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Harlem's Fashion Row - Runway - September 2018 - New York Fashion Week

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The COVID-19 crisis has tested the stability of millions of black owned businesses. Thanks to organizations like Harlem Fashion Row, designers of color are able to stay afloat despite the global pandemic.

Icon360 is a new non-profit initiative launched by Harlem Fashion Row. This grant will provide, “forgivable relief to designers of color who are pivoting their businesses during this pandemic and need funding to scale.”

This is major. We’ve seen the Cherie app raise money for beauty businesses and influencers in California. Now we have Harlem Fashion Row providing financial support via a fundraiser to keep money circulating during these trying times. “I’ll be honest, starting a fund for designers of color was definitely on my vision board for the new decade, but I’d be lying if I told you I saw it happening anytime before 2028. Life is really funny that way,” said Brandice Daniel, the founder of HFR.

The virtual fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 30th and will feature a long list of notable speakers like Brittany Hampton, Renee Bluitt, Kela Walker, Alex Wolf, and many more. 100% of the money raised will go to the ICON360 initiative, which will provide the grant money to eligible candidates.

This is an example of how we uplift each other during a crisis. The government’s idea of supporting small businesses has failed us, so it’s up to those within our community in a position to help, to do what they can.“During this crisis I thought it was critical to do everything in our power to support designers of color. I’m incredibly inspired by the resilience of designers who are making bold pivots in their business. As a fashion community we have an incredible opportunity to help scale the businesses of designers who are thriving even in the middle of a pandemic,” Brandice said.

If you’re a designer of color and would like to apply for the grant, you can fill out an application. The first round of applications will close on June 15th. After that, they will  be accepted on a rolling basis.


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