Micaiah Carter Photographs Harlem’s Astor Row (From L.A.)

On him: Jacket, pants, beret, Louis Vuitton Men’s. Boots, Pierre Hardy. On her: Coat, pants, collar, belt, Louis Vuitton. Socks, Falke. Boots, Gabriela Hearst.

Micaiah Carter

Meteoric is the only possible term to describe Micaiah Carter’s rise. Just a few years ago, he was studying photography at Parsons—inspired by his father, who had taken pictures documenting his time in the Air Force in the 1970s.

two male models in suits

Suits, The Row.

Micaiah Carter

Carter’s aim was, as he told Aperture, to “create a different view-point of what Blackness is.” Since then, Carter’s work has been featured in Antwaun Sargent’s seminal study The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, and he’s taken portraits of luminaries like Serena Williams, Normani, and Naomi Osaka. He is currently working on his first-ever monograph, to be titled 95 48, after his and his father’s birth dates.

model sits on stoop in frilly skirt and black leather jacket

Jacket, dress, handbag, flats, Miu Miu. Hijab, Haute Hijab. Tights, Wolford.

Micaiah Carter

For ELLE’s shoot on Harlem’s landmarked Astor Row, Carter turned his remote lens (he shot via Zoom, from Los Angeles) on a group of models including sisters Munaiya (below in pink hijab) and Shamiyl Tumba Bilal (below in pink Fendi dress). Munaiya immigrated to New York from Tanzania when she was 10 years old. When she moved here, she says, she stopped wearing the traditional hijab at first. “The transition was too overwhelming, and the discrimination [against] Muslims was also too much for me to handle, as I was only a 10-year-old,” she recalls.“However, I put the hijab back on when I turned 13, because I was inspired by my mom.” Since then, she’s embraced her community, even leading an all-female running collective for Muslim women in her area. In coming to the States, Munaiya has also found a different kind of community: She finally met Shamiyl, who was raised by her father in New York, for the first time. Though the sisters come from two different worlds, they’ve found a common home in New York.

model in floral dress and pink hijab

Dress, tulle slip, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. Turtleneck, Isa Boulder. Hijab, Haute Hijab. Boots, Gabriela Hearst.

Micaiah Carter

model in pink hijab

Micaiah Carter

male and female model pose on porch in pastel and white clothes

On her: Top, skirt, belt, bag, Erdem. On him: Shirt, pants, Hermès.

Micaiah Carter

model in pale blue coat and black dress with black headdress

Coat, J.W. Anderson. Top, skirt, Gabriela Hearst. Boots, Alexander McQueen. Headpiece, Piers Atkinson.

Micaiah Carter

model in pale pink long sleeve dress

Dress, Fendi.

Micaiah Carter

model in belted black and pink patterned dress

Dress, belt, Alexander McQueen.

Micaiah Carter

two models with parasols stand next to black lives matter sign in harlem

Above left: Gown, jacket, Cecilie Bahnsen. Tights, Wolford. Flats, Miu Miu. Vintage parasols, New York Vintage. Right: Dress, slides, Prada.

Micaiah Carter

Hair by Nigella Miller. Makeup by Frank B. at The Wall Group. Manicure by Ada Yeung for Chanel. Casting by Ricky Michiels. Models: Munaiya Bilal at Ricky Michiels Management, Shamiyl Tumba Bilal and Baba Diop at Red Model Management, Erin Eliopulos at Next Management, Serigne Lam at Muse, and Tami Williams at The Society. Produced by Lynda Goldstein at Pix Producers.

This article appears in the November 2020 issue of ELLE.

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