When Jacqueline “Jacqui” Jenkins and Darralynn “DeeDee” Hutson pledged Delta Sigma Theta at Spelman College, they never imagined their sorority bonds would lead to curating an unforgettable international fashion experience over two decades later. But that’s exactly what these two trendsetters manifested during the whirlwind of London Fashion Week.

From Jacqui’s Perspective:

At 5’4″ with a petite frame, I’ve always loved supporting Black designers and being creative to make high fashion work for me. Thrift, boutique and online shopping, you name it – if it helped amplify my personal style as a seasoned fashionista, I was into it. That’s likely why DeeDee and I clicked from day one of our freshman year at Spelman College; her from Detroit and myself a Philly girl, we saw each other’s need to be individuals. Despite our different body types and styles, we shared an insatiable passion for fashion and self-expression through clothing.

As the years flew by after graduation, DeeDee and I never missed a chance to explore our inner fashionistas, no matter how hectic life became. We liked posting, shared meaningful commentary, learned about some incredible Black designers for each other whenever traveling, and consistently hyped one another up through the constant confidence-building that flowed through life’s shared experiences.

From DeeDee’’s Perspective:  

My plus-sized silhouette and 5’3″ stature always demanded that I work that much harder to command whatever room I stepped into. And that’s precisely how I aimed to take on fashion when I was first asked to write about New York Fashion Week for Vogue Italia back in 2018 – with feisty confidence, Jacqui was the first person I thought of to maneuver my way down a runway. She helped me to eliminate any inkling of self-doubt; that I belonged there in that room at that time. When you’ve got a stylish sister like Jacqui, who pushes your boundaries while simultaneously hyping you up beautifully and creatively, anything feels possible.

When Jacqui pitched the idea of orchestrating a London Fashion Week experience for 25 dynamic women of color, I simply replied, “It’s about damn time!” We mapped out every fashionable moment, from runway shows to boutique shopping sprees to delectable English tea parties, at a quaint black-owned tea spot in Central London. And the sister and fashion bonding took care of the rest.

For our London Fashion Week of experiences, we intentionally sought out diverse designer talent that catered to all backgrounds and body types. We scored front row seats at London Fashion Week shows spotlighting African womenswear designers, Louis and Afro-Scandinavian sustainable brands, Zoology. We visited the London-based designer, Clariscia Gill, who offers exquisitely-made-to-measure designs. We hit up plus-size friendly boutiques like Curvissa and Navabi. The list goes on and on!

But the true highlight hasn’t crossing hotspots off our over-the-top itinerary – it was witnessing our sisters from different paths in life unapologetically celebrating their individuality through fashion’s limitless possibilities. Neckties, head wraps, bold prints, monochrome sleekness, sky-high heels, distressed sneakers…every style perspective blended into a dazzlingly beautiful kaleidoscope of Black woman self-love.

For one fabulous week, a group of thriving, jet-setting Black women didn’t just observe the fashion world – we completely took it over, on our own terms. When Jacqui and I look back on those seven days of unabashed joy, inspiration, and sisterly bonding, we can’t help but feel immensely proud of what our friendship blossomed into. London was just the beginning of our stylish journey together.  Two proud Spelman women take on the global fashion scene.