It was a fashion takeover this past weekend in Harlem, as fashionistas of color flocked to the historic neighborhood to celebrate style and entrepreneurship.
The 7th annual Harlem’s Fashion Row presented a stunning fashion show and honored luminaries in fashion and media during the Style Awards. Honorees included supermodel Beverly Johnson, who received the 360 Icon Award, former ESSENCE magazine editor-at-large Emil Wilbekin (Maverick Award) and Journalist of the Year Award recipient Julee Wilson of The Huffington Post.
During the fashion show, spectators got a up close and personal look at some of the latest styles by designers of color, including Byron Lars (Designer of the Year), Harlem Haberdashery, K. Milele by Kianga “Kiki Kitty” Peterson and Josh & Nicol from London. Rapper Fat Joe showed off his modeling skills, while celebs like Bevy Smith, Miss Lawrence, Jacque Reid and Beyonce’s stylist, Ty Hunter, sat among the audience.
Harlem’s Fashion Row was founded in 2007 by Brandice Henderson Daniel, who sought to highlight African-American designers who would not normally get the recognition they deserve in more mainstream spaces. Since then the annual fashion show has swept the industry and has become a hotspot for discovering new and upcoming designers.
This year’s event was sponsored by Pandora, Prudential and Design Essentials.
Celebrating her 40-year anniversary as the first Black model to grace the cover of Vogue Magazine in 1974, Johnson used her speech to speak to the essence of Harlem’s Fashion Row and why such an event remains a fixture in the industry.
"[There remains a] need for more diversity in fashion. Even though we have made great strides, we still need to see more color on the runway,” she said.
(Photo: Bennett Raglin/LuxeLife Media Inc.)