Former NBA player turned designer Lanny Smith wanted to bring a fashion “mixtape” to life for New York Fashion Week by displaying different collections in one show. Actively Black partnered with Allen Iverson, the Notorious B.I.G.’s estate, Chadwick Boseman’s estate, Huey Newton’s estate, and more to deliver a night celebrating Black triumph with swag. Smith’s vision came to life at the Runway 7 Fashion building on Friday night (Sep. 9). 

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Guests journeyed through several moments in Black pop culture history, from an ode to the motherland to the creation of hip-hop and everything in between. Smith passionately explained that he wants his athleisure wear brand to be “boldly black, unapologetically black and obviously, actively black.” The hour-long show featured effortless transitions between decades with compelling visuals and soundtracks to match.

Fast Life Yungtaz joined the models at the show’s end to perform their classic hit single, “Swag Surf.” The Actively Black fashion show has been dubbed the most “blackity-black show of New York Fashion Week.”


Check out some of the highlights from the Actively Black NYFW show:

  1. The crowd erupted into laughter when Affion Crockett walked across the runway holding a folding chair and tossing his hat. The viral Montgomery Riverfront Brawl sparked a pop culture moment, possibly making a folding chair more relevant than a milk crate in the Black community. 
  2. The 1993 movie Cool Runnings turns 30 years old this year. It was such a heartwarming moment to see Malik Yoba joined by his co-star Doug E. Doug rocking their Actively Black collection commemorating the sports/comedy film.
  3. Allen Iverson unveiled his respective Actively Black collection for the sport lovers. The NBA legend donned his own collection as he walked down the runway. Khadeen and Devale Ellis brought the Black Love IRL and gushed over each other as they walked the runway.
  4. After Daymond John co-signed Lanny Smith on Shark Tank, the FUBU founder passed the torch by walking the runway.