CULTURELIST: Top Black Designers Garner The Spotlight At Harlem’s Fashion Row [PICTURES]Published by Danica Daniel on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm.
Oh to be young, black and gifted. Designers of color often have a difficult time making a mark on the fashion landscape but on September 7, 2012, against all odds, four Black designers shared their gifts with the world.
Harlem’s Fashion Row was founded in May of 2007 when creator Brandice N. Henderson was inspired to put on a fashion show in Harlem after attending a small runway event in Brooklyn. While she had “no idea what it actually took to put a show,” Henderson used her connections making HFR’s initial showing a huge success. Henderson decided to focus on designers when planning began for the 2nd Annual Harlem’s Fashion Row presentation. “I began to talk to designers and hear their challenges,” Henderson says. “With no money, no connections to the industry, and no investors it’s tough to make it as a designer of color. The vision began to grow.”
In the years since, HFR has grown to become the place for Black designers to showcase their work and, more importantly, be seen in a world where they are often overlooked. This year, six Black designers debuted five collections at New York City’s Jazz Lincoln Center. The awe-inspired crowd included (photographed above) A-list actresses Vanessa Williams, Tasha Smith and Natalie Cole and other taste makers and fashion heavyweights.