Kyemah McEntyre, Teen Who Designed Her Own Prom Dress, Was the Brains Behind the Best BET Awards Red Carpet Gown

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Left, Naturi Naughton in the dress Kyemah McEntyre designed for her. Photo: Getty Images; Right, McEntyre in her prom dress. Photo: @KyetheCreator/Instagram

Remember Kyemah McEntyre? She’s the high school student who designed her own prom dress and subsequently captured the Internet’s attention with her fierceness. And while you might not know her name now, it’ll surely be a household one in no time at all. Naturi Naughton asked the teenager to make a similar creation to wear on the BET Awards red carpet Sunday. 

Naughton, a former member of the girl band 3LW, went for a Nubian Queen look in an trumpet flare dress with tribal patterns. The tangerine orange color popped against her skin and accented with red, yellow, and green throughout the bodice’s ethic decorations. The actress, who’s currently on the show Power, kept her accessories simple with just a pair of circular gold earrings to let the powerful piece speak for itself. The 18-year-old designed it, while the same seamstress who made McEntyre’s dress, Markell, brought the sketch to life. 

The pair became connected through their shared hometown, East Orange, New Jersey. “Naturi, you continue to inspire people like me, especially in your hometown,” McEntyre shared on Instagram alongside a photo of Naughton wearing the gown. “Thanks for helping me build my foundation and giving back to the community. Naturi Naughton YOU ARE THE BEST! Thank you again for giving me the chance to continue to break the internet!” 

McEntyre originally shot to fame for her similar-looking dress. Hers, instead was red with darker colors in the familiar pattern. The cut was also different, with long sleeves and big bell skirt. “This is for always being labeled as, “ugly” or “angry”. Thank God, stereotypes are just opinions,” she captioned an image of herself wearing the design. The dress turned out to be such a success, she was crowned prom queen. “The most creative people are the ones who step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the world around them. My abilities as an artist allows me to experience the benefits that versatility fosters,” she added. “Being exposed to all kinds of people and cultures is the muse for my artwork. I am an aspiring artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world.” 

In the fall, McEntyre will start studying at Parson’s The New School for Design (you can help her with tuition at gofundme.com) and before even beginning her freshman year, she’s accomplished something most graduates only dream of. This girl’s going places. 

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