Right before most shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, you're likely to sight a veritable army of women in black marching in lockstep towards the steps of Lincoln Center. The truth is, many fashion week attendees are focused, determined, expensively clad, and often interchangable in their style. Not so before the Arise show. The African style collective puts on one of the most highly anticipated fashion experiences of the season, and attracts a gorgeous crowd that isn't afraid of bright colors, prints, or statement accessories. We could all learn a thing or two from street style on this level.

-Patrice Grell Yursik, Afrobella.com. Photos by Nik West