The Block Association recently hosted its 9th Annual Fashion Awards Gala, the Fashion 500, also known as the Black Grammys of Fashion. Having designated the month of April as Black Fashion Month and coining the increasingly popular phrase and hashtag #AprilIsBlackFashionMonth, The Block Association’s idea behind Black Fashion Month is to recognize and celebrate people of color who have made contributions to the fashion world, honoring them with Fashion 500 awards.
This year’s honorees represented various facets of fashion from stylists (clothing & hair), designers, influencers, and even photographers. While a handful of established and emerging faces in fashion are presented with these Awards of Excellence, only one receives the Fashion 500 Icon Award. This year’s recipient was none other than fashion pioneer, Misa Hylton. There were other fashion greats in attendance showing support to this year’s honorees; one being the notable Dapper Dan of Harlem.
The 2018 @thefashion500 Step & Repeat produced by @theblockassociation and sponsored by @bartenurablue @caribbeansocialnyc Photos by @stvvvo look out for @thesewfarsewgood Gala in July! Please use these hashtags #fashion500 #fashion5002018 #salute #fashion #vendors #blackexcellence #awards #gala #stylist #mua #bloggers #fashionbloggers #fashionista #hair #nyc #style #inspiration #support #retail #fashionbloggers #entrepreneur #retail #business #models #aprilisblackfashionmonth #trendsetters #blackfashion #designers #ICON #thegrammysoffashion #instafashion #instastyle
Upon entering the venue for the Fashion 500, Slate NY, you were immediately surrounded by admiration and pride. The energy and vibe of the event was something that is difficult to describe in words, as it was an indelible feeling that truly had to be experienced. The gala was complete with a red carpet, step and repeat, photographers, and vendors selling everything from vintage accessories to custom eyewear and jewelry.
Now, of course with any fashion event, you look forward to seeing what everyone will be wearing. And being that this was a fashion awards gala, you expect attendees to really bring it, right? When I tell you they did not disappoint…. Everyone was drippin’ in finesse; it made no sense! The attendees were serving looks; you hear me? Bright and vibrant colors, eye-catching accessories such as bedazzled headpieces and statement jewelry pieces, various fabrics and textures; it truly was a visual representation of black excellence.
We interviewed one of this year’s honorees, Stylist and Designer Jacci Jackson of Magnolia Silks. Wearing a beautiful sequin & tulle jumpsuit from her brand, Jacci spoke with us about advice she received from mentors as she was starting out in her career, what it was like being featured in NYFW for the first time, and the inspiration behind Magnolia Silks.
EGL: What piece of advice or insight have you received from any of the celebrity stylists and designers you’ve been fortunate to receive mentoring from, has helped shape your career to date?
Jacci: You know what? The best piece of advice that I’ve received is to keep going. You’re gonna have doubters and people close to you are gonna start to doubt you. Don’t doubt yourself. Keep going and keep being motivated. If you feel like you’re dope, keep that sense of confidence about yourself and you’ll do anything.
EGL: Magnolia Silks was recently featured in NYFW. What was that experience like? Talk to me about the preparation process leading up to the show.
Jacci: Okay, so I’ve worked as a stylist backstage at fashion shows with different designers. This was the first time I was actually able to do it for myself. So as you can imagine, I was overwhelmed, but it was such a big accomplishment. It was so satisfying. Once it was all over and done, all I could do was just thank God for the opportunity, for the talent, for the people around me who helped build me up. I was just so happy and excited about everything.
EGL: You are gifted as both a designer and a stylist, are there any aspects of either role that you enjoy over others?
Jacci: I really enjoy the intimate relationships that I have with clients on both sides of the spectrum. You know, for me it’s more than just ‘oh I’m gonna throw you in an outfit’. It’s really getting to know you, your personality, building you up, and making you feel confident. The fact that I’m able to do that on both sides, I really enjoy that.
EGL: I know Magnolia Silks pays tribute to your great aunt. What have you been able to learn and take away from her success as a top couturier to some of the greats of her time?
Jacci: One thing I’ve been able to take away was to have fun with it. She had fun. All of her clients loved her. It was like an experience every time she styled them or created a new piece for them. So I kind of take that away, you know, just having fun with it, having a good time and try to make it feel like it’s not a job because now I’m really able to put my heart and my soul and everything into each garment that I produce. I just love it.
EGL: Do you happen to have any designs of hers as sentimental keepsakes or inspiration?
Jacci: I do actually. I have this really gorgeous blouse. It was actually a men’s shirt that she made but, of course, being a girl, I took it and turned it into a dress and I belted it. So that’s one of my keepsakes from her collection.
EGL: You currently split your time between Houston and New York; how does fashion differ between the 2 cities? How does Magnolia Silks fit into the 2 differing styles of each city?
Jacci: Well, back home it’s a lot of southern bells. I come from a family of southern bells so they wear a lot of flowy gowns, dresses and caftans. Here in New York, it’s a little bit more chic, so I think Magnolia Silks really fits in because it’s timeless, you know? You can put a Magnolia Silks piece on and go vacation in the Bahamas and then you can come back and walk the streets of New York. So it really doesn’t matter where you are; you can wear a Magnolia Silks piece anywhere, anytime, anyplace and you’ll look fab, honey.
This Fashion 500 Award is sure to be just the first of many accolades for Jacci, so remember that beautiful face and mega-watt smile of hers because you’ll be seeing a lot more of it. You can visit Magnolia Silk’s website to view pieces from the collection and learn how Jacci got her start in fashion. You can also follow Jacci on Instagram @jacci_thestylist and Magnolia Silks @magnolia_silks.
Written by: Corinne Shaw