Kyemah McEntyre, that 18-year-old prom-dress slayer we told you about a few weeks ago, put her designing skills to use once again. And this time, her work was featured on a more prominent stage.
Power actress Naturi Naughton showed up on the 2015 BET Awards red carpet rocking a dress designed by McEntyre. Like McEntyre’s prom dress, Naughton’s dress also was made with an African-print fabric.
McEntyre, who says she designed her prom dress to promote versatility and combat negative stereotypes she’s endured, told Necole Bitchie that Naughton contacted her after seeing her prom dress online.
“Naturi contacted me through e-mail, and we talked over the phone about her ideal dress,” McEntyre explained. McEntyre posted a lengthy explanation on Instagram about what prompted her to design her prom dress, and that inspired Naughton.
“She explained to me that she wanted to connect with her African roots as well,” McEntyre said. Plus, both Naughton and McEntyre are from East Orange, N.J., so Naughton wanted to show a young girl from her hometown some love.
McEntyre described how she was a bit nervous and apprehensive about the process because her prom dress was the first dress she had designed ever in her life, and Naughton’s would be the second.
But McEntyre said that Naughton had a “beautiful soul” and reassured her. The actress spoke about wanting to “shed light on young people from her community” in East Orange.
“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,” McEntyre told Nicole Bitchie.
McEntyre designs the dresses and then gets a local seamstress to make them. It looks like McEntyre may have jump-started a wonderful career for herself.