For Immediate Release
August 31, 2023
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Essence Communications, Inc

The Lede Company

(BPRW) 2023 ESSENCE Fashion House™ & Best in Black Fashion Awards Returns with “The Garment” Celebrating Black Designers Sergio Hudson, Brandice Daniel & More

(Black PR Wire) NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Essence Communications Inc. announces the highly anticipated return of ESSENCE Fashion House™ and the annual Best in Black Fashion Awards, during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) from September 7-8, 2023 hosted by TV personality & actress Chasity Saunders. This year’s ESSENCE Fashion House™ will celebrate the creative potential of fashion as embodied in “The Garment” – an essential medium for individuals to express their unique personalities, cultural heritage, and personal style. The experience is designed as the ultimate landing place for Black creatives to gather during NYFW, shining a light on Black designers and talent.

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, the 2023 ESSENCE Fashion House™ will host the Best in Black Fashion Awards, an invitation-only event, honoring visionaries, and innovators in the fashion industry. This year’s awards ceremony will honor and recognize industry leading Black designers and creatives including:

  • ESSENCE Magazine September/October 2023 cover star, Sergio Hudson – Designer of The Year
  • Brandice Daniel – Impact Award of The Year
  • Antoine Gregory – Emerging Creative of The Year
  • Carlos Nazario – Stylist of The Year
  • And additional honorees to be announced on Tuesday, September 5th on!

“The audacity of operating in personal purpose brings with it a vulnerability and obligation to operate courageously in surrender of self-preservation, with the fear of external intrusion, and intertwined with the intimacy of intuition. Therefore, those that choose the path of purpose in service of all of us, must be indignantly insulated, to deliver at their best. The word “fashion” is often misunderstood as what we display aesthetically, however authentically it is the armor that sustains us in the battle to move mindsets and moments forward. This underrated truth makes ‘The Garment’ the most accurate and potent weapon in the toolkit of the gladiators who proactively proclaim victory in perpetuity through the pursuit of their purpose, and we are proud to illuminate the gladiators that curate the garments that accelerate our quest to conquer each day,” says Caroline Wanga, President & CEO of Essence Ventures.

ESSENCE Fashion House™ is dedicated to celebrating the influence that Black has on culture, while also igniting the Black fashion community, as well as the fashion experience for Black consumers. This experience provides the necessary tools for Black-owned brands and Black creatives to thrive in the space they were born to be in. The fashion industry at large has not historically been a place where Black designers and talent could succeed at the highest levels. Happening during one of the most pivotal weeks in the fashion world, ESSENCE Fashion House™ offers attendees an opportunity to gather, learn, and be inspired, encouraged, and discovered.

On Friday, September 8th, the annual fashion event will include key industry leaders, fashion icons, unsung heroes, models and more that continue to break the mold and forge the path for Black people in the fashion industry:

  • Hip Hop, “Haute” Sh*t, & Heritage: The Best of Bed Fellows featuring Caroline Wanga (President & CEO of Essence Ventures)
  • Navigating Mental Health And Wellness Behind The Scenes In Fashion with moderator Devine Blacksher (ESSENCE Magazine Senior Fashion Editor) and panelists Jamilah Davis (Vice President of Fashion at Saks 5th Avenue), Devan Wallace (Senior Public Relations at Louis Vuitton)
  • What is Sustainability in Black Fashion with the House of Aama moderated by Recho Omondi (Designer, Creator & Podcast Host)
  • African Fashion and Garments with Kwaku Bediako (Ghanaian Fashion Designer and founder of Chocolate Clothing), Barkue Tubman Zawolo (Essence Ventures Chief of Staff & Diasporic Engagement) and Amira Rasool (Founder & CEO of TheFolklore) moderated by Nana Agyemang (Founder & CEO of EveryStylishGirl and EveryStylishGirl Biz)
  • Are Black People Buying Black Luxury with Sherri McMullen (Founder of McMullen), Tia Adeola (Fashion Designer) and Bernard James (Jewelry Designer & Founder of Bernard James)
  • SOKO MRKT, a retail pop up of the emerging & established Black designers
  • And more!

The 2023 ESSENCE Fashion House™ is sponsored by Diet Coke®, JCPenney® and smartwater® alkaline. This year’s annual event will be open to the public and will include a day of panels, sponsored activations, immersive art experiences, and a Black-owned designer retail market. Attendees can register to attend the 2023 ESSENCE Fashion House™ and learn more at, which will also be available for virtual attendees at


Essence Communications Inc. is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities. With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration. The brand's multi-platform presence in/ publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, ESSENCE Black Women in Sports, Fashion House, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™.

Source: Essence Communications Inc.