The BKStyle Foundation held a meet-and-greet and awards ceremony Friday night filled with emerging designers, as well as more established names in the borough’s fashion scene.
Created eight years ago by former BET fashion consultant Rick Davy, the goal of the BKStyle event at Borough Hall was to bring Brooklyn threads to the forefront of an industry dominated by places like Paris, Milan and, of course, Manhattan.
“Sometimes people can be intimidated by Madison Avenue,” Davy said. “We support the designer‘s mission to be able to showcase themselves.”
In order to fulfill this mission, BKStyle holds twice-a-year fashion shows, enabling underground designers and unknowns to present their work for established labels.
The event today brought Brooklynites from all over the fashion scene, from hairstylists and designers to public relations firms in search of new clients.
Guests first stopped by the red carpet to be photographed by fashion photographer Robert Manella. Inside the huge Borough Hall lobby, guests chatted over hors d’oeuvres and refreshments donated by Starbucks. DJ Ford 4D played self-described “pre-Gorillaz, post-Beatles” tunes while people networked, mingled, and wandered the spacious hall.
Late in the evening, the awards ceremony took place. Designer Deneisha Latoya was one of the honorees and a loyal supporter of BKStyle’s mission to make a name for Brooklyn designers.
“Brooklyn is becoming the next Manhattan,” Latoya said.
With designs geared toward professional women with a sophisticated, sexy style, Latoya was discovered through BKStyle’s first fashion show in 2006. Latoya credits the organization with giving her the opportunity to become a success, with the designer boasting two websites as well as a new men’s t-shirt line.
Duroseau, another stylist honored at the event, also credited BKStyle with enabling him to design for celebrities like model and actress Robin Givens. He said that fashion is a difficult industry, but BKStyle “makes you feel welcome, a home away from home.”
BKStyle’s next event will take place from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, highlighting African-born and environmentally conscious designers. For more info, visit BKStyle.org.