The Look Book Goes to “The New Black Vanguard” Opening

Hundreds of people squeezed into Aperture Foundation to celebrate the release of Antwaun Sargent’s new photography book.

Oluwabukola Becky Akinyode, stylist, Crown Heights. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

What a dress.
It’s a scarf, actually — Issey Miyake. I got it because a friend of mine wore the same one in silver to the Crazy Rich Asians premiere last year. She’s an artist and a DJ, and her and her friend, who is a stylist who works with Solange, and her sister, who is a model, all wore these Issey scarves in different colors as dresses. And when I asked her about it, she said, “You have to get it, it’s fab.” The shoes are these slippers I got from Morocco because I want to be comfortable and they look fancy, and also because I have size 12 feet.

Size 12!
I used to be so self-conscious I’d stuff myself into 10’s, but then I went to the doctor and he said, “If you don’t start wearing 12’s, you’re going to have to get foot surgery.” I have a lot of aunties who have had foot surgery, and it was not cute. So then I was like, Girl, done.

Where are you going after this?
To the Frank Ocean party because my friends, this group Papi Juice, are DJ-ing. But I heard the first party last week was not fun. Not, not, not fun at all. My friends said, quote-unquote, that the crowd was very not the crowd. Very straight, very scene-y. But, like, sneakerboy scene-y. Fuccboi scene-y.

Miles Greenberg, artist, Chinatown. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Jiajia Fei, digital strategist, Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

What brought you here?
The curator, Antwaun, is my roommate and my best friend. When he moved in, he was a kindergarten teacher. And now the line at his opening is longer than the one at Sleep No More across the street.

Isabella Barnes, student, Harlem. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Myles Loftin, photographer, Bushwick. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Monique Long, curator, Harlem. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Al Green, stylist, Harlem. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Willie Alexander, opera singer, Mott Haven. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

Where do you sing?
Lately, I’ve been composing, but I’ve actually just started this aria-themed open-mic series out of Ruby Dee’s childhood home in Harlem.

Erin Albrecht, photography producer, Gowanus. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Jonathan Gardenhire, artist–district leader, Lower East Side. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Amanda Murray, stylist, Crown Heights. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

Are you going to the after-party?
I was going to go, but I think I’m too nervous about my dress being ruined, because it has a pretty serious trail situation.

Mama Cax, model, Bushwick. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
DeRay McKesson, activist, Baltimore, Maryland. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Ashton Muñiz, performance artist, Bushwick. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Jari Jones, model-actress, Jackson Heights. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Antwaun Sargent, curator-author, Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

What has the response to your show been?
People have been running up to me crying, saying this is the first time they’ve seen representation of themselves in a way that is reflective of their realities. It makes me sad. But optimistic, too.

Lazarus Lynch, cookbook author, Jamaica, Queens. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Xin Okorafor, artist, Crown Heights. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

What kind of artist are you?
Multidisciplinary. Right now, my inspirations are mainly primordial memories I recall from my existence before.

Christine Hollingsworth, dancer, Bedford-Stuyvesant. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Renell Medrano, photo, Bronx. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Daveed Baptiste, artist/textile designer, Haiti. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Anzie Dasabe, model, Flatbush. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Kellian Delice, performer, actor, composer/musician & activist, Bed-Stuy. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Tyler Mitchell, photographer, Bushwick. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Cary Fagan, photographer/ business owner, Houston, Texas. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Adam Eli, writer/activist, Greenwich Village. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Edvin Thompson, fashion designer, Bed-Stuy. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Toniesha Payne, Urban Music Marketing at RCA Records, Bushwick/East Williamsburg. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Amy Sall, cultural entrepreneur, New York City. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Kristen Joy Watts, Creative Director at Instagram, South Williamsburg. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Mario Horne, art director, Jersey City. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Jamal Plummer, singer/dancer, Prospect Park South. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
CJ Hart, model/actor/poet, Bushwick. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Gianni Lee, fine artist, Prospect Heights. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Ben Ross, actor, Williamsburg. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Bilal “Multisse” Schitzo, poet/conceptual artist, Stapleton, Staten Island. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Michael Umesiobi, stylist/artist, East New York. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Edem Dela-Seshie, writer/producer, Bed-Stuy. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Lucie Rox, photographer, London. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

*A version of this article appears in the November 11, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

The Stylish Attendees at “The New Black Vanguard” Opening