On Sunday, Harlem Fashion Row kicked off NYFW with its 13th annual Style Awards and Fashion Event, produced entirely online. The theme centered around "Black is the New Black", more so speaking to the fact that black creativity (in all its forms) has always been here. The event debuted new collections from emerging designers, along with honoring fashion gatekeepers like Teen Vogue's Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Pyer Moss's Kerby Jean-Raymond.
"This year's theme is 'Black is the new Black', because we haven't just arrived here," says CEO and founder Brandice Daniel.
Brandice Daniels, one of the most powerful black women in fashion, curated a much-need virtual experience that paid homage to, and brought more awareness to, black creativity. Founded over 13 years ago, Harlem Fashion Row has been a financial and professional resource for multicultural designers to create and promote their work. The organization was the first to create a fund for BIPOC creators in the midst of the pandemic. Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour showed up at Sunday's event to acknowledge the $1 million grant from the CFDA's A Common Thread initiative.
The big winners of the night were British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, lifestyle architect Misa Hylton, and designer Dapper Dan. Hylton also took time to honor Daniels, saying it's "special to have a Black woman leading this movement."
Last but not least came the HFR fashion show, an annual event that featured the worlds of Kimberly Goldson, Richfresh, and Kristian Loren. Each designer debuted their fall 2020 collection, all pre-filmed in LA over the last two months, and available to buy on their websites now.
While Loren's collection was 70's-inspired and honored Black female stars like Pam Grier, Goldson's inspiration came from the varied textures of Black women's hair. Patrick Henry of Richfresh, best known for his bespoke suiting, showcased chic tracksuits and kimono-style robes.
Harlem Fashion Row's 13 annual event was a stark reminder of how imperative black creativity is and how much potential we have when given the right opportunities.
Featured image by @Itenjifilms/Kimberly Goldson