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Plenty of designers have emerged on the scene, but far have reached recent popularity than that of Dallas’ own Esé Azénabor. Certifiably a fan favorite, the Nigerian-born designer has raked in accolades, awards, and a celebrity clientele list that most would envy. While attendance has wavered for fashion this year, the Esé Azénabor “Objet D’Art” show boasted a sold out affair, leaving few standing room slots for those dying to witness both glitz and glam.
Inspired by travels to New York, it was the architecture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral that beckoned Azénabor into a trance. From the reflective colors of stained glass, to the geometric shapes within, she was captivated to creation – resulting in what was coined as her most “elaborate” of collections, put on display at Fair Park’s Hall of State November 1, 2018.
“I’m not a trend follower at all,” Azénabor explained. “I go with what I feel. A lot of color, boldness, and celebrating femininity in a very structural way.”
Over 40 powerful influencers graced the catwalk for “Objet D’Art”, a hybrid evening and bridal wear collection that took the designer three years to create. Celebrities such as Pat Smith, Tammy Franklin, Donna Richardson, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, and Bravo TV’s LeeAnne Locken were models, donning hand-sewn garments of custom fabrics, intricate embroidery, and glistening embellishments.
With a focus on inclusion, the influential “models” came in all shapes, ethnicities, and sizes – showcasing 43 evening wear garments and 17 bridal pieces to further strengthen the designer’s message of women’s empowerment.
“I want to prove that couture can be worn in any shape, color, size or whatever,” Azénabor said. “My goal is to show that if it is made for your body, then it will look great on you. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes, and they love to wear beautiful clothes.”
But what’s beauty without a cause? Action with Compassion Dallas, Inc. was the designated beneficiary for the evening — a local non-profit with objectives to combat domestic violence. “The more I talked with my clients,” Azénabor added, “the more I found out that no one really talks about domestic violence and 95% of them…have been abused in some form of way by someone that they love so much…and they’ll never say anything about it.”
The “Objet d’Art” Spring and Summer 2019 collection was one of remembrance. Empowering women through the art of fashion, Esé Azénabor hopes that it will help women to stand taller, project confidence, and smile at themselves lovingly in the mirror – because this above all is the true measure of her impact, and most prominently, her success.