Harlem’s Fashion Row, along with Dark & Lovely, hosted a New York Fashion Week Blogger Breakfast Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Bryant Park Hotel in New York City. The event served as an opportunity to have a candid conversation about the black presence in the fashion industry and included a panel of top industry professionals: Corynne Corbett, of Essence magazine; celebrity hairstylist Keith Campbell; fashion designer Sammy B; and international runway model Sessilee Lopez. Attendees also previewed clothing from the designers showing at Harlem’s Fashion Row runway show tonight, Sept. 7 at Lincoln Center.
Check out some highlights of the brunch, including insights on success in the fashion industry, diversity and inclusion, and overcoming professional challenges. —Sirita Wright
(Left, Sessilee Lopez; Images: Courtesy of Dark & Lovely)
On the importance of Harlem’s Fashion Row:
“Each season, less than a handful of designers of color are recognized,” says Harlem’s Fashion Row creator, Brandice Henderson (pictured left). “[It] shows that there is a next generation—giving them a place they can go.”
“Remembering the days I had no money and staying extremely humble. It’s not a challenge, but an opportunity,” recalls Campbell. “I still do stuff for free, and I enjoy it because its coming from the heart.”
“Staying relevant within this industry,” says Lopez.
“Alek Wek taught me how to be professional, also Naomi Campbell,” says Lopez, (pictured center). “Bethann Hardison is also my fashion fairy godmother.”
“I’ve never been mentored by a hairstylist, but Mikki Taylor, she saw talent in me. She helped me develop my eye and professionalism,” says Campbell (pictured far right).
On Their Breakout Moment:
Lopez: The Vogue cover.
“[When I was featured in] Elle magazine, it opened me up to a audience that didn’t know me,” says Sammy B (pictured far right.)