Prom is always a big deal – the final night of high school where you can get dressed way up, go out to a huge party, and just enjoy being young, beautiful and happy while your friends and family celebrate your moment. But I don’t ever remember prom being as big of a deal as it was this year. #prom2k15 or #prom2slay15 took over everyone’s timelines. The girls were gorgeous and the dresses were stunning, but one seemed to stand out more than the others – not just for the way the dress looked, but how unique it looked compared to mostly all the others.
Enter Kyemah McEntyre, the 18-year-old Jersey girl who shut the internet down with a vibrant Afro-centric dress she designed and had made. She won Prom Queen that night, and #bestpromdressed online. When talking about her dress, she said, “this is for always being labeled as “ugly,” or “angry.” Thank God stereotypes are just opinions.”
Her look, her confidence, and her words seemed like a breath of fresh air. She liked the way she looked, dressed according to her own design and people noticed and liked what they saw. She was all over the internet (even had her own hashtag #kyebreaktheinternet) and was in the news. And almost a month after prom, it looks like that was only the beginning.
On Sunday night, actress Naturi Naughton hit the red carpet of the 2015 BET Awards wearing a gown designed by none other than her Jersey homegirl Kyemah. Kyemah spoke to NecoleBitchy.com and shared how it all went down~
Naturi contacted me through e-mail, and we talked over the phone about her ideal dress. She explained to me that she wanted to connect with her African roots as well. I explained to her that my prom dress was my first design ever and that her design would be my second. So, of course, I asked her to bare with me. Naturi and her beautiful soul welcomed me despite my experience with Fashion Designing. She wanted to shed light on young people from her community [East Orange, New Jersey] and that she did. I enlisted a local seamstress by the name of Markell Mockabee, who brought my design to life.
By embracing her own beauty, trusting her creativity and her showcasing her style, Kyemah inspired and reached other girls, including someone she may not have expected – her homegirl from Jersey, who saw her light and positivity and wanted to support someone from her hometown and share her talent! That’s so #dope. And what #homegirlmag is all about!
People ask me all the time how does it feel, and I tell them it’s just amazing to be celebrated for just being myself. I consider myself to be an artist, fashion designer, and self-identity activist. I actually planned on people to recognize my dress locally, because I wanted to inspire little girls to be themselves, however, it this has definitely exceeded my expectations.
Shout out to Naturi for reaching out the giving an opportunity to someone from back home & to Kyemah, who’s headed to Parson’s School of Design in NY in the fall, for shining when it was her time.
What’s your dream? And if someone gave you the opportunity to do it, would you be ready? If not, let’s work on it and get ready.