September 10th, 2012
Black Designers, Blacks in Fashion, Fashion Show, Fashion Week, Show Review
Show Review: Harlem’s Fashion Row
By Claire

This past Friday, I took a quick detour from the tents to attend Harlem’s Fashion Row, a show dedicated to showcasing the talent of black designers. With a front row peppered with industry insiders and celebrities like Fern Mallis, Vanessa Williams, and Tasha Smith, it was certainly a hot ticket, and I couldn’t wait to see what the show had in store.
Brandice Henderson, founder of the HFR movement, plucked five designers to show their wares in the packed auditorium at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Take a look:

Latisha Daring was up first with a collection titled Transformation. Nina Simone’s song “New Day” wafted through the hall as models flaunted a selection of nature inspired prints and colors. Lemon yellow played on A line dresses and jumpsuits with zippered fronts while African print pieces were paired with balloon sleeved jackets, slim cigarette pants, and high waisted shorts.

Daring played with cutouts on jersey jumpsuits and along the back of slick vest sets.

From simple peplum tops with matching pencil skirts to more adventurous A line dresses with sheer panels, Daring created items for real women with bold style.

Next up was Nzinga Knight, who said her draped, floor length gowns were an ode to womanhood, grace, beauty, and balance.

While one would expect a resolutely feminine collection to feature pieces clinging to the female form, Knight instead offered copious fabric, long hems, draping, and regal silhouettes.

Joseph and Jonathan Bethune showed a series of menswear pieces, made with military tailoring and what they called a ‘working aesthetic.

Trench coats and denim jackets were revised and remixed, updated with distressed details, piped pockets, and contrast sleeves.

Cardigans and polos were cast in two tones, some uplifted by gold buttons.

Nicole Murphy opened Omar Salem’s segment with a walk so fierce, the whole room erupted in applause.

Her simple look–a black jumpsuit worn under an oversized cardigan with gold buttons–somewhat exemplified Salem’s aesthetic of chic with a twist. Working primarily with black and white, his clothes exuded easy elegance, while ruffles, sheer lace details, windowpane fabric, and pleating adding lovely twists.

Sleek Christian Louboutin pumps provided exclamation points to each sophisticated look. Salem’s draping, attention to detail, and revisions upon classic silhouettes had attendees clapping at every turn.

Kevan Hall closed the night with his signature red carpet ready gowns.

In addition to delectable dresses cast in pink, lilac, and luscious lime, Hall also offered a few pant looks, buttressed by frilled tops and peplum blouses.

It was a great show!

Designers. From left: Omar Salem, Joseph and Jonathan Bethune, Nzinga Knight, Latisha Daring

Kevan Hall with Models

HFR is a veritable force, and I was delighted by all the new designers I discovered that night. I can’t wait to see what they do next!
To learn more about it, visit
What do you think?
Photos by Marta McAdams
See all the runway looks here:

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17 Responses to “Show Review: Harlem’s Fashion Row”

  1. Taj says:

    I see a lot of beautiful pieces but I really love the gowns.

  2. Nic says:

    LOVELY. All of it. Lovely

  3. Jason DiLaurentis'Sister says:

    Nothing special here. Nicole Murphy, I see you.

  4. TheAntifash says:

    I think what Harlem’s Fashion Row is doing for designers of color is awesome!

  5. Dom Dom says:

    Only here for Kevin Hall and Omar Salem’s designs, the rest were a bit tacky tbh

  6. aries says:

    i like the Omar Selman line, the cream color dresses w/sheer fabric and lace, very pretty. Nicole Murphy is rocking that runway.

  7. mizvia says:

    I would wear each and every one of Omar Salem’s pieces, where can I find em?! Lace and frills…everything I love!

  8. LaTasha says:

    All of the fashions were beautiful, creative and unique. I especially love the purple dress by Kevin Hall. I would love to see that dress in a maxi pant suit.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I’m here for Omar Salem! He brought it!

  10. Say-lah says:

    I am absolutely in love with HFR! Congrats on the show!

  11. Marsha D says:

    Congrats to all of the designers. I know the struggle! Beautiful work.

  12. Cameron(Fashion Bomber from Miami) says:

    I feel that Omar and Nzinga Knight’s collections were beautiful, the draped floor length gowns were so red carpet worthy. I repect designers and their creativity or lack there of, Latasha did not impress me, the pieces were a bit tacky and looked more appealing to the Rainbow customer, and the styling was too apparent.

  13. bilqis says:

    i love nzinga knights pieces. So feminine, classy n beautiful. Congrats to all the designers

  14. angela says:

    I think Nzinga Knight’s and Omar Had the best collections. They both know what elegance means……

  15. marguerite says:

    #FAIL. not feeling that collection.

  16. AK says:

    I liked Nzinga Knight and Kevan Hall

  17. AK says:

    I liked Nzinga Knight and Kevan Hall’s collections.

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