Texture on the Runway, an annual event put on by textured-hair digital platform NaturallyCurly, looks to hit Atlanta Thursday, March 29 at Terminus 330. The runway show will be held in partnership with hair care brand Smooth ‘N Shine, to celebrate the relaunch of its Straight and Curl Lines, which has been reformulated to include natural ingredients, such as shea butter, camellia, black seed and coconut oils. The brand is also unveiling new messaging, “Love it every day, every way,” and felt that the platform was the perfect opportunity for the relaunch due to the synergy between the two brand’s missions.

“Fortunately, I had the privilege of attending last year’s Texture on the Runway event and it was truly inspiring for me, both on a personal and professional level,” said Sina Hilbert, Associate Brand Manager for Smooth ‘N Shine. “It spoke volumes of how much passion and emotion is in hair, especially multicultural hair. The underpinning of this relaunch was rooted in the natural hair movement and this sentiment of challenging ‘traditional’ beauty standards. This partnership seemed natural as we are both working to help multicultural women embrace their hair while instilling a strong sense of pride and confidence in each woman.”

Launched in September 1998, NaturallyCurly was one the first digital platforms devoted to curly hair, and created its Texture on the Runway franchise in 2012 in New York City, as a result of co-founder Michelle Breyer’s frustration of fashion week’s lack of inclusivity.

“The models – and their hairstyles – all looked the same from show to show,” said Michelle. “It was white models with straight hair in a ponytail, straight hair in a bun, straight-hair parted down the middle. The models didn’t reflect the beautiful diversity that we see in our community and in society.”

Since its debut, Texture on the Runway has become one of the most anticipated events in the natural hair community. The participating curly hair brands are encouraged to take their interpretations of texture down the runway, from intricate protective styles like braids and twists, to cascading curls or big luscious afros. Not only does the show feature hair designs and fashion, but it has gained a reputation for innovative performances, as well. Last year, Cantu’s presentation featured the Syncopated Ladies Female Tap Dance Band; Crème of Nature integrated the Hiplet Ballerinas into their presentation; and, Carol’s Daughter tapped singer Renée Neufville of Zhané for a performance of the popular 90s song “Groove Thang.”

After the Atlanta event, which will feature celebrity stylist Larry Sims, fashion designer Marissa Wilson and supermodel Nikia Phoenix, NaturallyCurly plans to host its fourth New York City show on Sept. 6 at Gotham Hall, marking the brand’s 20th anniversary. Sally Beauty will return as the event’s retail sponsor.

“At Sally Beauty we believe the best hair type is your hair type, and we are committed to providing a diverse assortment of products for our customers,” said Linda Voracek, Group Vice President of Merchandising for Sally Beauty. “Texture on the Runway was the perfect platform to help tell our story.”