This weekend, Harlem Fashion Week kicked off with a 3-day series of events focused on uplifting and connecting inspiring community members.
Day 1: Friday, September 2nd
Stop the Violence Fashion Exhibition
Starting with a unique and daring venue, Harlem Fashion Week invited fashionistas to a Fashion Exhibition at the Uptown Grand Plaza under the symbolic Harlem archways of 125th street. The Stop the Violence exhibition featured designs inspired by stop the violence movements across Harlem, New York. Harlem Fashion Week went on to honor community members who are making a huge impact in Harlem (and beyond) like community activist, Billy Council and strategist, organizer, and archivist for the National Action Network, Ashley Sharpton (daughter to Al Sharpton).
Day 2: Saturday, September 3rd
Fashion & Finance Business Symposium
Day two promised a day full of connecting with like-minded and inspiring creatives. Beginning with the Fashion & Finance Business Symposium (sponsored by Chase), audience members heard from industry mavens like Xavier Walker, creative director and model, Yvonne Jewell, creative director and co-founder of Harlem Fashion Week, Jocelin Wiliams, celebrity hairstylist & MUA, Donjai Gilmore, photographer & director, and Ellie Diop, business & strategy coach. The speakers addressed financial literacy, navigating the fashion industry, and entrepreneurship.
Opening Night Reception & Fashion Mixer
The opening night reception and fashion mixer on Saturday, September 3rd, invited creatives and fashion industry professionals to connect over cocktails, snacks, and fashion chatter at the chic Aloft Harlem Hotel. Special guest, Ty Hunter, stylist to Queen Bey herself, joined in on the fashion week fun.
Day 3: Sunday, September 4th
The Runway Shows
At Harlem Parish, words of encouragement and appreciation echoed off the cathedral ceilings as community honorees and competition winners were given their flowers for achievements ranging from ‘Best Emerging Designers’ to ‘Cultural Icons’.
In a series of three back-to-back runway shows, the panel of judges including celebrity stylist, Ty Hunter, EIC and co-founder of Harlem Festival Of Culture, Musa Jackson, creative director, CJ South, filmmaker, photographer, and producer, Sekou Luke, and founder of SoHarlem Inc, Janet Rodriguez reviewed collections by designers Leyu Designs, Arian Simone, Sekou Luke, and many more. Competition winners were awarded and given their flowers by audience members and team members alike.
What sets Harlem Fashion Week apart from others is its continuous dedication to uplifting designers and creatives who may otherwise go unrecognized. Harlem Fashion Week features emerging designers, highlights the BTS teams throughout, and is sure to make a connection where necessary.
The team at HFW is so dedicated to helping creatives further their career, that they founded the Harlem Fashion Week Fashion Academy where young adults can take courses on modeling, photography, sewing, and so much more.
Proceeds from the shows will go towards building and bettering Harlem Fashion Week Academy’s after-school programs.