Welcome To Wakanda … in NYC!

I won’t lie. I missed it. Even though I’m super excited to see the film and even though I created my own Panther Clan Bracelet to mark the occasion. I missed it. It’s not that I wasn’t there. I definitely arrived at Industria in lower Manhattan early to get a few pictures of the Lexus that was used in the upcoming Black Panther movie. It’s just that it was, well, overwhelming. There were literally throngs of people gathered on the sidewalk outside in the freezing weather. And there was high drama. A-list celebrities from the film were having a hard time getting inside. The door people kept giving conflicting and incomplete information. Two large white men kept yelling at people to clear the sidewalk because it was “private property,” while two other men yelled at the people who were standing in a line around the block, commanding them to do things that didn’t make sense, like “form up!” I was in the “media line” behind two women from Essence who were admitted immediately, only for the women at the door to tell me to move to the back of the ticket-holder line because I didn’t have a camera in my hand. Wait, what? It. Was. Pandemonium. I waited. I cajoled. I tried a few different people to get a straight answer but it was cold! No answers were forthcoming. And once I saw an actor from the film get shunned at the door, I left. I wasn’t the only one to leave but, now, looking at all the photos from last night, I SO wish I’d stayed. Anyway, here’s the memo straight from the folks at Lexus about last night’s fete. By the way, this is the fourth year that Lexus has been the title sponsor of New York Fashion Week. Yes, they quietly wrested that title from Mercedes-Benz in 2015. Balling!

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On February 12th, four days before the worldwide theatrical release of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, the fictional kingdom of Wakanda featured in the film will make an appearance during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) via the event “Welcome to Wakanda”—a celebration of fashion inspired by the film. The installation will include seven one-of-a-kind pieces by hand-picked designers, as well as the 2018 Lexus LC 500 that was used during the filming of Black Panther. The event will also showcase Black Panther-inspired capsule collections from Brother Vellies, Douriean Fletcher and Josh Bennett.

While Black Panther is one of the most anticipated films of the season, just as important is the fashion statement the film makes. “Welcome to Wakanda” will feature exclusive pieces by designers CHROMAT, Cushnie et Ochs, Fear of God, Ikiré Jones, Laquan Smith, Sophie Theallet, and TOME, all of whom used the patterns, colors, beadwork, and silhouettes found in the most vibrant parts of Africa as a palette while interpreting different characters and themes from the film.

All seven of the creators will have their bespoke pieces installed in an immersive, Wakanda-inspired venue that guests will be encouraged to explore. Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Chairman Jimmy Pitaro praised the fashion-forward pieces, stating that “each of these designers has taken inspiration from the incredible storytelling, empowering characters and iconic look of the movie, while bringing their own unique aesthetic to the designs.”

As the official automotive partner of NYFW, Lexus also wrapped five vehicles with a Black Panther themed print that will be used to transport fashionistas around New York for the week. Also, to celebrate its partnership with NYFW and as part of its #HowFashionTravels initiative, Lexus teamed up with TOME and supermodel Herieth Paul for a photoshoot featuring a Black Panther-inspired LX.

Did you miss it too? If so, follow the hashtag #BlackPantherNYFW on social media!

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