With headliners like “It’s the Black Joy for Me” and Janet Jackson and Nicki Minaj as themes, the 2022 Essence Festival Black-Girl provided magic, passionate music and head-turning celebrity style. Minaj made her inaugural debut on the Essence stage on Friday, July 2, a plunging bra top designed with two midsection cutouts in a formfiting black velvet catsuit. Meanwhile, on the stage at the Louisiana Superdome, Jackson returns covered in sequins after a black jumpsuit. The speakers were just as stylish, with Laurie Harvey appearing on stage in a denim-on-denim look with a cropped jacket and blue jeans. She styled it with a silky purple headscarf and burgundy heels
Other performers include Ashanti, who charmed the crowd with the sheer insertion of a hot-pink, off-the-shoulder catsuit, followed by a blazer-style bodysuit, with the black lace brat underneath exposed. She also added a gold belt to her second look, as well as black gloves, big sunglasses and thigh-high boots – taking matrix-inspired fashion to cool heights. Lil ‘Kim illuminates the stage in a black torn bodysuit, complete with a designer belt. The iconic rapper has paired it with a stunning lilac cropped jacket, featuring beads and embroidery. She stuck to the ornate theme with black knee-high boots wrapped in colorful beads.
The four-day festival highlights Black Excellence with a career-enhancing panel and a busy schedule filled with musical and comedy performances, all while highlighting black-owned businesses. Other notable participants, speakers and performers included vice-presidents Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Lauren Hill, Marcy Martin and Janelle Mona.
Read on to see who was present at the popular cultural event and what they wore.