Atlanta 3D fashion show to celebrate Black women-owned clothing brands

The Innovate & Curate fashion show and shopping experience is on Saturday.
Stylist Evonya Easley (bottom center) poses for a portrait with models Sierra Barrino wearing Design Faze; Shante Parker wearing House of Mijo and Tamera Simmons wearing Besida. The models are a part her upcoming 3D fashion show ‘Innovate and Create’ which will feature the clothing of Black women designers on March 18. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Stylist Evonya Easley (bottom center) poses for a portrait with models Sierra Barrino wearing Design Faze; Shante Parker wearing House of Mijo and Tamera Simmons wearing Besida. The models are a part her upcoming 3D fashion show ‘Innovate and Create’ which will feature the clothing of Black women designers on March 18. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

After starting to produce her own fashion shows in Atlanta in 2021, Evonya Easley quickly became bored with what she saw. She didn’t feel inspired.

Easley knew she needed a taste of something fresh.

“I felt like we were all doing the same thing,” Easley said. “Everyone’s just doing our regular runway show. What can I do to be different in 2023, or ultimately I don’t want to do it anymore?”

Then, her friend and Atlanta-based photographer Corey Reese showed her a fashion show through a virtual reality headset, and she wanted to replicate the idea. That laid the foundation for Easley’s “Innovate & Curate”, an interactive fashion show and shopping experience that’ll take place on March 18 at Corso Atlanta. She partnered with Reese, who handled the 3D videography for the event, and started preparing for the show in December. Guests will have the opportunity to view a roughly 15 minute fashion show featuring local fashion designers and brands while being able to buy some of the pieces highlighted in the show. Attendees who purchase VIP tickets will get to experience the fashion show via the virtual reality headsets and those with general admission will see it in 2D.

Stylist Evonya Easley fixes a model’s outfit on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Easley will be hosting the ‘Innovate and Create’ fashion show that will feature the clothing of Black women designers on March 18. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

icon to expand image

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Easley, aka Love E, perceives the concept as a vibrant extension of Atlanta’s fashion community and her decade-long career as a wardrobe stylist for corporate executives. The 43-year-old’s work has appeared on networks like VH1, CNN, MSNBC and more. She also created Styled by Love E, an app that allows users to book a personal stylist on-demand.

Easley hasn’t seen a fashion event in Atlanta like her upcoming show. The event follows the game-changing pattern set by the Black-owned brand Hanifa, which debuted a collection via Instagram live with 3D models at the height of the pandemic (Easley said her show is partially inspired by Hanifa’s concept).

“I wanted to introduce it to people and show how tech, fashion, retail and e-commerce can be working together hand-in-hand,” said Easley, who lives in McDonough. “We have online shopping, we have retail shopping, but what about shopping for people in the metaverse? We just want to make it an easy transition for people and not frustrate them, but introduce them to this world that they may have not been exposed to.”

Saturday’s event will feature clothes from Bloomingdale’s, the show’s only retail sponsor, and local brands like Arelia’s Dream, Besida, House of Mijo, Design Faze Boutique and Nettie Nelson Designs — all owned by Black women. Easley makes uplifting Black women in fashion a priority.

Elandis Miller, owner of Arelia’s Dream, said being a part of an event as immersive as Saturday’s fashion show with other Black women is inspiring. She also hopes the event will be the catalyst for more creativity in Atlanta’s fashion scene. Arelia’s Dream is a showroom in west Midtown that specializes in women’s contemporary fashion.

“This (event) is like the first of its kind in Atlanta, so to be put on by a woman and a Black woman is an amazing opportunity and a great venture for Arelia’s Dream because we like to be a part of the innovation in fashion in Atlanta,” said Miller, 37. “I feel like we have a long way to go in terms of the fashion scene in Atlanta. Although we have a lot of nice shops and things like that, we don’t have a lot of fashion shows and fabric stores because we have to outsource a lot of things.”

When Jocelyn Baker-Brooks was approached with the idea to be a part of a 3D fashion show, she was immediately perplexed because she’d never heard of something like that before. Baker-Brooks, who lives in Stone Mountain is the founder of House of Mijo, an online face mask and apparel company that merges couture pieces with an avant-garde appeal.

“I’m familiar with the VR headset and the technology, but I had no idea how they were going to transition that into a fashion show,” Baker-Brooks said. “When they started explaining it, all of these light bulbs went off in my head, and I thought, ‘This may be the coolest thing I ever heard’ because you don’t normally see fashion shows in that way.”

Stylist Evonya Easley views her fashion show  ‘Innovate and Create on virtual reality goggles on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The 3D show will feature the clothing of Black women designers on March 18. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

icon to expand image

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Making the show accessible is another priority for Easley. Each design in the show will be available to purchase in various sizes. The event will also feature food and live entertainment.

“That was the whole point in marrying the shopping experience with the show,” Easley said. “It’s not just about having a pretty fashion show and not being able to buy the items because it’s only in a model’s size. We want to make sure everything is shoppable. Soon as you take the headsets off, anything you saw in there and was like, oh my god, that’s beautiful, you can walk into the next room and you’ll be able to see the vendor and the designer.”

Easley plans to host more 3D fashion events in Atlanta. For her, the city’s future in fashion is boundless.

“I think it gives you a different way to think about fashion to see it through different lenses, literally, as well as think about how I can incorporate technology into our business in a way that makes sense and aligns. Tech is not going anywhere, meta is not going anywhere.”


IF YOU GO

Innovate & Curate fashion show and shopping experience

3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18. $75-$550. Corso Atlanta, 3200 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta. loveefashion.com/generalandvip.

About the Author