By Evette D. Champion
If you’ve seen the BET Awards this year, you may have noticed actress Naturi Naughton, who star in Power. She made quite the statement in a gorgeous Afro-centric gown while walking the Red Carpet. From the stunning color and beautiful design on the skirt of the dress, Naughton stood out, and in the best way possible.
It isn’t some famous designer that have runway shows in all the fashion capitals of the world… Oh no. The dress was designed by Kyemah McEntyre.
If the name sounds a little familiar, it may be because she took the internet by storm by posting a picture of herself in her prom dress, which she designed. Her dress was also Afro-centric with its beautiful red color and African-print bodice and skirt.
So how did a girl fresh out of high school become a designer for an actress at a major award show?
A few weeks after McEntyre posted her handmade dress on Instagram, along with an inspiring message that spoke out against bullying and promoted self-acceptance, millions of people became aware of who she was.
Sites like Yahoo, Daily Mail, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post took notice, which drew the attention of Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan—which drew in 1.5 million readers to the site in just two days.
When Naughton heard of McEntyre and the message she was promoting, she wanted to support the young designer, who is from the same town as Naughton.
Naughton sent McEntyre an email and the two chatted on the phone about the dress Naughton envisioned. She wanted the dress to symbolize her African roots.
Although McEntyre did not sew the dress herself, she enlisted the help of a local seamstress, Markell Mockabee, to bring her vision into reality. When the site NecoleBitchie.com spoke exclusively to McEntyre, she revealed that the whole experience was like a dream come true.
Even though McEntyre has been thrust into the spotlight, she says her faith and drive are still the same. She initially intended on the dress being recognized locally, but to have gone viral, she says the experience has exceeded her expectations.
McEntyre gave an interview with local news WPIX where she stated that she wanted to “be the voice of her generation” and she wished to keep on being a beacon of positivity for young women everywhere.