As the mother of a two-year-old who recently learned a high pitch screech, it’s rare I get out the house on a Sunday night, but when I received an early morning invitation to celebrate Misa Hylton, I knew it was the one NYFW event I had to personally attend.
Upon receiving my confirmation and address of the secret location — the legendary Soho House — I immediately texted my friend Rae Holliday, who was undoubtedly among the list of VIPs, to let him know I’d be there. He enthusiastically replied, “ayeeee.”
I arrived at the elusive hotspot shortly after nine, switching into my beloved Giuseppe heels just a half block before (NYC streets aren’t kind to top lifts). After breezing through security by simply mentioning the honoree’s name, I was lifted to the 5th floor where a poster of Misa face and her most legendary styling moments greeted attendees. Around the corner were more of those creations in person. Lively mannequins positioned around the stage showcased pieces from her Macy’s INC collection.
Rae and I simultaneously spot one another and share a hug. Thanks to the pandemic our daily office interactions had turned into Slack conversations behind a computer screen.
The room is packed and the bar is poppin’. It’s a scene out a typical NYFW event. Hot, but it’s Soho House so who cares? In the center of the room is a row of plush tufted couches marked reserved. We find a space on the side before Bevy Smith makes a grand entrance.
Bevy is a star in her own right. Her undeniable personality quickly fills the room. If you aren’t comfortable with a woman who knows she’s the shit and has the resume to prove it – she might even come across as intimidating. But if you respect hard work, you know she and strong women like Misa Hylton are pioneers who have pushed the culture forward. That was the theme of the evening, “respect the process.”
(And if you don’t Bevy’s resume, she reminded us we can certainly read about it in her book Bevelations: Lessons from a Mutha, Auntie, Bestie. Shameless plug.)
Justin, Niko and Madison — Misa’s three children — are seated front row. Justin is rocking a special edition white Avirex jacket by Ducki Confetti. At one point during the girls chat, Misa summons Justin to open her sparkling water. Misa loves fashion – as evidenced by her illustrious resume, but she clearly is the matriarch of her family and motherhood plays a pivotal role in her being.
Bevy introduces Misa by many names, “the goddess of all style, the ghetto fabulous queen supreme” and “Peach” and when Misa appears from the crowd, you instantly see why. Her understated swag enters the room, then her curves, followed by a charming smile. She takes a seat and glances around the room waving, winking and romancing the crowd. Her jewels are shining. Sis looks TF good.
“Does the style collaboration and knowing that you are a style purveyor come through being Puff’s girlfriend or did you arrive to him fly and f*cking fabulous?” The crowd erupts, “arrived!” Harlem is certainly in the building. The conversations naturally sways to the playground of fashion where Misa remembers haberdasher Dapper Dan selling items out his spot back in the 90s. Back then, stylists weren’t able to “pull” looks from brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Misa was one of the first stylists, playing in the Black space, to go overseas and forge relationships with luxury brands that eventually agreed to put Lil’ Kim in their designs. Otherwise, they purchased all their clothes at retail. “We owned our sh*t,” they humbly bragged.
Suddenly, there’s a commotion and Mary J. Blige, rocking a fierce leopard jumpsuit and 25th anniversary Roc-a-fella chain gifted to her by Jay earlier this year. She finds a seat beside Misa’s daughter.
Misa is transparent about ending her relationship with Puffy (what she says they still call him). “We were so young” back then, she remembers. But she couldn’t find peace there so she did what she had to do. “It just started feeling stifling,” she revealed. Like many other single mothers, she struggled financially, but prayed constantly.
A God moment would lead her to MCM where she curated a pieces for their Puma collaboration. She eventually received a call to design a fit for Beyoncé in about three days during a holiday weekend. The pressure was on, but she delivered. The look wound up being featured in The Carter’s’ “Ape Sh*t” video. (She goes into depth about it all in her upcoming book There was no denying Misa’s resurgence. She became the Global Creative Partner for MCM. And soon launched a collection with Macy’s INC — an opportunity presented to her by Durand Guion. In an interview with HB earlier this year, Misa revealed,
“Durand offered me this opportunity after seeing ‘The Remix’ collection I did with MCM. The first drop for my collection is in March, and I have three drops total for spring, summer, and fall. This is an amazing opportunity to give a different perspective of my style. It’s the feminine side of me. I look forward to seeing women wear my collection.”
Misa is continuing to leave her imprint on the fashion game through her Fashion Academy. Earlier in the conversation, Misa revealed the stylist market is oversaturated causing the rate of stylists to decline. “I ain’t gon’ talk about ya, Imma teach ya,” she joked. And thats what her role as a life coach in her academy is all about. She also continues to leave her mark on the industry with collaborations like Missy x The City Girls. Misa became involved with project after Missy called her and asked her to be apart of it.
I left Misa and Bevy’s conversation reminded to walk in my glory and purpose. Women are expected to diminish themselves to make others comfortable, but f-ck that. Both women have paid their dues in the game.
The fireside chat ended with Mary encapsulating the vibes of the event into a few strong words. “You are the architect. Respect the f*cking architect.”
Misa Hylton And Bevy Smith Dropped Major Gems In A Candid Conversation During NYFW was originally published on hellobeautiful.com