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ATLANTA, Ga. – Miguel Wilson’s Annual ATL Fashion & Polo Classic 2022 Review can be summed up in one word – golden. It was Black Wall Street 2.0, an authentic reemergence in spirit of what the Greenwood District once was over 100 years ago – a fashion experience like no other.

At a premium equestrian and fashion event outside of Atlanta, Black attendees arrived in Benzes, Porsches, Landrovers, Maseratis, and Bentleys – there were plenty of those. Some guests even arrived by helicopter – yes, an actual helicopter. Those arriving by air were driven from the copter pad to the clubhouse in Bentleys. It was fancy. 

ATL Fashion and Polo Classic
Photo by Phil Jackson | 2022 ATL Fashion & Polo Classic

Soon after arrival, all would become spectators of Black people riding horseback for sport in a polo match. 

The ATL Fashion & Polo Classic was so well produced it didn’t even seem real, considering our ancestors derived from sweaty brows and overworked bodies, followed by Emancipation, then imposed with Black Codes, Jim Crow, only followed by a red summer. 

Yet and still, on that particular Sunday afternoon, Black folks became their ancestors’ living and breathing greatest dreams come true. This dream was actualized and not deferred by hand crafted fedoras by a Black designer, glitz, glamour, and of course, the Miguel Wilson Collection.

Miguel Wilson's 6th Annual ATL Fashion & Polo Classic Review
Photo by Paul Biagui of the Miguel Wilson Collection

At the Horse Mansion, Black vendors of every type, jewelers, clothing designers, breweries, fragrance makers, cigar shop owners, and more, all Black, aligned the outer walls of the venue. 

Subsequently, a fashion show with new designers and Atlanta’s fashion royalty, Lisa Nicole and Miguel Wilson as the premium designer, took place amid a sea of hundreds of melanated joyful faces. 

And if you’re wondering if the helicopter company was Black-owned. The answer is yes. As if Simone Berry, a Black American airline owner who lived in the Greenwood District during the early 20th Century, was reincarnated by a Black-owned copter company with Black clients. 

The entire event was Wakanda, but without futurism. Ironically, the fight scene in Black Panther was filmed on the very hills where the ATL Fashion & Polo Classic took place this year. 

But who is behind one of Atlanta’s premium Black Excellent events?

Miguel Wilson's 6th Annual ATL Fashion & Polo Classic Review
Miguel Wilson | Photo by Walil Archer, Friday, October 7, 2022

Miguel Wilson – The Man Behind ATL Fashion & Polo Classic

Originally from Chocolate City, USA, Miguel Wilson was born and raised in Northwest Washington, D.C., until high school when his parents moved their family to Maryland for a “better life.” But before moving to the suburbs, Wilson recalls going to a camp as a kid that would one day lead him to start the Classic.

“At the camp I went to, there were horses. It was my first exposure to them. And I immediately fell in love with them,” Wilson explained. “I was around eight or nine years old at that time. When I got home, all I could do was talk about horses.”

Miguel Wilson's 6th Annual ATL Fashion & Polo Classic Review
Photo by Paul Biagui | Sunday, October 9, 2022 at Horse Mansion polo field

That camp visit wouldn’t become a one-off for young Miguel Wilson because his grandparents saw how fascinated he was by the majestic animals. His grandmother paid for him to take riding lessons. 

“On the weekends, my great-grandfather would pick me up and take me out to Maryland for my riding lessons. My riding lessons would turn into me working at the barns to help pay for more lessons,” he said. 

Wilson shared that when he wasn’t at the stables and inner-city D.C., his obsession took him to his school and community’s library, where he would spend countless hours reading about horses. 

“I wasn’t interested in doing other things. So I didn’t get into trouble; whereas kids who didn’t have the access and exposure were,” Wilson explained.

Knowing that access and exposure are what led Miguel Wilson to the success he has today, he’s now paying it forward with Ride to the Olympics, a charitable foundation that exposes inner-city youth to the equestrian world, and the ATL Fashion & Polo Classic serves as a charitable fundraiser for the foundation. Ride to the Olympics even helped Morehouse’s Polo Team receive certification.

Wilson said he could never have imagined that his life would become what it is today.

ATL Fashion and Polo Classic
Photo by Paul Biagui at ATL Fashion & Polo Classic, Sunday, October 9, 2022

“I had no idea what God had in store for me. But now, I always try to give back and help. Through the Polo Classic, we’ve not only been able to help students but new fashion designers. This is one of those catapulting moments to be on a runway stage with this audience. It’s just amazing.”

From the streets of northwest Washington DC to the horse stables of Maryland, trying a non-traditional sport would lead Miguel Wilson to become an accomplished celebrity fashion designer turned philanthropist who hopes to see all boats rise

Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Wall Street Times and a descendant of two families that survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Although his publication’s store and newsroom...