A few weeks ago, we went totally gaga over the perfect, fabulous handmade prom creation that took the Internet by storm. Kyemah McEntyre, a senior at Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts in New Jersey, designed and created a gorgeous dress as an expression and celebration of her heritage. It completely blew our minds. Her words on Instagram blew our minds even further.
“As an artist I have a completely different point of view compared to most individuals,” Kyemah wrote on Instagram. “We [stunt] our collective spiritual growth by allowing assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our mind and thus our physical reality. We let these negative ideas get the best of us, and in turn a world of isolation is manifested by our lack of sensitivity and desire to sympathize with each other.”
According to Kyemah, it’s essential to be “exposed to all kinds of people and cultures,” which is the muse for her work. “I am an aspiring artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world,” she continued. “I believe that in order for society to gain a wider horizon, we have to be willing to acknowledge other people from differences, beliefs, morals, and values.” YES. If you somehow missed the extravaganza that was Kyemah’s dress, let us refresh your memory:
She looks totally stunning, and it’s clear that GIRL’S GOT TALENT.
Well people who usually walk red carpets have taken notice of that talent, such as singer and actress Naturi Naughton, formerly a member of 3LW and stars on the Starz drama Power. Yep, that’s right: just weeks after graduation, Kyemah has designed her first big red carpet commission.
“Naturi contacted me through e-mail, and we talked over the phone about her ideal dress,” Kyemah explained to blog Nicole Bitchie. “She explained to me that she wanted to connect with her African roots as well. I explained to her that my prom dress was my first design ever and that her design would be my second. So, of course, I asked her to bare with me. Naturi and her beautiful soul welcomed me despite my experience with Fashion Designing. She wanted to shed light on young people from her community [East Orange, New Jersey] and that she did. I enlisted a local seamstress by the name of Markell Mockabee, who brought my design to life.” Oh, our hearts.
As you can probably imagine, Kyemah did NOT disappoint and Naturi wore the dress to the BET Awards last weekend.
AHHHH SLAY. And from another angle:
Absolutely perfect. Clearly, Kyemah is on the fast track to success, but becoming popular on the interwebz has not changed her main objective. “As a result of going viral, my mailbox has changed in numbers, but my faith and my drive has not changed,” she explained to Nicole Bitchie. “People ask me all the time how does it feel, and I tell them it’s just amazing to be celebrated for just being myself. I consider myself to be an artist, fashion designer, and self-identity activist. I actually planned on people to recognize my dress locally, because I wanted to inspire little girls to be themselves, however, this has definitely exceeded my expectations.”
Kyemah, you’re an inspiration, and we seriously can’t wait to see what’s next for you. Your talent knows no bounds!