By Peyton Leftwich
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
As the Buffalo Fashion Week event began to come to an end, not only did Khalil Carr, the lead executive director of the fashion show, bring back the show after a year's absence, but also highlighted other directives in charge of other events, the majority of which were pop-up shops for the rest of the week.
With this intense amount of creativity being spread amongst the remaining days, a lot of the creatives who were a part of Carr’s team, whether they were in the foreground or the background, were able to be highlighted.
Most of the remaining days were spent highlighting local businesses, which included clothing brands, hair stylists, photographers and musicians.
On the Saturday before Halloween, the Buffalo Fashion Runway team held a community photoshoot with its two main photographers of the fashion show. They not only encouraged guests to come and shop with more local artists, but to see some of them in their creative modes live, network, and to come in a costume and get their picture taken.
Emeka Wajed, a current clothing designer who thrifts clothes, paints on them with different mediums such as bleach, and has challenged himself to get to 100,000 followers on Instagram, explained what it's like being a creative while being here in Buffalo – and what he might do in the future of this fashion week.
“I come from an extremely creative family, so, in a way, it runs in my blood,” Wajed said. “I mean, this event is being held in my father’s beautiful studio. I really want to be a living testament to the good that can come out of Buffalo. Even (with) challenging myself on my Instagram page, it’s all because I know, with the consistent support of those around me, anything is possible.”
Emeka was also one of the artists who was creating live while the community photoshoot was happening, and was able to even incorporate some of his viewers into the pieces.
“Being introduced to art and a creative lifestyle so early on, a lot of my art resonates with what I can’t explain verbally, and I think this is something that I will look forward to doing in the future of Buffalo Fashion Week,” he said.
In attendance of the photoshoot were models, up-and-coming actors, rappers, filmmakers, photographers and every other type of creative that was possible to imagine.
Angelo Shaw, an aspiring model, explained just how consistent the energy and the networking was over the week.
“I have been to all the events this past week, and nothing has prepared me to be recognized out in the street by other aspiring models,” Shaw said. “Buffalo is such a small but connected city, and I think that is what has made a lot of meaningful connections whether it is a friendship or a business partnership.”
Edrys Wajed, a well-known Buffalo creative, as well as the owner of the community space, has been pushing for communities like this for a while, and explained how incredible it is to see it becoming in the younger generations.
“I am probably one of the oldest people in this room, but being around everybody here and seeing that they may be younger than me, but we hold a lot of respect for each other in terms of our artistic abilities, has almost made me feel younger in a way,” Wajed said. “Especially seeing my son do something that brings him joy and creativity, it truly is inspiring.”
Based on the responses and overall view of how the week has gone, from the first fashion show to the last piece of clothing sold or created, Buffalo creatives have only just begun to put Buffalo on the map.
This is a Niagara University student-created piece completed as part of the course CMS 226A. For more information, contact the Niagara Frontier Publications’ managing editor.