Janet Jackson and Issa Rae were among the famous attendees at Harlem’s Fashion Row’s 15th Anniversary Fashion Show and Style Awards on Tuesday night in New York. The lavish event, held at the General Grant National Memorial in Harlem, drew a star-studded throng in recognition of the numerous achievements made by Black visionaries in the fashion business.
At the afterparty, Jackson was recognised with the icon of the year award, and she certainly looked the part. The singer wore a tiered tan tulle skirt with a cropped open-front jacket and a graphic T-shirt with a red-and-navy colorblock pattern. She accessorised with a variety of jewellery pieces, including stacks of little and large bracelets (some with a striking marble print) and silver hoop earrings. Her hair was fashioned into a half-updo that framed her soft-glam makeup.
According to the press release, Rae also had a momentous night as the first recipient of the Virgil Abloh Award, which is granted to those who exemplify the late multihyphenate designer’s genius and vision via contributions to culture and community. The “Insecure” actress walked the red carpet in a mock-neck minidress with leafy designs. The light-blue gown had long sleeves and a wraparound bodice that reached just over her thighs to show off her legs. She completed her look with towering black shoes, a few silver rings, and matching striking earrings.
Other awardees included Sergio Hudson, who was chosen designer of the year, Robin Givhan, who was selected editor of the year, and Ade Samuel, who was named stylist of the year. A fashion display was held at the event, which included three emerging Black designers: Clarence Ruth, Johnathan Hayden, and Nicole Benefield. Ruth’s Cotte D’Armes collection featured structured jumpsuits mixed with motorcycle helmets and ruffled white gowns paired with casual denim jackets. Swinging trench coats, transparent blouses, and two-toned maxi dresses were among the fluid separates in neutral tones offered by Benefield. Hayden dressed models in complex, adorned dresses and patterned gowns for his Deus Ex Machina line, with pearls decorating their hair and brows.
Louis Vuitton Americas granted all three designers Harlem’s Fashion Row ICON 360 awards to fund their businesses, and they were partnered with an executive mentor from the fashion company to steer their design careers. Brandice Daniel launched Harlem’s Fashion Row as a resource to empower Black designers and assist them in achieving sustainable growth in the fashion business. Daniel also dazzled in a feather-embellished minidress during the event.