Janet Jackson and Issa Rae were two notable participants of Harlem’s Fashion Row15th Anniversary Fashion Show and Style Awards in New York on Tuesday night. The glamorous event welcomed a star-studded crowd at the General Grant National Memorial in Harlem to celebrate the myriad contributions of black visionaries in the fashion industry.
Jackson was honored with the icon of the year award at the after party, and she certainly dressed like a lady of the moment. The singer looked whimsical in a layered tan tulle skirt, paired with an open-front cropped jacket and a graphic T-shirt in a colorblock red-and-navy pattern. She accessorized with several pieces of jewelry, including stacks of small and large bracelets (some of them designed in an eye-catching marble print) and silver hoop earrings. Her hair was styled into a half-updo, framing her soft glam makeup.
Rae also had a big night as the first recipient of Virgil Abloh Award — a distinction given to those who embody the late multihyphenate designer’s brilliance and vision through contributions to culture and society, according to the press release. The “Insecure” star graced the red carpet in a mock-neck minidress emblazoned with leafy motifs. The light blue design featured long sleeves and a wrap-around bodice that reached just above her thighs to show off her legs in full. She finished with high black mules, a pair of silver rings and matching statement earrings.
Other honorees included Sergio Hudson, who was named Designer of the Year; Robin Givhan, who received the editor of the year award; and Ade Samuel, who was honored as stylist of the year. The event included a fashion show featuring three new black designers: Clarence Ruth, Jonathan Haydenand Nicole Benefield. Ruth’s collection for Cotte D’Armes was a study in contrasts, with structured jumpsuits paired with motorcycle helmets and frilly white dresses paired with relaxed denim jackets. Benefield presented fluid separates in neutral tones, like swinging trench coats, sheer blouses and two-tone maxi dresses. For his Deus Ex Machina line, Hayden dressed models in intricate, embellished gowns and printed dresses, each elevated by pearls adorning their hair and eyebrows.
All three designers received Harlem’s Fashion Row ICON 360 grants to fund their businesses, awarded by Louis Vuitton Americas, and were paired with an executive mentor from the fashion house to guide their careers in design. Harlem’s Fashion Row was founded by Brandice Daniel as a resource to elevate black designers and help them achieve sustainable growth in the fashion industry. Daniel also wowed at the event, wearing a feather embellished mini dress.
Ahead, appreciate the celebrity outfits and designs on display at Harlem’s Fashion Row event.