Fashion Takes Over the Big Apple  

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

New Yorkers stepped out Thursday night in an array of fierce, odd, unique and impressive outfits during the fourth annual Fashion's Night Out, a global event celebrating style. Amid an atmosphere that bore more resemblance to Mardi Gras than any ordinary night in Manhattan, fashion buffs, clothes experts and style mavens braved the raucous streets of SoHo dressed to impress. Here are some of The Root's favorite spottings from the night's fashionable lot.

Lillian Charles, 25  

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What she's wearing: French Connection dress and Aldo purse.

On her style philosophy and inspiration: "[I like to wear] something that [is] simple, yet still [has] a little jazz — a little flair to it. Something fun but not too much fun, because I'm a very simple person. My mom was this wonderfully dressed woman back in the day, and I used to love looking at photos of her from when she lived in Trinidad. She's [my inspiration]."

Mariana Sheppard, 27 

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What she's wearing: Topshop dress.

On her use of color: "I'm getting into color more now; fuchsia [or] purple is, like, my favorite color now. I'm entering this new part of my life where I'm more free with myself and my choices in clothing — and just life in general. I'm more fearless now."

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On her style inspiration: "I do a lot of shopping in thrift stores. I love Tracee Ellis-Ross. She's a huge inspiration for me. For the most part I try to style myself, try not to follow trends and do what feels comfortable."

Chardae Adams

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What she's wearing: Dress bought at a boutique in Houston, shoes bought at Lord & Taylor.

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On mixing and matching different elements: "I like bright colors and textiles. I'm an interior designer, so I like to mix prints and bright colors. I really like Lili Diallo — she's a lifestyle stylist in Brooklyn. She does a lot of things, like mixing African prints and neutral colors."

Tania Balan-Gaubert  

Stacy-Ann Ellis/ The Root

What she's wearing: Zara blazer and shirt, Levi's pants, shoes from Urban Outfitters.

On her style philosophy: "I tend to go for solid colors, and I spice it up with accessories. Since I have short hair, I feel like I already attract attention, so I kind of tone it down with the clothing."

On her style inspiration: "Living in New York, I think being on the subway is probably one of the biggest inspirations because you see people wearing [cool] stuff, and you kind of keep an eye out for it [when shopping]."

Gabbie Giftsz, 21, Rapper  

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What she's wearing: Thrift shop Camo jumpsuit and cheetah-print shoes by unknown designer.

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On making a style statement: "I felt fierce today. I felt like I'm ready to tackle anything. So I needed my outfit to say that I'm ready to fight for fashion today."

On her style inspiration: "Honestly, I look to my peers. I look to the whole hipster crowd, actually, for some of my inspiration. And I love Betsey Johnson — tacky and gaudy; that's my style."

Duralle Cromwell  

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

What he's wearing: Zara shirts and pants and Vans shoes.

On his style philosophy: "[Fashion] is usually just the mood I'm in. Whenever I wake up, I usually just grab what I'm feeling. I don't stray away from anything. If it looks good, I wear it."

Tyrone Bennett  

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

What he's wearing: Polo linen shirt, Topman calf-high pants and Sperry's Top-Sider boat shoes.

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On his style inspiration: "I pull from different magazines, like GQ. Our style changes all the time — and I like what I like … and I really don't want to do all of that trendy stuff."

Chris Morris, 23

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

What he's wearing: H&M pants, Jordan VIs, Maison Martin Margiela shirt, Michael Kors watch, "lavy" cap (his own brand).

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On his style philosophy: "I just kind of try to be different. I'm from Philadelphia, and Philly's a kind of ‘copy-cat' city, so I just try to stay one step ahead. [I] try to keep it interesting."

On making a style statement: "[Fashion] is everything. Because it's 24-7-365 — you got to kill sh—. No matter what you're doing. Whether you're going to Fashion's Night Out or you're going to the grocery store, you got to kill it."

William Fresco-Mills, 22

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

What he's wearing: H&M waxed pants, vintage baroque Versace silk shirt, Unif loafers, "lavy" cap (his own brand).

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On his style philosophy: "I just do what I feel comfortable with. When we go out, we dress to impress, no matter what. It's just what we do — and we have fun doing it."

Gelisa Geionkno, 23  

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

What she's wearing: Self-designed pants, a "screwboy" tee and Roatan fanny pack.

On her style philosophy: "I take a lot of scraps from old clothing. I take what I can use and then I donate the rest. I do a lot of vintage shopping. [Fashion is] expression — I just want to see who you are by what you've got on."

Nneka Dneorji, 22  

Stacy-Ann Ellis/The Root

What's she wearing: Her father's '90s vintage baroque Versace silk shirt and Giuseppe Zanotti boots.

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On her style philosophy: "I'm very eclectic — I keep it funky. I also go for — I love Tom Ford. I'm waiting for his women's-wear line. It's not cliché, and I love it."

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