Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) has become a staple among the New York Black fashion set. The organization and movement founded by Harlem residents and led by Brandice Henderson serves as an exhaustive resource for emerging designers of color. In a mere five years, HFR has garnered national attention showcasing the collections of Black designers, and bestowing honors to industry mavericks like supermodel Tyson Bedford, and celebrity stylist June Ambrose. From Harlem’s own Studio Museum, the organization has brokered the careers of rising designers like Samantha Black, who recently showed in New York Fashion Week with celebrity fanfare.
In 2011, HFR introduced its ‘Conversations’ series.The series has featured legendary fashion designer Stephen Burrows, and publishing trailblazier Harriette Cole. Last night HFR debuted the 2012 “Conversations” series with Steven Kolb, CEO of one of fashion’s foremost leaders, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. Hosted by Henderson, Kolb sat before a room of fashion enthusiasts in Harlem’s Schomburg Center for the Research of Black Culture answering audience and tweeted questions on diversity in fashion, and the CFDA’s commitment to emerging designers of color. Henderson comments on the importance of the conversation with Kolb, ” Because many of the designers that I work with feel that becoming a CDFA member is out of their reach, it is our belief that having Steven come to speak will go a far in breaching that gap and create a new stream of communication within our community.”