Inside K.NGSLEY's Runway Debut in Front of the New York Skyline

Inside K.NGSLEY's Runway Debut in Front of the New York Skyline

Kingsley Gbadegesin has come a long way since launching K.NGSLEY online during the pandemic. Since taking off with his viral ribbed and cropped tanks popular with the queer club scene, the Nigerian-American designer expanded into jewelry, footwear and swim — all built through his lens of reclaiming the Black, queer and femme body.

With his Instagram savvy and growing digital following, a fashion show was the natural next step. On June 25, he presented "Collection 1 Act 2: Back to Cunt" at Brooklyn Bridge Park in front of the water and city skyline. His 20 looks riffed on his signature tank cutouts which he translated onto a full ready-to-wear offering including shorts, men's shirting and denim.

With this collection (shown in front of names like Julia Fox and Amy Schumer), he's introducing womenswear officially for the first time — his girls wore long slinky dresses with dramatic cutouts and slits, crisp cotton shirts and tops held through the thinnest and tiniest of straps.

K.NGSLEY's runway debut (four months in the making) was part of a group fashion show put together by MADE x PayPal, which also featured collections from Whensmokeclears and Shanel Campbell's Bed on Water. Each emerging designer was handpicked by Public School's Maxwell Osbourne and Dao-Yi Chow, who put on their first show with MADE 10 years ago.

Check out his exclusive photo diary of the big day in the gallery, below.

Picking up our runway shoe samples up from storage for the show with my assistant Noah

Photos courtesy of Kingsley