Harlem Fashion Week Emerging Designer Show

By Journalist Ms. Jones

NEW YORK CITY – Models ripped the runway in Harlem Fashion Week on Sunday, Sept. 10. at the Museum of the City of New York sending not only a message of inclusiveness and diversity, but also one of helping those in need. For every ticket purchased, $1 will be donated to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Emerging Designer Show was for new designers breaking into the fashion industry. It was a competition evaluated by Celebrity Judges: Model and Singer Raja, Celebrity Stylist and Designer Lunden Olin, and Actress Andrea Rachel from 50 Cent’s Power TV series. Actress and Dancer Amber Pickens of “Kickback & Chat” was the Runway Host. The designers included: LaidieCloth, DDepeine, ChokoMODE, and Plume Designs. The Emerging Design Award Winner was ChokoMODE.

I couldn’t find out what’s going to happen next on Power from Rachel. She’s just hoping that her character Destiny, Tariq’s girlfriend, doesn’t get killed off the show. But, I did find out how she became a judge for Harlem Fashion Week.

“I actually had a Wrap and Watch Party for Power and that’s where I met Shakirah [Gittens] and she mentioned it to me and Lunden is my stylist and he’s been on the panel… They said okay, yes, she has style. So, they said they would love to have me on the judging panel,” said Rachel.

Rachel explained how the panel judged the designers.

“We did it in numbers… We did it based on concept, fabric manipulation, styling, and overall presentation and then we had to add those numbers up.”

Harlem Fashion Week connected Downtown style with Uptown flavor.

“We wanted to make sure that we had an independent fashion show that emerging designers could participate in and not feel excluded… A lot of designers of color sometimes feel excluded from some of the Fashion Week shows. So, we wanted to have it along the same schedule. That way it was all-inclusive,” said Yvonne Jewnell, co-founder and producer of Harlem Fashion Week.

Jonathan Bodrick was honored with the Fashion Cultural Icon Award. A tribute was given to Designer Bill Witherspoon who was in the first Harlem Fashion Week and recently passed away.

The red carpet was held before the show where celebrities and those in the fashion industry were interviewed. It was hosted by Blogger Shakirah Gittens.

The sold out 7:30 pm show included designers: Yvonne Jewnell New York, Huda, Simply Greta, Mamadou Fall|Fall Prov. The 9:30 pm show featured designers: Kheris Rogers, Mieko McKay, Amme Collection, and Yvonne Jewnell New York.

Patrons were encouraged to visit the marketplace downstairs. Vendors included: Get Glammed Hair, Flexin’ In My Complexion, Lyfe Eyewear, Nomadic World Apparel, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Mynneka Michelle Cosmetics, Curls, and the Kool Nerd Club.

“We really wanted it to be a space where everyone could be able to represent what they have, not for there to be too much of… the same thing,” said Julian Gravesande, Marketplace Coordinator.

A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the Junior Scholars Program at the Schomburg Library in Harlem and the Big Goree Project to restore the Slave Museum on Goree Island in Senegal, West Africa.

“It was so important for us to stay connected to our heritage and stay connected to our culture,” said Jewnell.

Harlem Fashion Week is a four-day event that is held bi-annually.

For more information about Harlem Fashion Week, visit www.harlemfw.com.
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