The Black Carpet Awards, an event created by the Afro Fashion Association, took place for the first time on the evening of February 24, in conjunction with Milan Fashion Week.
Despite it being the debut edition, the award ceremony had already found many partners in the fashion industry, including the likes of Capri Holdings, Condé Nast and Vogue Italia, and was attended by notable figures in the sector, such as Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful.
The initiative looked to celebrate diversity and inclusion, as well as underrepresented voices throughout fashion, design, art, food, music, business, sport and cinema.
10 winners were selected overall, five by the public – five by a jury of experts led by the event’s founder Michelle Ngonmo – each representing specific fields: culture, creativity, community, heritage and entrepreneurship.
For this year, winners included social media personality Khaby Lame, journalist Sarah Kamsu, film producer Fred Kuwornu, musical artist David Blank and author Nadeesha Uyangoda, among others.
In a release, Ngomno said: “Celebrating all stories… This is what we are doing through the Black Carpet Awards. Very often we feel comfortable comparing ourselves with people who share our same background or our same opinion, but the different perspectives are enriching.”
Ngomno went on to note that the premise of diversity and inclusion should not be addressed as a “politically correct” theme, as the two are an integral part of daily life.
She added that the event was not just about the black community, but the colour black as a “sum of all colours”, made by mixing different pigments, an idea that Ngomno translated for the awards in a bid to support heritage culture and economic growth.
The organisation confirmed that a 2024 edition of the event will be taking place next year.