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Move Over, Met Gala: Here Are All the Best Looks from The People’s Ball at BK Public Library

On the eve of the Met Gala, Brooklynites show off their boldest styles and celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library to celebrate the third annual People’s Ball on the eve of the Met Gala. 

A fashion-forward ode to inclusivity, the People’s Ball invites New Yorkers to express their individuality and flaunt their unique style as they walk a public runway.

The event aims to provide a platform for fashion innovators to celebrate individual expression and creative freedom. 

“We are thrilled to once again welcome people from all walks of life to the iconic Central Library to celebrate creative freedom and provide every New Yorker with the opportunity to have the gala experience,” said László Jakab Orsós, vice president of arts and culture at BPL. 

The event was held on April 29, and was free and open to all. 

“Each year, the People’s Ball is a reminder that BPL is much more than just books — it’s a center for culture, ideas, exploration, individual expression and, most importantly, joy,” Orsós said. 

The festivities were hosted by actress Delissa Reynolds from "WU-TANG: An American Saga" and cultural advocate Rob Fields. The event featured a public catwalk for attendees and live performances, including singer Cunio and DJ sets by Rimarkable.

This year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the ball also enlisted fashion curator Souleo and visual artist Mickalene Thomas to honor Five People’s Heroes whose work has changed the culture. The People’s Heroes included:

  • Dapper Dan, Harlem couturier and pioneer of high-end streetwear
  • April Walker, fashion icon and first woman with an urban fashion brand, Walker Wear
  • Cindy Campbell, the first lady of hip-hop and first hip-hop promoter
  • Aura Mejia, tenant organizing and advocacy manager with Neighbors Helping Neighbors
  • Asmeret Berhe-Lumax, founder of One Love Community Fridge

The People’s Ball extends BPL’s mission to provide access to educational, economic, and cultural enrichment opportunities of the highest quality to people from every corner of Brooklyn and beyond.

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