On May 27th, the city of Charlotte was abuzz with excitement as fashion enthusiasts, industry insiders, and celebrities gathered for the highly anticipated 2023 Carolina Fashion Awards. With a theme that exuded wild glamour and untamed elegance, “Welcome to the Jungle,” this year’s event promised to be a spectacular showcase of creativity and style. Among the many talented individuals honored that evening, one shining star stood out — Ohavia Phillips, recipient of the prestigious André Leon Talley Fashion Icon Award.

The late André Leon Talley, a renowned figure in the fashion world, was a Durham native who attended Hillside High School and North Carolina Central University. In recognition of his immense contributions to the industry, the Fashion Icon Award has been renamed the André Leon Talley Award after his passing. This year, Ohavia Phillips, an exceptional talent in her own right, was chosen as the honoree, following in the footsteps of a true fashion legend.

Ohavia Phillips, known for her remarkable journey from homelessness to becoming a rising media maven, embodies resilience and determination. Graduating from college in 2015 with a major in mass media and a minor in journalism, Phillips embarked on a personal quest to find her voice while revolutionizing media for the next generation. Her unwavering commitment to positivity and inclusivity in journalism is reshaping the industry, inspiring aspiring minority journalists to become the representation it currently lacks.

One of Phillips’ remarkable achievements is the launch of her own talk show, aptly named “The Oh Show.” Serving as a beacon of positivity within a sea of negativity, the program highlights uplifting news stories from across the city of Charlotte. With her infectious enthusiasm and proud Afro-Latina heritage, Phillips brings a refreshing perspective to the airwaves, empowering viewers to embrace optimism and celebrate the goodness in their communities.

At the Carolina Fashion Awards, Phillips captivated the audience with her striking ensemble, designed by the talented Isiah Miller. The gown exuded an air of elegance and sophistication, adorned with exquisite animal prints that perfectly complemented the event’s jungle theme. As Ohavia gracefully walked the red carpet, her brown finger waves, artfully arranged to form the shape of an “O,” garnered attention and epitomized her unique style.

Among the snapshots from the event, there were captivating photos of Ohavia Phillips alongside her gown designer, Isiah Miller, capturing the seamless collaboration that brought her stunning ensemble to life. Another notable image featured Phillips alongside Ruby Durham, the reigning Miss North Carolina for America 2022, and former WCNC Charlotte TV News Anchor. These captivating photographs serve as a testament to Phillips’ rising prominence in the fashion and media industries.

As the recipient of the André Leon Talley Fashion Icon Award, Ohavia Phillips continues to blaze a trail for aspiring journalists and young individuals seeking to make a positive impact in their communities. Her unwavering determination and commitment to uplifting storytelling have solidified her position as a rising star in the media landscape. With her infectious positivity, Ohavia Phillips is shaping the future of journalism and inspiring others to embrace their unique voices, just as she has done on her remarkable journey from homelessness to success.

The 2023 Carolina Fashion Awards will be remembered not only for its dazzling display of fashion and style but also for honoring a true icon in the industry. Ohavia Phillips, the embodiment of resilience and determination, stands as a beacon of hope, proving that with passion and perseverance, dreams can be achieved. As the evening came to a close, Phillips’ presence and her commitment to positive news left a lasting impression, ensuring her influence will continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of those who were fortunate enough to witness her at the Carolina Fashion Awards.

Photo Credits: @43north77west & @evannamilea