Entertainer Janet Jackson accepts ICON of the Year award at Fashion Week in New York (Contributed photo)

Folks are out in force at the 2022 Fashion Week, where Harlem’s Fashion Row celebrated its 15th Anniversary Fashion Show and threw their Style Awards in partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The show celebrated black-owned fashion designers showcasing their Spring 2023 collections, including Jonathan Hayden, Nicole Benefield, and Clarence Ruth. Additionally, several Style Awards were presented, including the inaugural Virgil Abloh Award presented by LVMH and Virgil’s wife, Shannon Abloh – which was given to Issa Rae. After the fashion show, guests enjoyed the afterparty at Jazz by Lincoln Center, where they sipped on cocktails by Moët Hennessy. Additional awards were announced, including ICON of the Year, which Janet Jackson accepted.

This year’s “Future’s Past” theme showcased the untold history of countless contributions, sacrifices, and innovations in a fashion that continue to elevate Black-owned brands. Anish Melwani, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of LVMH North America, gave the sponsor presentation. He welcomed a new, more inclusive era in the fashion industry and saluted the contribution of diverse creative talents.

Guests were welcomed with gift bags featuring Dior Beauty products: Rouge Dior lipstick in iconic 999 shade, Forever Couture Luminizer, La Collection Privée Fragrance, and La Mousse ON/OFF Foaming Cleanser. The star-studded event featured red-carpet appearances from several industry notables, including Bevy Smith, Ebony Obsidian, Erica Campbell, Ty Hunter, Linda Fargo, and Veronica Webb. The designers who took the runway included Clarence Ruth, Johnathan Hayden, and Nicole Benefield. The presenting designers showcased memorable Spring 2023 collections. Jonathan Hayden’s aim was mixed media, drawing a fine line between natural and nuanced and offering a textural draw packed with dots. Curve appeal was Nicole Benefield’s approach, as she went for less linear shapes and focused on softer lines. Clarence Ruth challenged the intersection of culture and Christianity, introducing a refreshing take on biker wear rooted in the absence of rebellion.

During the event, HFR also announced this year’s Style Award recipients, including its newest award in honor of the late Virgil Abloh: The Virgil Abloh Award presented by LVMH. Corey Smith, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at LVMH North America, introduced Shannon Abloh, who recognized the award’s inaugural recipient. Guests were thrilled to see Janet Jackson honored with the ICON of the Year Award at the afterparty.

The complete list of award recipients is as follows:

● The Virgil Abloh Award presented by LVMH: Issa Rae-Actress, Writer, and Producer

● Designer of the Year: Sergio Hudson-Luxury Women’s Wear Designer

● Editor of the Year: Robin Givhan- Fashion Editor and Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer

● Stylist of the Year: Ade Samuel- Celebrity Stylist

● ICON of the Year Award: Janet Jackson – Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Businesswomen, and Philanthropist.

To conclude the Style Awards, Louis Vuitton Americas awarded the Harlem’s Fashion Row ICON 360 grants to the three presenting designers, Clarence Ruth, Johnathan Hayden, and Nicole Benefield. Each was also assigned an executive mentor from Louis Vuitton Americas to guide and support their growth.

In 2020, Brandice Daniel founded ICON360 Inc., a 501(c)(3), to provide resources for Black designers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with a mission to achieve sustainable growth in the fashion industry. “Through the partnership with HFR, our team at Louis Vuitton Americas is honored to help these diverse designers,” said Lanessa Elrod, Louis Vuitton Zone President & CEO of the Americas said. She added the company is committed to fostering inclusion and equity in the fashion industry.

Brandice Daniel, founder of ICON360 Inc (Contributed photo)

Following the Fashion Show and Style Awards, guests made their way to the afterparty held at the Jazz at Lincoln Center, in partnership with Moët Hennessy USA and Supporting Sponsor Amazon. During the event, guests received afterparty gift bags and enjoyed live music from Cam’ron sponsored by Amazon Music. “It was wonderful to see a beautiful showcase of Black and Latinx designers’ and creatives’ art at the intersection of diversity and innovation,” said Modupe’ Congleton, Director, Worldwide Amazon Stores, Diversity Equity and Inclusion. “At Amazon, we are continually excited to engage with communities to celebrate the culture and talent found within.”

During the afterparty, guests sipped on cocktails featuring brands from Moët Hennessy USA’s iconic portfolio including Belvedere, Volcan, Chandon Garden Spritz, Hennessy VSOP, Moët & Chandon, Whispering Angel, Terrazas & Cloudy Bay. The celebratory evening closed with a Hennessy X.O toast from Brandice Daniel, Jasmin Allen, SVP of Hennessy US, and Tiara Chesmer-Williams, Vice President and Head of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity at Moët Hennessy USA.

For more information, visit https://www.harlemsfashionrow.com/.

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