l to r: Demetria McKinney, Beverly Johnson, William Hawthorne & Constance White

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

MACY’s held its annual Black History Month program last night in Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall. This year’s special celebration recognized the cultural influence of Black fashion and style and featured a lively panel discussion with style expert Constance White, supermodel Beverly Johnson, singer and actress Demetria McKinney and CBS Atlanta News Anchor Tracye Hutchins, who served as the evening’s host.

The two-hour event opened with entertainment from Miami-based jazz performer Jon Sax, who serenaded audience members with instrumental versions of today’s top R&B/pop hits. The ladies were then introduced by MACY’S Sr. VP of Diversity Strategy, William Hawthorne.

The conversation began with panelists defining ‘Black style’ and what it meant to them. Icons like Josephine Baker, Diana Ross, Richard Roundtree, and Angela Davis, were acknowledged as African American influencers, whose looks set the standard for decades. New school entertainers like Mary J. Blige, Rihanna and Beyoncé, were also mentioned for their influence on today’s style.

Hip-Hop was credited for its global impact on fashion trends while Black designers like Stephen Burrows, Diddy, Rachel Roy, Tracy Reese, and B. Michael were recognized for their trailblazing contributions to design.

First Lady Michelle Obama was even praised for her classy attire as well as her unending support of new designers like Kithe Brewster, who reportedly wowed audiences during this month’s New York Fashion Week.

Check out a few photos from the event below as well as a very funny story from Beverly Johnson about her influence on the Ralph Lauren brand.

RC with the Conversation Cafe

RC with The Conversation Cafe’s  A. Raquel and Mahogany Dawn

John Sax

John Sax warming up the audience with cool sounds


 Panelists Demetria McKinney, Constance White and Beverly Johnson

Demetria McKinney singing

 McKinney singing her hit single, “Still Believe in Love ft. Musiq SoulChild”

Tracy Hutchins Q&A

 CBS News Anchor Tracye Hutchins served as host and moderator of Q&A session


 The MACY’s BHM event will visit 10-cities including Los Angeles and Miami

 Pat with her book

 Pat Lottier holding White’s book, Constance White presents the Queens & Kings of Style


 Macy’s Models

Model1 Model3

Model4 model2

RC  with Beverly Johnson

 RC with Beverly Johnson

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Photo Credit: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com