By Jeanine Hays

Is this the table that Solange had in mind, when she wrote the songs for A Seat at the Table? We think so. The stylish songstress and her now iconic new album became the inspiration for our event at New York’s posh Bowery Hotel. The evening was a celebration of our #SHESSOAPHROCHIC campaign, our effort to focus on inspirational African American women who are the very embodiment of our maxim of modern soulful style.

The rooftop party was perfectly designed, a collaborative effort between the AphroChic team, fashion designer Reuben Reuel, and event designer, Ian Paul Owens. Owens designed the tablescape for the evening, an elaborate dining room scene featuring our Cameroonian-inspired Ndop fabric at the center. For pops of color, our SOLO collection of Rwanda baskets, in shades of fuchsia, yellow and blue, brightened the display. A celebration of Black women, Owens created a centerpiece of magazine covers featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Michelle Obama and more. With fall in mind, placemats were replaced with black fur for a cozy feel. The finishing touch to the tablescape, a lush centerpiece created by Brooklyn Blooms, featuring rich shades of orange, purple and crimson, with cowrie shell details.

Beyond the DJ booth with DJ King Leo spinning a mix of neo-soul, and top songs like Formation and Cranes In The Sky, glass doors opened to the main room. There, a show space had been designed, an AphroChic mini-apartment, complete with a living room, bedroom, and lounge in front of the fireplace. On display was our new line of poufs. Soft, yet sturdy and very comfortable, the pieces became the perfect seating for those wanting to sit a little closer to the fire.

The bedroom was where we had fun. AphroChic is all about collaboration and we love to share the stage with other designers of color who are creating beautiful work that clearly shares our point of view. There’s no one who fits that bill better than our friend Reuben Reuel, founder and creative director of DEMESTIK by REUBEN REUEL. Reuben is not only one of Beyonce’s favorite fashion designers, he’s one of ours as well, and in addition to designing Jeanine’s dress for the evening, he showed off his new line of bedding that will launch early next year. The softly textured duvet cover went perfectly with our pillows to create a space that was light, colorful and full of lively patterns.

The biggest reveal of the evening was our fashion collaboration with DEMESTIK by REUBEN REUEL – a line of kimonos in signature colors featuring our Jumping the Broom, Juju and Haze patterns. Modeled by our beautiful friends, Krystle DeSantos, Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu and Derica Cole Washington, the kimonos were the highlight of the evening, showing off a unique fusion of African and Asian design. The custom made pieces can now be found in our online shop and at Jerome LaMaar’s gallotique, 9J, in the South Bronx.

At the end of the night we made our biggest announcement yet. In 2017, AphroChic will become the first African American design brand to have its own line of interior paint. Expect to see our new line with Colorhouse soon. We are truly excited for all of the new directions and grateful to everyone who came out to support the brand. Stay tuned for more exciting news to come!