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BET Awards Celebrate Black Designers and Stir Calls for Fashion Industry Change

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There wasn’t an actual red carpet, but Sunday’s virtual BET Awards was an impressive showcase of Black style nonetheless, starting with host Amanda Seales, representing all Black-designed clothing, jewelry, hair-care and makeup brands, including a custom gown by Los Angeles-based rising fashion star Claude Kameni.

“We wanted to tell a story of Black creativity, pay homage to iconic moments of Black style, and amplify the work of these Black fashion innovators,” said Seales.

“The BETs are our Oscars, our Grammys, our everything, where we are able to show ourselves and have fun and show off,” said her stylist Bryon Javar of the 13 looks, using pieces from Pyer Moss, Romeo Hunte, Sergio Hudson, Sister Love, Brother Vellies, Grayscale, Bishme Cromartie, Dapper Dan-Gucci and more, and paying homage to iconic moments in Black style history, from Hilary Banks’ Nineties power wardrobe in

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I created Mae Jones, a magazine like Vogue, to represent Black style and glamour

A photo from Mae Jones Magazine, which debuted digitally earlier this year. Mae Jones was named in honor of founder and creative director Kristen Turner's two grandmothers. <span class="copyright">(Jessica Castro / Mae Jones Magazine)</span>
A photo from Mae Jones Magazine, which debuted digitally earlier this year. Mae Jones was named in honor of founder and creative director Kristen Turner’s two grandmothers. (Jessica Castro / Mae Jones Magazine)

The second I graduated from college, I packed up my Jetta and made the drive West from Texas to California. I wanted to work in fashion but not in the classic sophistication of the New York scene. I wanted the celebrity-driven, red-carpet glitz and glam Hollywood had to offer. Upon my arrival in Los Angeles, I started an assistant job at a well-known fashion PR agency. There I began what has been a 15-year career in the fashion industry.

I had worked in a PR office for a few years before realizing I was better suited for the excitement of “set life.” I soon became an assistant to celebrity wardrobe stylists. I was usually the only Black

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