Essence Hollywood House’s Fashion Visionaries: Four Black Women Leading with Creativity and Style Friday 15 March, 2024

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Essence hosted its fifth annual Hollywood House on March 8, 2024, featuring a special Fashion x Film panel. This event spotlighted the realm of costume design, bringing together four leading women in the fashion industry for an in-depth exploration.

Dominique Dawson, Tanja Caldwell, Queensylvia Akuchie, and Amiraa’s Vainqueur provided insights into the creative process behind costume design and fashion styling.

Tanja Caldwell

Tanja Caldwell, the creative force behind Usher’s standout costumes for the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show, shared a peek into her creative methodology. She emphasized the necessity of grasping the performer’s identity and the designer’s skill in creating costumes that captivate audiences while amplifying the artist’s stage presence, offering a thorough look into the precise craftsmanship involved in defining characters and enhancing performances through their attire.

Tanja Caldwell is known for Black Panther (2018), Coming 2 America (2021) and Queen & Slim (2019), Usher’s Super Bowl HalfTime Performance (2024)

Queensylvia Akuchie

Queensylvia Akuchie, a distinguished costume designer, contributed to the discussion by highlighting their distinctive experiences and the driving passion behind their work.

Credits include Bel-AIRSwagger, The Have and the Have Nots, and Antebellum.

Dominique Dawson

Dominique Dawson focused on the crucial collaboration between actors and designers, which plays an essential role in vividly bringing a character to life.

Dominique’s credits include Donald Glover’s SWARM, THE LAST BLACK MAN OF SAN FRANCISCO, and Ava DuVernay’s ORIGIN.

Amiraa Vainqueur

Amiraa Vainqueur, a versatile talent, showcases boundless creativity. The founder of VeeMode Consulting and an ambassador for Jordan Brand’s 2023 Women’s Collective, Vainqueur has also made her mark styling icons such as Jordan and Jodie Woods, and Janelle Monae.

The audience was granted a close-up view of the creative journey, from initial sketches to the intricate final touches that animate a costume.

All speakers shed light on their commitment and fervor for costume design. They pointed out the rigorous detail orientation needed, from ensuring historical accuracy to pioneering with novel materials and techniques. Their dialogue served as a powerful tribute to fashion’s indispensable impact on film and live performances, weaving a visual narrative that engages audiences around the globe.

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at + @kiwithebeauty

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