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Essence’s Street Style Block Party Brings Out Brooklyn’s Cool Kids

Although any indication of a breeze was MIA on a painfully warm September 10 in Dumbo, Brooklyn, stand-out style and individuality was on prominent display.

The 2016 Essence Street Style Block Party was a celebration of personal style, as edgy, high-fashion looks could be seen under Dumbo’s archway all afternoon. Although the magazine caters to women of color, a collection of people from all walks of life and all skin tones could join in on the fun.

READ: Review: Essence Festival’s Best Performance Moments Were Its Nostalgic Ones

“There are so many classic fall looks that I’ve seen so far today and this week since it’s Fashion Week,” says Essence’s Beauty Editor Nykia Spradley of the third annual event. “This is the perfect block party day.”

As for the decision to hold the event year after year on Brooklyn’s cobblestone streets in the area under the Brooklyn Bridge, Spradley says that Dumbo’s vibes are what street style is all about.

“Brooklyn is where the cool kids are!” she chuckles. “I think Brooklyn is a departure of the craziness and hecticness of Manhattan, and it’s the perfect setting.”

READ: Review: 7 Performances That Made Essence Festival 2015 Lit

Not only did the event see thousands of attendees looking to be noticed by their clothing, but activities like a hair refreshing station and complimentary massages from Shea Moisture, local clothing and jewelry vendors and kid-friendly entertainment kept block party goers occupied all afternoon.

There was also no shortage of celebrity appearances. Ayo Jay performed at the end of the day, Power’s Naturi Naughton hosted the highly-anticipated runway show and Kelly Rowland was the recipient of the “Closet Crush” award for her desirable duds.

“Kelly is definitely somebody unexpected on the red carpet,” says Spradley on the style icon’s red carpet regalia. “She always hits the nail on the head and she has so many looks.”

Check out the gallery above to see some of the sights and styles from this year’s event.

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