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Viral teen designer bags her first red carpet commission

AFRO-CENTRIC: Kyemah McEntyre's prom dress went viral earlier this month

A TEENAGER whose self-designed prom dress went viral has bagged her first red carpet commission.

The 18-year-old became an overnight internet sensation after designing her amazing African-inspired prom dress, which in part, was her way of giving the middle finger up to anyone who had ever bullied her in the past.

And now the talented teen has designed her second dress - for Naturi Naughton who wore it on the red carpet at Sunday night's (Jun 28) Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards.

Naughton, a former member of the girl band 3LW, went for a Nubian Queen look in an trumpet flare dress with tribal patterns.

The 18-year-old designed it, while the same seamstress who made McEntyre’s dress, Markell, brought the sketch to life.

The pair became connected through their shared hometown, East Orange, New Jersey. “Naturi, you continue to inspire people like me, especially in your hometown,” McEntyre shared on Instagram alongside a photo of Naughton wearing the gown.

“Thanks for helping me build my foundation and giving back to the community. Naturi Naughton YOU ARE THE BEST! Thank you again for giving me the chance to continue to break the internet!”


MY MUSE: The young designer created a dress for singer and actress Naturi Naughton

Explaining how the project came about, McEntyre told the blog Necole Bitchie: "Naturi contacted me through e-mail, and we talked over the phone about her ideal dress."

“[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."

McEntyre originally shot to fame for her similar-looking dress. Hers, instead was red with darker colours in the familiar pattern. The cut was also different, with long sleeves and big bell skirt. “This is for always being labeled as, 'ugly or 'angry'. Thank God, stereotypes are just opinions,” she captioned an image of herself wearing the design.

The dress turned out to be such a success, she was crowned prom queen. “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,” she added. “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.”

McEntyre hopes to attend college this autumn, with her biggest goal is to inspire other women.

She said: “It’s just amazing to be celebrated for just being myself.”

“I consider myself to be an artist, fashion designer, and self-identity activist.”

She added: “I wanted to inspire little girls to be themselves [with my dress]."

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