Finding the right dress for an important event can almost be as stressful as planning one. EBONY's leadership team avoided that dilemma by tapping three visionary designers to create custom looks for its 2021 Power 100 debut. On a night that was all about celebrating Black brilliance, EBONY Chairwoman Eden Bridgeman Sklenar, CEO Michele Ghee, and Editor-in-Chief & SVP of Programming Marielle Bobo shone a light on next-gen Black designers Bara Thiam, Walé Oyéjidé, and Charles Harbison.
Ghee's stunning black long-sleeved floor-length sequin dress was designed by Bara Thiam. Ornate details and voluminous sleeves created a dramatic silhouette. Thiam learned to sew at an early age while growing up in Senegal. After moving to New York City in 2018, he set up shop in a showroom and began designing collections with the assistance of friends.
Designer Walé Oyéjidé, Esq., of the menswear line Ikiré Jones teamed up with the Bridgeman family for not one, but two looks. Oyéjidé—whose tailored menswear appeared in Black Panther and Coming 2 America—made a rare foray into the world of womenswear with Eden Bridgeman Sklenar’s standout look. Inspired by a custom blazer Oyéjidé had crafted for Nas’ October 2021 EBONY cover, the visionary created a tailored gown and dramatic cape emblazoned with classical European artworks reimagined with African protagonists. Oyéjidé also designed Heartland Coca-Cola executive Justin Bridgeman’s black-and-white blazer.
For Bobo, designer Charles Harbison of Harbison Studio crafted a form-fitting orange floor-length gown with a front slit and dramatic train. The ensemble was inspired by his line's recent Spring/Summer 2022 collection. This week was a big one for Harbison. In addition to debuting Bobo’s custom look, the Los Angeles–based talent also dropped a limited edition sustainable collection—BR x Harbison—which was made possible through Harlem’s Fashion Row. The agency, founded by Power 100 honoree Brandice Daniel, connects brand partners with emerging designers of color. The bold, colorful collection is size-inclusive, and offers balloon sleeve tops, smocked apron dresses, leisure suits, and more.