Harlem’s Fashion Row, commonly referred to as HFR, kicked off New York Fashion Week with its 8th annual award and fashion show held on September 10 at Chelsea Piers. In true HFR fashion, the venue was filled with beautiful, fashionable and chic people of color.
Unlike many of the runways and attendee lists, HFR is different. It’s for us, by us. The influential arts and entertainment organization honored Tracee Ellis Ross (ICON 360 Award), Macy’s Shawn R. Outler (Vanguard Award), InStyle’s Kahlana Barfield (Editor of the Year Award), Bravo’s Fashion Queens star Bevy Smith (Trailblazer Award), Misa Hylton & Groovey Lew (Maverick Award), Azede Jean-Pierre (Designer of the Year Award) and Rachel Johnson (Stylist of the Year Award). HFR guests got a chance to experience the spring 2016 collections from London-based designer, M-Sew, Fashion Deli and Fe Noel.
Founded by Brandice Daniel, HFR was designed to support up-and-coming designers of color. It’s no secret that financing an entire line, let along sustaining it, is expensive. For multicultural designers, the financial component is even more of a disadvantage. Hence, Daniel’s started on a journey eight years ago to change that.
Tai Beauchamp, host of TLC’s Dare to Ware, echoed this sentiment. “Today we have fewer designers than we did in the 70s,” said Beauchamp to NBC Blk. “What it really boils down to is financing and funding. The reality is that these designers have the talent and the will and the desire, but often times there aren’t any resources to do it.”
HFR guests included entertainers like Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Lee Ralph, as well as cultural icons Emil Wilbekin and Michaela Angela Davis.
For the play by play, checkout the event hashtag: #HFRExperience .