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Texture On The Runway Shows The Versatility Of Curls And Kinks At NYFW

Human Hair 3 Bundles Virgin Indian Remy Deep Curly Hair With Lace ClosureWhen Michelle Breyer started NaturallyCurly.com in 1998 along with her friend and business partner Gretchen Heber, they had no idea how enormous the web site would become. Nearly 20 years later, the site is representing for the community that supported them during New York Fashion Week with the Texture on the Runway show. The showcase, which first launched in 2012, celebrates the beauty of textured hair whether it is curly, kinky, coily, wavy, loced or braided. “It got its start after a couple of years of me coming [to New York], covering fashion week, and just being disappointed year after year that there isn’t any diversity of any kind on the runway. It was usually different variations on hair parted down the middle — in a bun, in a ponytail, straight,” Breyer told Allure ahead of the show. “The most interesting styles were within the audience and the people covering it.” Frustration at the lack of diversity so irked Breyer that she decided to be the change she wanted to see and create her own runway event.

Even from its humble beginnings at City Winery, the show had an incredible turnout. “We had people around the block,” she said. Thursday night marked five years since Textures on the Runway’s debut, and no surprises here — it was bigger and better than ever. This time, NaturallyCurly teamed up with Sally Beauty and some hair-care brands (Cantu, CurlFormers, Carol’s Daughter, Creme of Nature, Mielle Organics and Shea Moisture) that cater to textured strands for a runway display that excited the senses. And instead of sticking to industry folks and influencers, they extended the invitation to the consumers. In spite of everything, they are those who use the products.

“This whole industry has been driven by consumers. It has been a grass roots industry. Consumers [were] getting fed up that they could not find products for them, in order that they created them themselves,” Breyer explained. “Now, they’re a few of essentially the most exciting products in the marketplace.”

Breyer and Karonda Cook, director of merchandising at Sally Beauty were keen on putting an emphasis on inclusiveness and their diverse customer base for this particular show, opting to incorporate men and children on the catwalk. “Men are as much in tune with their beauty needs now more than ever. Then you’ve gotten this whole men’s grooming and this beard trend,” Cook said. The McClure twins, the biracial sisters who’re a viral hit due to the adorable (and always hilarious) videos their mother posts of their conversations, took the runway as well. Their inclusion speaks to a greater moment in society as well as their customer base. “With the whole browning of America, there’s plenty of mixed races and products that are catered to a variety of hair textures,” Cook pointed out.

The show itself took place at Gotham Hall in Midtown New York, a grand venue that matched the grandeur of the hair looks that came down the runway. There have been voluminous, fluffly afros that seemed to take up the whole room, mile-long box braids elaborately adorned with metallic flourishes, some twisted and changed into head-turning updos. Braids were paired with ‘fros, ‘fro hawks were uplifted by cornrows, half-up, half-down ‘dos were given glamor with loose waves. We saw high-top fades, sculptural locs sprinkled with cowrie shells, and braids piled atop the head that looked like an Egyptian queen’s crown. It was truly a testament to the versatility and wonder of textured hair.

“What we’re saying is hair might be the right accessory for fashion and it doesn’t take away from fashion. It could add to fashion. Our whole show is concerning the hair coming first,” Breyer said. And indeed, the purpose was made. Her initial goal was to spotlight the various hair textures she saw in her world, to prop them up and shine a light on how aspirational and gorgeous they really are. While straight hair is gorgeous in its own right, Texture on the Runway reminds us all that such beauty comes in lots of forms, and the importance of embracing the specific things that make you beautiful.

“We’re in a time when uniqueness is valued much more. Individuality is valued, especially with the younger generation,” Breyer said.

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