Haitian-born TikTok fashionista Pierrah Hilaire, stunning in a sleek black and white ensemble from LA-based Lionne Clothing, paired it with cobalt blue vegan boots from black-owned footwear brand AM:PM London. (ESSENCE/TikTok/Tommy B)
The Style Observer (SO) is recapping the very best on the fashion scene at this year’s Essence Festival! For three days, SO travel, culture and entertainment storyteller Tenille Clarke had front-row VIP seats to the fashion explosion and sizzling style looks in New Orleans, Louisiana, for this year’s flurry of events.
The Visionary Voices Dinner was an intimate experience collaboratively curated by the social media giant TikTok and communications conglomerate Essence, in celebration of visionary black creatives who are making a difference on the contemporary media landscape. The fabulous soirée saw a coming together of culture disruptors, tastemakers and thought leaders, co-hosted by TikTok‘s Kudzi Chikumbu, director of creator community, and Shavone Charles, head of diversity and inclusion communications at TikTok. The event sought to celebrate black creators who are making an indelible impact on the social media landscape and amplifying diverse voices across the global entertainment industry.
The Media Mavens x EssenceFest Takeover Brunch gathered 80 black women in Hollywood and beyond who work as journalists, influencers, media personalities, and more, to talk about their experiences in the media and entertainment circuits. Celebrity guest appearances included Tami Roman from VH1′s soon-to-premiere Caught in the Act: Unfaithful, and Amara La Negra from Love & Hip Hop Miami. It was certainly a powerhouse affair with black girl magic on display, and fashion accessories spoke volumes.
The 2022 Essence Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola celebrated a weekend chock-full of activities for fans, followers, fashionistas and friends from far and wide who flocked to the charming city of New Orleans. While Essence inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in culture, equity and celebration, the fashion certainly took center stage for three days. With headline performances from Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson and New Edition, both celebrities and attendees alike stepped up their style game for some next-level stage and street style.
— Tenille Clarke
Tenille Clarke is an avid storyteller, seasoned publicist and cultural enthusiast from Trinidad and Tobago who often writes about her ongoing love affair with travel, entertainment and culture through a Caribbean lens. Follow her digital journey @tenilleclarke1 on Instagram and Twitter.
Managing editor of Bossip, Dani Canada rocked a gorgeous print look from African-American designer Ace Couture. ESSENCE/TikTok/Tommy B
Tenille Clarke represented the Caribbean in fine style as she was honored by TikTok and Essence at the Visionary Voices Dinner wearing newcomer Trinbagonian designer Kitanilly. IG: @tenilleclarke1
Senior vice-president of creative at Essence Ventures Corey T Stokes was ballin’ while rocking a basketball-inspired vest from Pierre Moss, Dries Van Noten tie-dye shorts, and futuristic Balenciaga booties.ESSENCE/TikTok/Tommy B
Fashion & beauty partnerships lead of TikTok CeCe Vu rocked a Fendi turtleneck underneath a gray and army green tweed set. ESSENCE/TikTok/Tommy B
Chief revenue officer of Essence Ventures (and proud Jamaican!) Pauline Malcolm brought her fashion A-game to the Visionary Voices Dinner in a pretty midi-length dress with an alluring print and plunging v-neck. ESSENCE/TikTok/Tommy B
Reality TV star Tami Roman was a vision in a gray power suit, accentuated by Swarovski accessories from Chanel. She finished her ensemble with a white camisole and strappy heels. Peter Forest//Getty Images for VH1
Afro-Latina star Amara La Negra — who gave birth to twin girls in March of this year — kept it chic for brunch in a form-fitting black dress. However, it was her blinged-out heels that were the pièce de résistance to complement her sharp look. Peter Forest//Getty Images for VH1
Peter Forest//Getty Images for VH1
Actress and entrepreneur Marsai Martin kept her EssenceFest stage look youthful and fresh with a corset top and mom jeans. She completed the look with a pair of fuchsia pink heels. Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence
Actress, writer, producer and comedian Issa Rae offset her beautiful chestnut-toned skin with orange co-ords during an appearance at the EssenceFest Beauty Carnival. She kept the ‘fit mostly jewelry-free, save for a pair of simple hoop earrings. Definitely a summer stunner! Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence
Machel Montano gave a nod to California-based designer Cesar Arellanes with a custom red and black embroidered sleeveless jacket, pants and knit top combination for his stage performance at EssenceFest. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence
Ashanti wowed the audience alongside King of Soca Machel Montano on night one of EssenceFest at the Superdome. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence
Pretty in Pink: Before Ashanti wowed the audience alongside King of Soca Machel Montano on night one of EssenceFest at the Superdome in a revealing Mugler catsuit, the beauty was dolled up in pink, complete with structured shoulders and a cape earlier that day. Paras Griffin /Getty Images for Essence
Lauryn Hill graced the stage, much to the delight of adoring music fans, for a surprise performance alongside former Fugees bandmate Wyclef Jean. Her layered look included a black turtleneck underneath a blue and white floral floor-grazer with exaggerated sleeves. A bucket hat and white belt accentuated the look. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence
[CARRY TOGETHER]Take in this double dose of beloved social media star Tabitha Brown who wore two looks from her Target collection. Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence
LeToya Luckett wore a crisp white pinstripe shift dress that showed off her toned legs at the Caesars Superdome for the EssenceFest Concert Series. A fierce red lip and some bejewelled bling took the former Destiny’s Child member’s look to another level..
This attendee at Thee Media Mavens Event donned a layered asymmetrical pleated neutral dress, opting to keep her hair in a sleek, cascading braid and glowing make-up finish. Peter Forest/Getty Images for VH1
Trinbagonian soca star Kees Dieffenthaler of Kes The Band rocked an all-white suit for his EssenceFest performance, ditching an undershirt and instead opting for beaded accessories and desert Clarks. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence
Grammy-Award winning songstress Jazmine Sullivan “picked up her feelings” by color blocking with a pink and orange parker jacket and catsuit duo – a palette very reminiscent of 80s style. Metallic pink platform heels finished her look. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence
Model Lori Harvey brought the Y2K feminine vibe to New Orleans in perfectly-tailored Yves Saint Laurent menswear. Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence
Take in this double dose of beloved social media star Tabitha Brown who wore two looks from her Target collection. Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence