All photo via: Dayna Branch
If anybody made a statement at White Station High School's prom, it was 17-year-old Skyler Branch. The Memphis, Tennessee student decided to honor influential Black women with a custom prom dress covered in Black girl magic. It was initially inspired by the passing of her paternal great-grandmother (whom she was close to), but then expanded into a full tribute to all the Black women that have "made a difference" in her life.
Skyler's mother Dayna Branch explained to Yahoo! Style, "She said, 'Mom, there’s been so many extraordinary African American women who have done so much for me. I want to show them some respect so that they know that not just the older adults but the younger adults appreciate who paved the way."
With the help of seamstress Shannon Pierce, Skyler's vision was brought to life. In addition to the women in her family, the dress included the face of Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Taraji P. Henson.
“I called Shannon up and told her what concepts Skyler wanted, and what we wanted the dress to look like,” Dayna shared. "We sat down with her, we went over the print and where we wanted everyone to be. She has her great-great grandmothers on there, she has her great grandmothers on there, as well as her grandmothers. She has all of her aunts from Memphis to Houston. Everybody’s on there."
Skyler, who plans to major in pre-vet studies, also made sure to include, Dr. Alfreda J. Webb, the first African American woman veterinarian in the United States.
"I decided I wanted to take all the Black queens that made a difference in my life to prom with me," Skyler wrote on Instagram. "I think I accomplished just that."