantations in the American south. Indigo was a hidden commodity of the slave trade. Denim was deemed unfit for anyone else to wear and was considered negro cloth. Some of the staples we see in denim brands across the world were items that originated on the American plantation.”

Expanding the ideas of who can participate in luxury fashion and where it can originate has been one of the focuses of Black in Fashion Council. First launched in 2020, by The Cut’s Lindsay Peoples Wagner and public relations specialist Sandrine Charles, the organization advocates for greater representation and support of Black voices in fashion. Their NYFW showrooms have been a major part of this push. Past participants have include Theophilio, House of Aama, and Harbison Studios, among other brands. This year participants included Jeofroi, Torlowei, Ellaé Lisqué, Mademette, Made By Ciriaco, Oak And Acorn, CISE, Sincerely Ria, and Diotima.