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A wise woman once said, “Every year, the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future. This is known as Fashion Week…” This season, New York Fashion Week took on a different shape as it transitioned to its new Chelsea campus in the towering Starett Lehigh Building.


Nia Thomas at NYWF 2024Designer Nia ThomasCourtesy

More importantly, a number of Black designers like House of Aama and Sergio Hudson took center stage, unveiling their fall/winter collections to a global audience. These talented individuals showcased a range of innovative and inspiring designs, celebrating Black culture and creativity. From bold prints and vibrant colors to intricate details and thoughtful silhouettes, their pieces reflected a unique blend of artistry and empowerment.

\u200bSilver & Riley Lola Banjo

Silver & Riley Lola Banjo

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Emerging designers also made their mark on and off the runways, showcasing their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. With a focus on sustainability and ethical fashion, these designers offered a glimpse into the future of Black design. From mommy-daughter duo Maui x Lolita challenging the concept of the modern woman to the bevy of Black designers on display at the Black in Fashion Council showrooms, it was a joy to see us taking up space.

\u200bTwins and designer duo BruceGlen NYFW 2024

Twins and designer duo BruceGlen

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Every September, fashion lovers from all over the world descend on New York City to take in all the fashions from the runways to the streets. The city is transformed into a fashion mecca, with shows, parties, and events taking place all over town. Fashionistas can see the latest trends from top designers, and street-style photographers capture the best looks from the city's most stylish residents and transplants. It's a week of non-stop fashion, and it's a must-see for any fashion lover.

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For over a decade, Harlem’s Fashion Row has served as a safe space for creatives of color to shine bright without fear of being dimmed. This week, HFR celebrated its 16th year of providing business solutions to retailers committed to equity for Black and Latin-X design talent. This beacon has served as a bridge between retailers and designers of color through collaborations, experiential marketing, pipeline programs, and brand strategy.

Set against the backdrop of the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, the night was nothing short of amazing as a Black hip-hop orchestra serenaded the crowd with legendary tunes from “Big Poppa” to “Moment 4 Life.” It was pure magic as the scene was set to begin the Style Awards.

Tim Weatherspoon surprised his wife, Kelly Rowland, with a heartfelt speech as he presented her with the Fashion Icon of the Year Award. “I couldn’t pass up this moment to tell you that you’ve always been my icon,” the talent manager said. He went on to share that he scoured social media to pull some compliments from the toughest of critics. Weatherspoon said, “My assumption is that these are good ‘Kelly eats the girls every time. Fire emoji, fire emoji, fire emoji.’’’

As the Destiny’s Child alum accepted her award, she proclaimed her love for “that Black man.” Rowland was full of joy and adoration as she accepted the award, reminiscing on the days when she was a little girl from Texas in a group of country girls where stylists were not jumping at the opportunity to dress them. “Tina took matters into her own hands, and she dressed us. We learned what it felt like to start a trend. I remember what it felt like — the pride in it. I also know that ‘we’ start the trends and ‘we’ make what’s cool, cool. Fashion should be grateful for us.”

L-R: Tamron Hall, Stella Jean, and Brandice Daniel

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Then, the incomparable styling duo, Wayman and Micah, took to the stage to receive the Stylist of The Year Award. These two best friends were honored for their creative styling on the likes of Regina King, Tessa Thompson, Taraji P. Henson, Jodie Turner, and so many more. The partners in style applauded HFR’s founder, Brandice Daniel, for creating a table for us. “The table is marble and custom,” Micah exclaimed.

The fashion heavy hitters were absolutely in the building. Gabriela Karefa-Johnson, a New York-based stylist and VOGUE Global Contributing Fashion Editor-at-Large renowned for her eye for emerging designers and her narrative-driven approach to diversifying representation in fashion, accepted the Editor of the Year Award.

Tamron Hall sang the praises of the Designer of the Year recipient, Stella Jean, for being a visionary who not only creates whimsical pieces but takes a stand for what she believes in. “During this pivotal moment, one designer made a courageous and impactful decision. Stella Jean, an Italian-Haitian fashion visionary, took a stand in a bold and powerful move. Stella Jean pledged to return to the runway only when she would no longer be the sole Black designer on the Milan schedule.”

Johnny Nunez, the culture’s #1 photographer, reminded us of the importance of perseverance in the face of rejection while accepting the Photographer of the Year award. Just before his speech, Valeisha Butterfield, Google's Vice President of Partnerships & Engagement, gave Nunez his flowers for always making her feel seen and appreciated, which gave her the determination to be herself and take up space.

A$AP Rocky

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A$AP Rocky lit up the historic Apollo stage with his undeniable charm and intrinsic style. Dressed in a cardigan, Louis Vuitton tie, and a voluminous kilt while his head was adorned with embellished hair clips, he was walking proof that he’s a fashion, music, and culture innovator just like the name of the award he was receiving, the Virgil Abloh Award. For this Harlem native, it was a full circle moment as Abloh helped the rapper with his start in the industry years ago when he helped design his first album cover.

Designers Megan Renee, Nicole Benefiled Portfolio, and A. Potts showcased their transformational designs, which varied in style, texture, and color. Megan Renee's designs were inspired by unapologetic femininity. Nicole Benefiled Portfolio's designs were more geometric and modern, with a focus on clean lines and bright colors. A. Potts' designs were eclectic and playful, with a focus on mixed patterns and bold colors. All three designers created unique and eye-catching pieces that turned heads.

The show concluded with a beautiful tribute to hip-hop by the legendary Doug E. Fresh. The entire show was a celebration of all that is good about fashion, and it was a reminder of why the culture continues to inspire and influence people all over the world. HFR’s New York Fashion Week kickoff was a love letter to the culture, and it was delivered with nothing but style, care, and love.

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Meet Tomi and Asmeret, two extraordinary women who have set out on a mission to celebrate and uplift Black beauty in all its vastness and diversity. Tomi has had a successful career in the fashion, beauty, and tech industries, currently leading inclusive technology communications at Pinterest. On the other hand, Asmeret boasts an extensive background in luxury fashion production and is now a passionate social activist, fighting food injustice through the One Love Community Fridge.

Their paths crossed through Asmeret's husband, the remarkable Stanley Lumax, who played a role in connecting these like-minded souls. They soon discovered their shared passion for their culture and a desire to build a strong community that pays it forward for future generations.

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Before I knew it, I was busting it wide open.

Okay, wait… maybe I should start from the beginning.

In 2007, I met the love of my life. I was convinced that he was my person and that I had no choice but to go through heaven and hell to make this love work. He was my safe place. He knew everything about me. He was it for me. At least, that's what I thought.

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This February marks my 9th year attending New York Fashion Week. In the beginning, I was challenged with immense imposter syndrome as I felt I wasn’t worthy of being in certain fashion spaces. But as I’ve learned more about myself and how showing up authentically is my superpower, I have managed to find my stride and get in my bag. Truth be told, NYFW is not for the faint of heart because it calls for you to bring it each and every season which can be exciting and overwhelming. As a fashion lover, I challenge myself to raise the bar every time because it’s such a fascinating art. This go-round, I wanted to center all of my looks around my outerwear since wintertime in New York City is no joke.

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