Seventeen-year-old Milan Bolden-Morris went viral recently after she used her prom dress to make a moving tribute to black men, women, and children lost to racism and police brutality.
The dress featured images of 15 black victims of racism or police violence—including Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice. It was designed by family friend and fashion artist Terrence Torrence.
“If I could put everybody on there, I’d probably still be adding people on, it’s sad to say,” Torrence told BuzzFeed News.
Torrence said that he got the idea for a dress inspired by Black Lives Matter last year.
“With all the killings that was going on, it just hit me one day: you should put that into a dress,” he told CNN. “I wanted to paint a picture and put a story out there through my fashion, and I wanted to show we could spread out message with not just posters and fliers but also with garments.”
Initially, Bolden-Morris was going to wear a more traditional red dress with sequins, she told BuzzFeed. But after Torrence told her and her mother about his idea for a tribute to lives lost in police-involved shootings, she knew she had to wear his dress.
“Yes I’m black. Yes I’m 17. Yes GOD is using me to convey a message that’s bigger than me,” Bolden-Morris captioned a photo of her wearing the dress on Instagram.
Snoop Dogg shared an image of Bolden-Morris wearing the dress on Instagram. While some people tweeted harsh criticisms at Bolden-Morris, many others praised her for using her prom to make such a powerful statement.