Updated: Oct 25, 2021
By Gabel Strickland
Everything was shining at New York Fashion Week: Ones To Watch; the bright lights and sunshine, the sleek runway, and, most importantly, the models as they strode around wearing Burghàlie Ensemble's latest collection.
But Burghàlie showed off more at NYFW than extraordinary fashion and showmanship; Burghàlie showed off the ideals of artistry and diversity that make the brand unique.
New York Fashion Week: Ones To Watch is an annual show hosted by Flying Solo, a large platform for independent designers. When Burghàlie Ensemble was invited to attend, there was a lot of prep work to be done - so much prep work that Burghàlie made a documentary detailing their behind-the-scenes production process.
But none of that prep work could have been done without the support of the people who donated to Burghàlie Ensemble’s NYFW fund via GoFundMe or Burghàlie.com.
“Honestly, we would not have been able to accomplish anything without those donations, so I am very grateful for each contribution,” said Rashaad Burghalie, the brand’s Creative Director. “The donations helped with travel, clothing materials, and last-minute accessories.”
Therefore, Burghàlie Ensemble wasn’t just representing itself as a fashion brand. It represented the people who believed so strongly in its unifying message that they donated to help Burghàlie spread that message at NYFW. And Burghàlie did just that, championing inclusion and artistry both by showing off its latest looks and working with a diverse range of artists.
Each piece of clothing showcased was made with care and creativity that reflected Burghàlie Ensemble’s exaltation of artistry.
“We just wanted to create art and be creatively free.” Rashaad Burghalie said. “The pieces chosen for the show were based on what we were physically able to produce. We have sewed everything for the show.”
As the creative director, he was bound to have a few looks that were his favorites, like Burghàlie Ensemble’s two toned blue long sleeve with matching trousers. Some other looks include a white, textured shirt paired with black bottoms printed with red text, both of which used red as an accent color. Another look consisted of printed beige bottoms and a brown vest with beige stripes shooting over the torso.
But artistry itself is only half of Burghàlie’s concern; the other half is the artists. Burghàlie strives to create an environment of diverse, talented creatives who can collaborate to make something that they can all be proud of and find representation in. Burghàlie Ensemble contributed to that space at New York Fashion Week: Ones To Watch, where the brand collaborated with a wide range of models, designers, producers, and more on its collection.
“As our brand stands to promote diversity and unity, we were pleased to work with a diverse group of models," Rashaad Burghalie said.
One such model was Cory Wade, as he recalls.
"Working with model, musician, and LGBTQ+ advocate Cory Wade was such an honor and I feel that having someone such as Cory represent our brand gave a wide variety of people someone they can relate to.” Rashaad Burghalie said. “I’m just glad we were able to give people someone that they can truly relate to.”
Based on the brand’s reception, Burghàlie accomplished its mission of spreading unification and artistry through fashion.
“The brand was received quite well. I did not have many expectations because I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but everyone seemed to like the brand, what we stood for, and the looks.”
Burghàlie has made its mark at New York Fashion Week: Ones To Watch, bringing its own ideals to the glamorous event, but this is just the beginning for Burghàlie. Burghàlie wants to take its clothing to even more places, including the closets of its supporters.
“Well of course we have to release this amazing collection.” Rashaad Burghalie said, excited to share these pieces with the public.
But it doesn’t end with the collection showcased at New York Fashion Week, either. Burghàlie Ensemble has even more designs that didn’t make it to New York Fashion Week but will definitely grace runways in the future.
“We have sewed everything for the show and there were a lot of ideas that we wanted to execute but we’re unable to. However, we will be revisiting those ideas with a proper manufacturer in the near future.”
Burghàlie Ensemble may have only had a week in New York to spread its message of artistry and diversity through fashion, but it will continue to do so for years and years into the future.