EBONI showcases black creators and student models at BLK Out

Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interest will drip gold at their second annual BLK Out Fashion Show on Feb. 15 at the Greene Theater.

Student models will walk down the runway in black-owned fashion brands, a student musician will perform, and representatives from other black student organizations at Boston colleges and universities will watch the event.

EBONI opened the show to the public for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. They asked everyone who plans to attend to fill out a Google form and request up to four tickets.

EBONI held their first fashion show in 2016. The student organization built on the success of their first show and held the BLK Out Fashion Show last year. They turned it into an annual event to celebrate Black History Month in February.

EBONI’s theme this year is “Black Excellence” to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The theme for the show is Gold, according to EBONI President and senior Jonas Spencer.

“Our theme is going to be dripping gold, like honey,” Spencer said. “[Black Excellence] has been our big theme for the year.”

Spencer said EBONI plans to use this show to promote black fashion designers, clothing labels, and art around Boston. He said he also wants to provide a casual environment for aspiring models to gain walking experience.

“It is mostly to support blackness because it is often forgotten and put to the side when [black artists] have so many things to offer,” Spencer said.

Jillian Towson, a freshman walking in the show, said the event will showcase primarily street-style clothing.

“I have done semi-[professional] modeling,” Towson said. “This seems more relaxed. You don’t have to do the industry-level walk—you can just have fun with it. It’s really low-pressure.”

Spencer said EBONI started preparing for the show in late November 2018 when they selected the final 30 models from the 45 who auditioned.

Freshman and model Jay Osgood said she valued the inclusive nature of the show.

“They were really inclusive and not very picky. Most people who auditioned were people of color,” Osgood said. “They were very inclusive in this as long as you feel confident walking.”

This year the show will debut the new clothing line from local designer and Northeastern University junior Lans Powell. Spencer said EBONI expanded the number of designers who display their work in the show from one to three this year. Other designers include Northeastern junior Javon Martin and Berklee College of Music graduate Amber Ais ‘18.

EBONI also added a jewelry line by Brooklyn-based artist Bianca Abreu-Jones and booked local makeup artist Mercy Mungai for the show.

In addition to hosting the show in a larger theater and hiring more models, EBONI expanded their model search to encompass other universities in Boston this year.

“This year we are inviting models from outside Emerson,” Spencer said. “We have people from Northeastern, [Simmons College], and Berklee to broaden the community for black students in Boston.”

Sophomore Naomi Jones will choreograph the show and Ais will sing between each clothing line showcase. The playlist for the walk will mostly include rhythm and blues, hip-hop, and Caribbean tunes.

Spencer said the BLK Out Fashion Show offers an opportunity for people to learn about black talent in Boston.

“I want to reach out, for the most part, to the black students on campus,” Spencer said. “I also want to reach out to the people who want to know about black fashion, black clothing labels, and black art.”

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