Harlem Fashion Row’s (HFR) Lunch and Learn affair, held recently at Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem, NYC, was a huge success! The well-attended event, organized in conjunction with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), featured a panel discussion where industry executives presented important business advice to fifty talented high school students who attend either the famous stylist Misa Hilton’s Fashion Academy, or Tony Danza’s The Tomorrow Star Program.
Students dressed to impress. Their looks were edgy and, in some cases, futuristic and colorful. Melba’s delicious three-course lunch included all the savory and delicious cultural specialties the restaurant is famous for.
Living legend and HFR “godfather” Dapper Dan (Daniel Day) and Tiffany L. Zeno, the show’s producer with NBC Universal Local, were in attendance, along with fashion mogul Misa Hilton. The three fashion designers attending HFR’s upcoming Fall 2022 NYFW show, Clarence Ruth, Johnathan Hayden and Nicole Benefield, were also in the house.
Moderated by Brandice Daniels, CEO and Founder of HFR, guest panelists included Corey Smith, VP Diversity Inclusion LVMH; Jasmine Humphrey, Global Director of Public Relations, Tiffany’s & Co.; Nelson Gillum, Director, Consumer Engagement, Moet Hennessy.
HFR’s Lunch and Learn event provided invaluable insight into overcoming adversity in fashion for color’s top echelon leadership.
“We wanted to do something with the fashion community and decided it was the right place and the right time,” Daniels said. “We are here at your service.” When working for a company, “make sure you have a comfortable experience,” Corey Smith advised. “Expand your world. Read the stories of black authors like Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Richard Wright.
Brandice asked the students what words inspired them. Responses included “Love”, “Creativity”, “Trust”, “Humanity” and “Be adaptable”. Nelson insisted that “after high school, students should spend time figuring out who they are. And, question everything. The panelists told their professional journeys and gave a mini masterclass on excellence in this world. They encouraged the next generation of creative catalysts to dream, work hard and succeed.
HFR continues to take action to improve the environment by educating designers on the importance of sustainability. Currently, there is an opportunity for emerging talent of color to step forward. There is no doubt that the fashion industry has changed. Their approach must be different, original and respectful of the environment.
HFR is excited to usher in a new era of diversification in the luxury fashion space, by actualizing and executing strategic partnerships. Harlem’s Fashion Row continues to inspire confidence in our young people and is truly taking action to make working in fashion achievable.
HFR fights for inclusivity, champions change through collaboration, and challenges the industry to recognize passionate and promising young Courtiers of Color.