Prom is supposed to be one of the best nights of your young life – and one of the most stylish. Prom fashion changes year-to-year & has gone from #backintheday to #promslay2K. Some teens stick to traditional styles, some look to celebs for inspiration & others get creative. But one style that’s getting a lot of positive attention this year are the Afrocentric prom dresses. These teens are poppin – literally, stylin’ and profiling in The New York Times Fashion & Style.

Two sisters in Afrocentric dresses
Sisters Aisha (23) and Azara (18) Bernard wear Afrocentric dresses designed by their sister, Archel. Photo credit: Kevin D. Liles for The New York Times

“I feel like our generation is getting more proud of where we come from,” she went on. “We’re our own little African goddesses. I want to represent that.” ~ Azara Bernard, 18.

Teen wears stylized West African pattern on a crimson ground dress to prom.
Julie Cheeks showing off her Liberian culture for prom. Photo credit: IG/ @Artchineh

“I wanted to show my culture. I wanted my classmates to get a taste of what African style looks like.” ~ Julie Cheeks, 17. 

Daniella Eta caused a stir in Cincinatti on prom night. Photo credit:
Daniella Eta starting it up in Cincinatti on prom night. Photo credit:IG/@misspanddy


Makalaya Zanders
Makalaya Zanders stunning on prom night. Photo credit: Makalaya Zanders.

“After discussing how beautiful it was and that I would do an African theme with a teacher, I was told it wasn’t really ‘something you wear to prom,’ [but] I wanted to make a point, that I am comfortable with my Melanin and roots.” ~ Makalaya Zanders.

Last year, Kyemah McEntyre damn near #broketheinternet with her prom dress & words about why she wore it. At the time she said, “I remember growing up and oftentimes comparing myself to women with straighter hair, lighter skin. “I thought, ‘Why aren’t I beautiful in my natural state?” Now, seeing the Afrocentric prom dress trend take off like this, she says ~ “I do feel I’ve inspired a lot of women,” Ms. McEntyre said, a small catch in her voice. “That was actually the point of it all.”

The dress that helped #KyeBreakTheInternet last year.
The dress that helped #KyeBreakTheInternet last year.

Black teens are embracing their beauty and culture in a whole new way & we are here for all of it.