- 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 <strong><em>Essence</em></strong> magazine; celebrity hairstylist Keith Campbell; fashion designer Sammy B; and international runway model Sessilee Lopez. Attendees also previewed clothing from the designers showing at <a href="http://harlemsfashionrow.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Harlem's Fashion Row</strong></a> 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. <em>—Sirita Wright</em><br>
<br>(Left, Sessilee Lopez; Images: Courtesy of Dark & Lovely)
- <strong>On the importance of Harlem’s Fashion Row</strong>:
“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.”
- <strong>Biggest Challenges:</strong>
“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.
- <strong>On Mentorship:</strong>
“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).
- <strong>On Their Breakout Moment:</strong>
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.)