by John Russel Jones

Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) got a head start on New York Fashion Week with its 15th Anniversary Fashion Show and Awards ceremony, “Future’s Past,”held outside of the General Grant National Memorial on West 122nd Street and Riverside Drive in New York City last week. The rainy evening didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd that gathered to celebrate the milestone as well as the organization’s new partnership with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH).

ABOVE: Brandice Daniel, Issa Rae, Booth Moore, and Corey Smith.

Designer Johnathan Hayden and models.

The evening was opened by HFR Founder and CEO Brandice Daniel, who said she’d always wanted to host an event at the grand neoclassical memorial since Grant, the Commanding General of the Union Army in the Civil War, was also the 18th President of the United States and signed the bill that protected African Americans during Reconstruction. The evening’s awards included the debut Virgil Abloh Award presented by LVMH and awarded by his wife Shannon Abloh to actress, writer, producer, and comedian Issa Rae, who insisted — to the delight of the audience — that she be invited back every year going forward. Luxury women’s designer Sergio Hudson was honored as Designer of the Year, Ade Samuel as Stylist of the Year, and multi-faceted entertainer Janet Jackson as Icon of the Year. The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan received the Editor of the Year award, urging her peers not to be “fashion journalists, but to simply be journalists and give the industry the respect that it deserves.”

The collections of three designers of color — Clarence Ruth (below), Johnathan Hayden, and Nicole Benefield — were presented as the evening’s finale.

  • Model on the catwalk

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