Nearly 200 beauty professionals and aficionados gathered for Sadiaa Black Beauty Guide’s first-ever Black Beauty Room & Awards this past Saturday, August 27, 2022.
Presented by Legacy West as part of its Black Business Month programming, the event honored DFW luminaries in the beauty industry who exemplify what it means to redefine and nurture Black beauty.
Honorees included Isis Brantley, who received the Black Beauty Pioneer Award; celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Wright, who received the Tastemaker award; Beauty System Group at Sally Beauty Group Vice President April Holt, Corporate Ally award; Nu Standard founder Autumn Yarbrough who received the Comer Cottrell, Jr. Legacy Award; Leah Frazier, Think Three Media CEO, the Advocacy Award; and Mahisha Dellinger, the Innovator Award.
“I’m still relishing the experience,” said Yarbrough, who accepted the award on behalf of herself, her late grandfather Comer Cottrell, Jr. who founded the Pro Line haircare brand, and her mother, Renee Cottrell Brown, who created the Just For Me kids’ haircare line. “I could relive that moment over and over again. My mother and I spoke last night, relishing the Black Beauty Room experience. Beyond the beautiful conversations, [this event] made history…Thank you a million times over for doing this and allowing me to share my story and heart.”
“Thank you for my flowers,” said Brantley, an ancestral revolutionary braider, author, and founder of The Institute of Ancestral Braiding with more than 40 years of styling, educating, and pioneering the natural haircare and styling industries.
Hosted by Alicia Adams, the jam-packed celebration also featured a fireside chat on the “State of Black Beauty” with industry experts such as Mahiri Takai, founder of Men’s Fashion Week Dallas, and Tasha Edinbyrd, filmmaker and executive producer of the forthcoming “Take Back The Crown,” alongside Brantley and Sadiaa founder Stephenetta (isis) Harmon.
“I am so thankful to Legacy West and their team who allowed me to make my vision a reality, and make space to center and celebrate the cultural, political, and economic impact of Black beauty,” said Harmon. “I am honored to celebrate such beauty icons and overjoyed by the response from the DFW’s beauty community to begin real conversations that impact our perceptions of beauty.”
The event also featured a vendor presentation art directed by celebrity stylist Kimberly Steward, featuring HBW Hair Extensions, MEZAI, and models sourced from Dallas’ own J3Productions, helmed by Willie Johnson.
Featured vendors included Allure Faces By Nikki, AubriJai., Be So Selfish, CourDiva’s Cards & Stationary, HBW Extensions, House of Dasha, NU Standard, Institute of Natural Braiding, ShampooTime, and The VOSS Experience.
The event was also part of the first-ever National Black Beauty Week, August 21-27, dedicated to changing how the world sees, celebrates, and experiences Black beauty.
“Disparities in beauty are overwhelming when it comes to resources, product choice, marketing, and more,” explained Harmon. “However, Black buying power and influence do not correlate with how we experience beauty and are perceived in the beauty industry — whether as consumers or brand owners,” Our demographic is the least considered, least visible, and first to be discarded. The Black Beauty Room & Awards was created to put us first, as we honor our fellow changemakers and drive conversations and connections celebrating Black beauty voices.”
For more information on the event and National Black Beauty Week, visit blackbeautyweek.com.