On Monday, September 13, Sheryl Lee Ralph won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
She debuted popular handbag designer Brandon Blackwood's first gown to the ceremony.
During her acceptance speech, Ralph sang a verse from jazz singer Diane Reeves' song "Endangered Species."
Sheryl Lee Ralph attended the 74th Emmy Awards wearing the first gown designed by Jamaican handbag designer Brandon Blackwood.
Ralph told ESSENCE that Blackwood saved her night with the black sleeveless velvet number.
"Brandon Blackwood —you know Brandon for the bag — came to my rescue," she said to ESSENCE in an interview on the red carpet.
Ralph took home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in "Abbott Elementary." She is the first Black woman to win that award since was Jackée Harry won for "227" in 1987. Her acceptance speech quickly went viral after she sang a verse from jazz singer Diane Reeves' 1993 song "Endangered Species."
Ralph accessorized the gown with a mini Kendrick trunk bag covered in sun mini crystals, also designed by Blackwood. It matched the coral shade of the gown's interior, which was visible through its deep slit.
Blackwood's brand posted its excitement about the exposure on Instagram. "We made our first gown ever for an absolute ICON! Thank you @thesherylleeralph for allowing my team and I to create this dress for you! A BB gown and bag on the Emmy Carpet #Major," the brand's account wrote in the comments of a picture of Ralph on the carpet.
Born in Brooklyn, the designer of Jamaican and Chinese descent spent his childhood between New York and Tokyo. Blackwood launched his first line of handbags in 2015 while he was still in his early 20s.
In 2020, as a way to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Blackwood launced a mini tote that read "END SYSTEMIC RACISM." He donated the profits from the sale of the bag to local nonprofits. The ESR tote, as it quickly became known, became an internet "it bag." His star power continued to grow with his ever-popular Kendrick trunks and Kuei bags.
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