Second Annual Fashion Showdown

A competition for local Houston designers gives them a jump start to showcase their collection at NYFW.

Judges and Chekesha Johnson (from left to right): Bichar Myrtil, Beena Yusuf, Chasity Sereal, Chekesha Johnson, and Toya Jewel.
Berry Dynamics and Alexis Finley

The Fashion Showdown, founded by Houston native Chekesha Johnson, gives up and coming designers the opportunity to showcase their collection at New York Fashion Week with a $5,000 prize to use toward their brand. “My purpose is to help my hometown community, giving designers and models a platform.” The event itself was thoughtfully led by publicist Berry Dynamics. Judges of the night included Chasity Sereal, Toya Jewel, Bichar Myrtil, and Beena Yusuf. VIP cocktail hour with DJ Wreck set the tone of the whole experience. The Fashion Showdown began with a performance by Alexis Finley, who sang Risk, a song from her latest EP.  

Each Designer showed their personality, inspiration and their own take on what fashion meant to them. There was a total of 11 Designers; here are a few from the show that stood out to us.  

Choke, the opening collection, designed by Royesla Iniguez consisted of metallic bodysuits, gathered tulle sleeves, and plastic elements in vibrant colors.  

Zainab Olagunju, Designer of her brand, Newbox brought a romantic and gothic feel. Her collection featured black tulle, red draping, lace, leather, metal, and embellished jewelry. Some of her models wore hand claws, bold jeweled makeup, and crowns which made for a dark and powerful mood.  

Designer Jessica Cantu incorporated her Mexican background in her collection. Staying true to her roots her looks offered ruffles, floral prints, vibrant blues, yellows, and corals. She was inspired by the Indigenous African and Mexican descent minorities in Mexico. Her concept represented them well.

Greenwear Design, by Designer Davieria Coleman, was inspired by the idea of “metamorphosis”, this collection was all red, head to toe. A mixture of big and small rosettes and ruffles complimented the clothing that could be deconstructed and made into something completely new and different. It was finished off with red headdresses and butterfly earrings. The look of each garment was fun and alluring. You can tell her models felt amorous with each piece as they walked the runway.  

The closing designer was by Allison Ko. She was inspired by different elements of the ocean, so, orange, blue, white fabrics, and mesh created her looks. Her technique in each piece was very well executed. Allison’s innovative ideas were creatively surprising. She is one to watch for in the future

Each designer was allowed to showcase 4 of their best pieces. Designer Teshalech I Ega of Adot Liyu took the grand-prize home. Her designs had beautiful greens with a natural look. It featured false banana (enset) leaves, green velvet, rope, and statement purses. Each garment was thoughtful both for the model and the environment, wherein today’s world of fashion, eco-friendly and sustainability is important. Her reaction was equally as moving as her collection, which impressed the judges. More on eco-friendly fashion on our next quarterly issue.  

Founder and CEO of the Fashion Showdown, Chekesha Johnson.

The thrill and emotion at the showdown not only inspired the Designers but created a sense of awareness in the Houston area of up and coming Designers that are prepared to make their mark. It is for that very reason that Chekesha Johnson has decided to expand Fashion Showdown to Nashville, DC, and Atlanta, to name a few cities, in the near future. It’s the very heart and passion that she carries that creates a moment and an opportunity for young artists. Great job Chekesha in giving back to artists and creatives like yourself. We look forward to seeing what more you do with Fashion Showdown.  

Photography by Terry Thomas.

Sylvina Bravo
Fashion/Lifestyle Editor 

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