On February 5th, Harlem’s Fashion Row hosted an uptown intimate dinner and book launch to kick off celebrations of Black History Month and New York Fashion Week. The dinner–beautifully coined ‘Black Fashion History Dinner- Preserving Our Legacy in Fashion,’ centered around the cultural and historical influences of African-Americans in fashion. For the night, guests indulged in delicious drinks and a meal while listening in on a discussion of the future of fashion with famed author and journalist Teri Agins and fashion designer, Dapper Dan.
The collection included sultry evening gowns featuring everything from off-the-shoulder cuts to feathered hems to grandiose ruffles.
With an emphasis on black and white, splashes of red dripped throughout the collection.
Harlem’s Fashion Row, spearheaded by none other than Brandice Daniel, is an organization that highlights and celebrates minority and multicultural designers, predominately through events and partnership opportunities. And yet, now more than ever it seems the work of the organization is needed. While the numbers of models of color have continued to grow and increase statistically on the runways (last year being the highest at XYZ), the “success” of icons like Dapper Dan leaves questions on the visibility of black designers; arguably, how it took Gucci copying his design in the Resort 2018 show to put him in a main market light.
However, that’s the magic of events like HFR’s Black Fashion History Dinner, which boasted some other notable supporters and activists in the fight for Black visibility.
Spotted was supermodel Veronica Webb, Fashion News Director for Vogue.com, Chioma Nnandi, Style & Beauty Director for Essence, Julee Wilson, Founder of the Black Girl Coalition, Bethann Hardison, FashionBombDaily founder, Claire Sulmers, Founder of Dreamleapers, Harriette Cole, and activist and creator of Mad Free, Michaela Angela Davis. Just to name a few.
As Fashion Week and Black History Month continues on, we salute the amazing work of organizations like Harlem’s Fashion Row and trailblazers like Brandice Daniel for pushing the conversations forward. We must continue to advocate for visibility of our amazing models of color, hair stylists, and designers. We have come so far, but we undeniably have so much more to go.