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CEO Lanny Smith Of "Actively Black" Creates A Cultural Experience At NYFW 2023

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Short N Sweet Ent

Photo Credit: edubbs_digital

There Is Greatness In Our DNA

If you missed out on this year’s New York Fashion Week, you missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness fashion like no other. Designers, models, glam teams, and all those who were in attendance stepped out with their best “fits” and exuded confidence on an entirely new level.

On Saturday, September 9th, when shows were in the full swing of things, people lined the block of Sony Hall to attend one of the biggest shows of the week. CEO, Lanny Smith of Actively Black, a premium athleisure wear brand, launched “The Black Mixtape: Volume 2” fashion show that both celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop and highlighted the journey of Black culture.

The show started with a powerful poem, “You So Black” from a mesmerizing spoken word artist, Theresa the Songbird” who demanded the attention of every single person in the building. As she recited some of the words from her poem it was very obvious that her words pierced the souls of all those who could relate.

Black is brilliant.

Black is strong.

Black is resilience.

Black is infinite.

Black is grace.

Black is love.

Black is tough.

Black is hard to do.

Black is ME and Black is YOU.

Black is not something we get to choose but something that we get to cherish.

This set the tone for the night and solidified what people believed to be the “black experience”. But it didn’t stop there because when she was done, dancers joined the stage and displayed a heartfelt tribute to Africa demonstrating what it means to have joy, unity, and pride within our community.

Photo Credit: edubbs_digital

Throughout the evening we watched models, designers, influencers, entrepreneurs, actors, and even NBA players walk down the runway and tell their part in Actively Black through their style and movement. The crowd witnessed Bianca Winslow, Jocinda Johnson, Malaika Salatis, Sonia “Barbie Tucker, Kayla Nicole, Shaina West, Jouberson Joseph, Daniel Gibson, Jamil Hardwick, Malik Yoba, Doug E. Doug, Khadeen & Devale Ellis, Affion Crockett, Allen Iverson, and many others prove that they are more than just a name but a pivotal role in shifting our culture in a much better place.

Photo Credit: edubbs_digital

The best part of the night was seeing the wonderful collaborations that Actively Black has within the culture. From all of the collaborations including, the Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Notorious B.I.G., and, Chadwick Boseman, collections, it was great to see how much of an impact these prominent figures have on today’s society. They were all celebrated the right way and their legacy lives on in our hearts forever.

Photo Credit: edubbs_digital

During the model’s final time hitting the stage, members of Fast Life Younstaz had the crowd hype as they performed a black anthem, “Swag Surfin”. With unison, everyone rose to their feet and joined in on the dance. It never fails, when this song plays it doesn’t matter who is to the left or right of you, you are going to join in and show that you can get down too.

All in all, a time was had. CEO Lanny Smith came out and thanked everybody who supported him for making his dreams a reality and all those who came out to show their love and appreciation for top-tier fashion. In an emotional speech, Smith said:

Thank you all for being here. For a black-owned brand to do this in NYFW and have this type of support, y’all don’t know what this means to me. First and foremost I want to thank my mom. When I say there’s greatness in my DNA y’all see where it comes from, right there. This is not a one-man show and I would like to thank my team. When I first started with this I said I wanted to create a brand that the culture owns, that we own, and this crew believed in my vision from the beginning.

This right here proves why the Actively Black NYFW show will go down in the history books. It has created a cultural experience where people can feel like their stories can and will be heard. We are all excited to see what is next!

Photo Credit: edubbs_digital

Written By: Shauntay Hallett

Until Next Post... Coach Tay


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