Diddy and Essence hook up for Black Style Now Gala

Rap mogul Sean “Diddy Combs will team up with Essence magazine to help kick off New York’s Fashion Week.

Combs will host the Essence -sponsored Black Style Now opening gala from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Museum of the City of New York.

The event will celebrate the opening of Black Style Now, a new exhibition which explores the history of African-American style and the influence of Hip-Hop on fashion and design.

” Essence is ecstatic to fete the opening of Black Style Now, with a singular event uniting the entertainment industry with the fashion community to pay tribute to the history of black style,” said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc.

Attire, accessories, and looks that define contemporary fashion will be featured in Black Style Now, which will display numerous fashions.

Included are a strapless fuchsia, velvet gown worn by Lil’ Kim to the 2005 Costume Institute Gala, an original wool-pinstripe suit worn by Combs to the 2006 CFDA Awards, and a custom-designed white and cranberry leather, monogrammed cap made for LL Cool J in the 1980’s.

Historic photos, video images and stylized vignettes revealing how today’s fashion is shaped by African-American style will also be presented.

In addition to Combs and LL Cool J, Black Style Now will document the influence of celebrity trendsetters Beyonce, Russell Simmons, Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, Kanye West, Lil’ Kim and Andre 3000.

“Much of the Hip-Hop phenomenon began in the streets of New York City, so it is fitting for the Museum of the City of New York to organize this groundbreaking exhibition,” stated museum President and Director Susan Henshaw Jones. “Black Style Now will not only document the impact of the Hip-Hop style revolution on mainstream fashion, but will explore the contributions of African-American stylemakers throughout the twentieth century.”

Those attending the gala will get a special preview of the exhibition, which is described as the first major American exhibition to explore Black fashion.

Black Style Now opens Sept. 9 and runs through Feb. 19, 2007 at the Museum of the City of New York.


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