Teens are mad-talented.
Two weeks ago, teenager Kyemah McEntyre wowed the internet with am astounding dress she designed and created herself for prom. The senior student, studying at Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts in New Jersey, wore it to the main event — needless to say, heads turned, jaws dropped, and she won the Internet… and the title of Prom Queen for the night.
Not only did her sense of style and grace amaze us, she also delivered a heart-felt message on her instagram account:
As an artist I have a completely different point of view compared to most individuals. I am extremely analytical and observant. Throughout the world, we have people who do not notice each others essence and humanity. We Stunt our collective spiritual growth by allowing assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our mind and thus our physical reality. We let these negative ideas get the best of us, and in turn a world of isolation is manifested by our lack of sensitivity and desire to sympathize with each other. This results in a world in which people live within the confines of their own space, isolated from each other and separated from the rest of the world. Sometimes we get trapped in our own prejudice ways. We don't notice how the idea of a particular type of person changes the way we live our lives. The most creative people are the ones who step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the world around them. My abilities as an artist allows me to experience the benefits that versatility fosters. Being exposed to all kinds of people and cultures is the muse for my artwork. I am an aspiring artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world. I believe that in order for society to gain a wider horizon, we have to be willing to acknowledge other people from differences, beliefs, morals, and values. #kyebreaktheinternet I love you guys, because of you all I continue to keep pushing no matter the circumstance. Let's try this again ✊🏾💕💕
A budding self-identity activist, we can see she takes a lot of pride in her heritage and expresses it through her craft. Unfortunately, not everyone saw this in the same light, and chose to throw spiteful comments her way. she takes them and treats the situation with so much grace: ““This is for always being labeled as, ‘ugly’ or ‘angry’. Thank God, stereotypes are just opinions,” she responded via another instagram post.
However, this wasn’t quite the end of Kyemah’s story, as her creation would soom take her skills and genius to the red carpet. Singer-actress Naturi Naughton, former member of 3LW and star of the Starz drama “Power”, emailed her right away for for her first big-event commission just three days after her graduation.
“Naturi contacted me through e-mail, and we talked over the phone about her ideal dress,” Kyemah shared. “She explained to me that she wanted to connect with her African roots as well. I explained to her that my prom dress was my first design ever and that her design would be my second. So, of course, I asked her to bare with me. Naturi and her beautiful soul welcomed me despite my experience with Fashion Designing. She wanted to shed light on young people from her community [East Orange, New Jersey] and that she did. I enlisted a local seamstress by the name of Markell Mockabee, who brought my design to life.” This lady just keeps getting lovelier and lovelier.
And the dress is just as astounding. Naturi wore it with pride to the BET Awards last weekends, and it slayed so hard on the red carpet.
#betawards2015 Loving my @mindofkye_ dress designed by Jersey's own #KyemahMcEntyre & sewn by @kellontherise #MarkellsCloset 🙏🏾 Gorgeous makeup by @mannatwork and my goddess Bun by @glamsquadla Thx to @kellybrownstyle 4 pulling me together & shout out to @houseofcyndarella 4 comin thru last min! #NubianQueen #betawards #BeYOU
Kyemah is grateful for all the acclaim and praise heaped on her creations. However, this has not steered her away from her main focus as an artist. “As a result of going viral, my mailbox has changed in numbers, but my faith and my drive has not changed. 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. I actually planned on people to recognize my dress locally, because I wanted to inspire little girls to be themselves, however, this has definitely exceeded my expectations.”
We feel this is not the last we’re going to hear of her. Hats off to you, Kyemah! The world needs more brave, passionate artists like you!