This year, HFR celebrated its anniversary with a sensational tribute to hip-hop under the theme, The Remix. True to its 16-year history, The HFR Fashion Show & Style Awards was a star-studded affair that featured red-carpet appearances from several celebrities, including Bevy Smith, Tamron Hall, ASAP Rocky, Dapper Dan and Kelly Rowland.
The show commenced with a cocktail hour and a Dream in Black Rising Future Makers Showcase sponsored by AT&T. The Dream in Black Rising Future Makers program promotes young Black talent and provides access to the network and resources to realize greater possibilities. Jaivien Kendrick of Bowie University, Jakarie Whitaker of Clark Atlanta University, Jewel Moser, U’lia Hargrove of North Carolina A&T State University, and Tukii Tucker of North Carolina Central University were the five students whose work was showcased.
“AT&T is proud to support and celebrate Harlem’s Fashion Row 16th Anniversary Style and Awards Show,” said Michelle Jordan, Chief Diversity Officer, AT&T. “We value HFR’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of diverse designers through our Rising Future Makers Showcase. We believe that vital platforms like this are essential to providing emerging leaders with the golden opportunity to make their dreams a reality.”
The fashion show was a major highlight of the show, and it did not disappoint. Illharmonic Orchestra opened the show with a sensational performance and ode to Hip-Hop, giving everyone goosebumps. Slow Fashion Brand Designer Nicole Benefield, Fashion Designer Aaron Potts ,and Sustainable Women’s Brand Designer Megan Renee rocked the runway with stunning designs from their latest collection. The models wore makeup provided by Dior, and EveShudawn Mitchel led the team of hairstylists from Camille Rose.
But the models weren’t the only ones that graced the runway. Guests rose to their feet when Doug E. Fresh took to the stage with a rousing surprise performance. In true hip-hop style, the artist had the audience grooving to hits like “Hip Hop Hooray” and ended on a high with classic hip hop songs.
During the show, HFR announced the 2023 Style Awards recipients. Kelly Rowland received the Fashion Icon Award. ASAP Rocky received the Virgil Abloh Award presented by Anish Melwani, Chairman and CEO of LVMH and Gena Smith, Chief Human Resource Officer LVMH North America. The Editor of the Year Award was presented to Vogue’s Global Contributing Editor, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson; Stylists of the Year, granted to Wayman and Micah; and Designer of the Year, awarded to Stella Jean, and Johnny Nunez, photographer, received a brand-new distinction, the Hip Hop Trailblazer Award. Award recipients also received a gift from Tiffany & Co.
After the Fashion Show & Style Awards, guests made their way to a reception sponsored by The Walt Disney Company. The night’s entertainment showcase continued with unique exhibits from Taofeek Abijako, Coline Creuzot, Clarence Ruth, Chandricka Carr, Kimminski Adams, and Daziah Green as part of Disney’s Create 100 initiative, a global celebration of creativity that marks 100 years of Disney storytelling. Attendees got to experience the magic of some of the pieces donated as part of Create 100, which brings together some of the world’s most creative visionaries and next-generation talent. The magnificent creations that were on display are planned to be auctioned to benefit Make-A-Wish®.
CEO and Founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, Brandice Daniels, said: “This year’s event was a tremendous success. We are extremely grateful to the sponsors who came on board to make this event possible. From day one, HFR’s mission has been to showcase and provide opportunities for designers of color. We have come a long way since we first started, and we are fortunate to receive so much support from companies committed to improving diversity and inclusion. Many opportunities have opened up for Black designers, and the future is bright for those considering entry into the industry.”