All Articles Tagged "New York Fashion Week"

New York Fashion Week Men’s Hires More Models Of Color Than Ever Before

July 18th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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NYFW Men's


Men’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW) occurred this week and was met with rave reviews. With designers like Rag & Bone, Richard Chai and Public School revealing their exclusive Spring/Summer 2016 collection, viewers got a peek on the upcoming trends, along with diverse eye candy.

The Huffington Post reports at the time of their published article on the various fashion show events (July 13), over 90 models had appeared throughout the Men’s NYFW. Designer Todd Snyder told the media outlet, “My collections are diverse, my travel is diverse, my outlook is global. My runway is reality.”

However, Snyder’s reality is not shared with the NYFW for women, that occurs twice a year (February and September).

That particular fashion week is going on its 20-plus year stretch and lacks terribly in hiring models of color. Jezebel reported during the Fall/Winter 2014 season, there were only 21 percent of 4,621 female models who were non-white. The percentage became significantly lower for the Spring 2015 shows and London, Milan and Paris’s Fashion Weeks.

Fashion activist Bethann Hardison believes designer clothing for men makes a point of reaching a broader audience but its business is not as strong as women’s fashion. Hardison also says more money pours into the women runaway shows so there can be more exposure for designers who are trying to reach an influential female audience. Because of this, the fight for diversity is a challenge.

Hardison’s comments suggest that white beauty archetypes are highly regarded in the women’s fashion world. For inclusion to happen, some designers will have to let go of the belief that their brands will become tarnished by diversity.

Bukola Are Brings Her Latest Collection HVS DeLuxe 15 To New York Fashion Week

September 12th, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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HVSGoldChromeTee1The modern day fashionista: Sophisticated. Self-assured. Playful. Bold. These words are used to describe the House of Versatile Styles woman and the young female fashion designer and creative director of the fashion line itself, Bukola Are. Her new Spring/Summer 2015 collection, HVS DeLuxe 15, features African, European, and American-inspired dresses, tops, and bottoms. But the road to showcasing a fashion collection at New York Fashion Week is paved with more than passion and peplum. There is also hard work, sacrifice, ambition, faith, a willingness to listen to your instincts, and a dash of luck to lean on. We sat down with Are after her recent NYFW presentation to get an idea of how she went from a teen with fashion dreams to the self-made style entrepreneur she is today.

HVS LogoMadameNoire: Congratulations on your Spring/Summer 2015 collection! Where are you from originally?

Bukola Are: I was born in the United States. I went to elementary school back home [in Lagos, Nigeria] and then came here for college for my love of fashion.

MN: What inspired you to start a career in fashion design?

BA: I always had this desire to make things look beautiful.  I started my path in fashion design doing a fashion show in college. People gravitated to it and loved it. I received enough support for me to keep going!

MN: What did your business plan for HVS look like? Did you have one at all? Did you start off with a lot of capital?

Are: No, I did not have a lot of startup funds. I actually started with nothing. I was 17 and ambitious. I had huge dreams, so I did what I saw on TV. I created my own board room in my little apartment, in the living room, and gave all my friends a position in my company.

MN: What were some of the business-related obstacles you faced in building your own fashion line from the ground up?

Are: Knowledge. There are so many things I wish I was exposed to earlier on. In order to be successful in this industry, you have to understand the business of fashion. At the time, I was more driven by passion and the excitement of sharing my work with an audience.

MN: What are the major components, in your opinion, that one must have to begin a career in fashion?   

Are: There are many opportunities in the fashion industry. It’s important to figure out what area one would like to specialize in. Some people are lucky enough to work in different areas of the industry. For example, in addition to being the head designer at HVS, I also work as a Creative Director at a creative firm I founded called Of A Kind Creatives.  


MN: What are the most essential personality attributes, in your opinion, required to be a skilled fashion designer?

Are: I am completely self-taught, and I believe that you must be realistic enough to be honest with yourself and humble, but aggressive enough to get the job done successfully.

MN: Who or what motivates your artistic flair?

Are: My artistic flair…to be honest, right now I just want to make clothing that people desire to put on. It’s all about the business for me right now.

MN: Do/did you have any mentors in the fashion industry?

Are: Tory Burch and Kimora Lee Simmons are my mentors in my head. I appreciate what these ladies have been able to do with their brands.

You can also follow Bukola and the House of Versatile Styles fashion brand on Twitter or email

“I Was Beaten Because I’m A Woman” Tahiry Speaks Out On Violent Attack

September 12th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Earlier this week, we reported that Tahiry was viciously attacked by a man at a fashion show she was supposed to walk in during New York Fashion Week.

Though reports have been conflicting about who started the initial altercation, there’s no denying that there was indeed a fight between Tahiry and a man.

Yesterday evening, Tahiry released this statement via her Instagram.

Thank you ALL for your well wishes. I am both appreciative and grateful to have you on my team and call you #teamtahiry! I am sincerely touched by your outpouring of love. As you may or may not know, on Monday, Sept. 8, I was attacked,  assaulted and violated, while in the workplace, by a man. I was beaten because I am woman with a voice and refuse to be disrespected. It is more proof that the violence against women is real and needs to be addressed publicly. The shaming and disrespecting of women/victims of violent abuses must stop. Violence against women must stop; a women’s voice and refusal to be disrespected is not grounds for physical abuse. #iamwoman #myvoicematters More to the point, I am home, healing and surrounded by love. Rest assured, I will continue all my efforts and endeavors with the same faith, determination, passion and spirit I have always possessed. Again, thank you! You are ALL heroes of mine! Love, Tahiry

I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened but that doesn’t really matter. There is no reason she should have been subjected to this. Violence against women has been an issue since the beginning of time but the prevalence of these incidents as of late, in public, have really shown just how much of a problem it still is.  We’re wishing Tahiry a speedy recovery and severe consequences to the man who attacked her like this.

Serena Williams Shows Her HSN Line At New York Fashion Week

September 11th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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As if winning her sixth U.S. Open title wasn’t enough. Just two days after,  Serena Williams made her debut at New York Fashion Week with her new line for HSN.

And she pulled in an all-star crowd, including her U.S. Open finals opponent Caroline Wozniacki and Vogue editor Anna Wintour for the front row.

The ever-confident Williams described her new line as toned-down Dior. The pieces featured “easy fitting, yet bold, edgy and contemporary silhouettes,” reports USA Today. Williams has been known for her on-court fashion, which ranges in style from classic to provocative. And it seems she has taken a cue from her tennis apparel as inspiration for the new line. During her bid for her third-straight U.S. Open title, she donned leopard-print dresses. And her first runway show included various animal prints.

Actually, Williams admitted she was still conceptualizing plans for the show during her two weeks playing at the Open.

Williams is keeping her HSN line affordable, with prices ranging from $29.90 to $79.90.

While the line got mixed reviews, Williams might actually have a successful line of her hands. “She’s designing an affordable, name-brand line predominantly sold through television. With that goal in mind, the clothes had to be a success,” reports USA Today. Williams has a track record of being a savvy businesswoman. With a reported net worth of $22 million, Williams she has endorsement deals with Nike, Wilson, Gatorade, and OPI. And she owns small stakes in Sleep Sheets and the Miami Dolphins.

Tahiry Jose Viciously Attacked By A Man During New York Fashion Week

September 10th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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"Tahiry Jose pf"


New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is supposed to be a time of glitz and glamour, new beginnings and fabulosity. But unfortunately, for “Love and Hip Hop New York” star, Tahiry Jose, the week was marred by a vicious, violent episode.

Tahiry was backstage preparing to walk the runway for the first time for Toure Designs. But before she could make it to the catwalk, she was brutally beaten by a man.

Information about the attack is still continuing to surface but our sister site, Bossip obtained an exclusive about what happened that evening.

“Yesterday, (Monday evening), while preparing to walk in her first runway show with Toure Designs, reality star Tahiry Jose was viciously attacked by an employee of the PR firm, who serves as the production manager of the Helen Mills event venue, where the show was to be held. The man had shown a strong disliking towards Tahiry from the beginning of their interaction, with everything from rude comments to an utter lack of respect for her as a woman. One bystander who witnessed the attack stated that the altercation began when Tahiry questioned the man as to why he was being so rude to her, which triggered him to “black out” on her, spewing foul commentary as he walked closer to her. After Tahiry warned him not to speak to her that way, he got closer began strike her. During the attack, the man repeatedly struck Tahiry multiple times while attempting to drag her by her hair. It took 7-8 men to pull him off of her.”

The beating was so bad, Tahiry was taken to Lenox hospital. She was later released and is now recovering at home.

Bossip also heard reports that the root of the altercation started with the PR firm who was described as being continuously belittling and disrespectful toward Tahiry. And during the attack, they sat idly by and watched it happen before forcing Tahiry and her team into a room, slowing their exit to the hospital.

After the incident, the venue cancelled and the show was moved at the last minute.

Another day, another man striking a woman. This guy is clearly out of his mind and we certainly hope that there will be consequences for his heinous actions.

Harlem Fashion Row Celebrates Black Fashion & Business With 7th Annual Fashion Show & Awards

September 9th, 2014 - By Rana Campbell
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award recipient hfr

Award Recipient Umindi Francis (left)| HFR Founder, Brandice Henderson-Daniel (right)

On Saturday, September 6th, Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) hosted its 7th annual Fashion Show & Style awards. Founded in 2007 by Brandice Henderson-Daniel, HFR has become a fixture at New York Fashion Week and a launching pad for the industry’s rising stars of color. The 2014 event showcased emerging and established designers of color (Byron Lars, Harlem Haberdashery, K. Milele, and Josh & Nicol), putting Black fashion in the spotlight during what can often be a diversity-lacking New York Fashion Week.

bev johnson hfr

Beverly Johnson, the first Black model on the cover of Vogue in 1974, received the night’s ICON 360 Award. Upon accepting, Beverly noted, “Though we have made great strides, we still need to see more color on the runway.”

Other notable awards presented included Journalist of the Year, won by Huffington Post’s Julee Wilson and Fashion Publicist of the Year won by Umindi Francis, founder and CEO of Uminidi Francis Consulting Group. 

HFR’s Henderson-Daniel told MadameNoire, “Designers of color represent less than one percent of designers available in major department stores. My goal is for HFR to be the solution [to that problem]. Somebody has to do something.”

MadameNoire caught up with some the night’s talent, sponsors, and partners to chat about the impact Harlem’s Fashion Row has on spreading awareness and both buying and earning power within the Black business and fashion communities. Check out what they had to say:


fat joe hfr

Harlem Haberdashery is like family and have been styling me for ever. People of color, whether Black or Brown, need to unite and show our unity. We’re the hustlers. We’re beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with sharing our culture and our contributions to the fashion world.

I once watched an interview with Tommy Hilfiger where they asked him how he was successful. He said he would drive through Harlem and see what the kids were wearing and tell [his designers] to make what he saw in to Tommy Hilfiger designs. He made a billion-dollar enterprise off of studying the kids from Harlem. If that doesn’t say enough, what does?
– Fat Joe, Rapper


This is my third year doing a pop-up shop at New York Fashion Week for Harlem’s Fashion Row. I just celebrated my 12th anniversary in fashion. Going to Fashion Institute of Technology and being a designer in the industry, you really don’t have a voice as a Black person. A lot of times you are considered “urban” even if you aren’t an urban designer. They always say Black  people don’t stick together. Harlem Fashion Row is a good way to unite in an industry that is not very Black-friendly.
– B. Marie, Designer and Founder, B. Marie Designs


The people doing the shows at Lincoln Center pay a nice price tag to be there. I think there’s so much untapped talent that come through this umbrella of HFR. This is a great portal that allows Brown people to showcase their talent and do an outstanding job at doing so.
-Keith Campbell, Lead Hair Stylist

runway- hfr


HFR is a huge thing. I’m from Harlem and I know that New York Fashion Week doesn’t showcase a lot of Black businesses and Black people. It’s almost like there’s a 1960s revolution going on. Hopefully, this picks up and expands over the years.
– Justin, Model

I think there’s a resurgence like the Harlem Renaissance happening all over again where designers of color are getting opportunities to showcase what they are doing, which is really good for the Black community.
-Marc Kelly, Model


Design Essentials is an African-American-owned company. This partnership makes sense since our brand is based on uplifting others [like us]. To see that HFR is really amplifying and encouraging African- American designers, it’s really an honor to be part of and celebrate that.
-ShaMarla Jones, Marketing Coordinator, Design Essentials  (Event Sponsor)

Rana Campbell is a freelance journalist and branding strategist. Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn. Or, check out her site

The Catwalk Had A Little More Color, But White Models Still Dominated New York Fashion Week

February 20th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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A model walking in the Jeremy Scott show during NYFW. Jeff Grossman/

A model walking in the Jeremy Scott show during NYFW. Jeff Grossman/

Pushing for diversity in fashion is an ongoing job. And the push by the likes of Bethann Hardison and the Diversity Coalition is having some effect–but it’s slow going.

For yet another year Jezebel has compiled its seasonal New York Fashion Week racial diversity report, which looks at how many models of color were used by each designer.

According to the Jezebel report, the number of black models jumped from 8.08 percent last season to  9.75 percent. There was, however, a decrease in the number of Asian models from 8.1 percent to 7.67 percent this season, and Latina models dropped to 2.12 percent from 3.19 percent. The site notes that it’s difficult identifying the ethnic makeup of some models, so the calculations might be off slightly.

Designer Tocca didn’t use any models of color and Calvin Klein used fewer than last year. But African-American designer Tracy Reese, Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenberg and Ohne Titel have been consistent in their use of diverse models.

According to Jezebel, 78.68 percent of the outfits were worn by white models. When looking at the 148 Fall/Winter 2014 runway shows (excluding menswear), 4,621 looks were shown and only 985 were worn by models of color.

The Diversity Coalition says more work needs to be done. And former model Beverly Johnson agrees. “There are no models of color on the runway – OK, maybe there’s one,” Johnson said during the Macy’s annual Black History Month event in San Francisco on February 5.

“The lack of acknowledgement is disrespectful,” Johnson said, “particularly when we, as African Americans, participate in the bottom line of these designers and the entire industry.”According to Johnson, the fashion industry is actually less diverse now than in 1974, the year she became the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue.

Some designers complain they can’t find black models, that the modeling agencies aren’t sending out black models. But San Francisco’s JE Model agency owner Phillip Gums tells the Gate that the agencies simply reflect  market demands. Gums, who happens to be an African-American model, admits it’s more difficult to get work for nonwhite models.

Although San Francisco modeling agencies do represent African American and Asian models, “we hate to just have them on our wall sitting there” without work, Gums says.

“Fashion reflects the society as a whole,” former Essence editor and fashion journalist Constance White points out. But she says, “Fashion can do better in terms of diversity at all different levels” including executive positions and the fashion designers themselves.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

White Models Still Ruled NY Fashion Week, But More Models Of Color Hit The Catwalk This Year

September 21st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 - Zac Posen - Runway (SIPA/

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 – Zac Posen – Runway (SIPA/

The fashion world is becoming more inclusive — kind of. There was a slight boost in models of color at this year’s New York Fashion Week, but more needs to be done to bring real diversity to the catwalk.

It seems all the media coverage about the fashion world and racism, as well as the push from the  Diversity Coalition’s highly-publicized campaign for more black models might have helped bring more black models to the runway this year at New York Fashion Week. Things had been looking bleak for black models in major fashion shows.

Jezebel has conducted a racial diversity report of the New York Fashion Week runways since 2008 and found that the number of white, black, Latino and Asian models cast in each show has been steadily declining. But things were better — slightly — for this year.

“Based on the 142 Spring/Summer 2014 runway shows (excluding presentations and lookbook) a total of 4637 looks were presented and, of those looks, approximately 80 percent were shown on white models,” reports The Huffington Post. The number is a slightly down from last season’s roughly 83 percent. The number of black models increased from six percent last season to  8.08 percent. Latina models walked 3.19 percent compared to last season’s two percent, but Asian models had a one percent drop from 9.1 percent to 8.1 percent.

Though a small boost, it is a start, say fashion insiders.

“I see this as a positive step,” fashion activist and leader of the Diversity Coalition, Bethann Hardison told The Huffington Post. “Whether the number moves a decimal or not, the fact that everyone is responding in such a positive way says a whole lot about the synergy of things and how things begin — and will continue to change.”

Among the designers who used models of color were Zac Posen, Rachel Comey and Diane von Furstenberg. Their shows boasted 30 percent or more models of colors. “Meanwhile Jill Stuart, Lacoste, Band of Outsiders and Victoria Beckham are just a few of the designers who showed between zero and three looks on non-white models,” reports the HuffPo.

Although there has been an improvement, the coalition isn’t backing down.

“But we’re not going to rest on our laurels. I know we’re going to have to keep our foot on the gas. As I’ve always said — activism requires you to be active,” said Hardison.

Russell Simmons Responds To Andre Leon Talley : “I’ve Done More For Blacks In Fashion And Gay Rights’ Than You”

September 17th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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From HelloBeautiful 

Once upon a time, you might have found Russell Simmons and André Leon Talley seated across from each other front row during New York Fashion Week. But this season, Andre proclaims that Russell shouldn’t sit front row. During an interview with The Grio, Andre had some interesting words to say about the Hip-Hop mogul.

“I don’t think Russell Simmons should be seated on anybody’s front row this week after having done that disgusting Harriet Tubman sex tape,” André said. “He is a man of great achievement. He is a great philanthropist — why would he think it would be an honorable thing to do? He said he thought it was funny. That is not funny, it is outrageously disrespectful to the legacy and history of Harriet Tubman and to the struggle.”

Andre want on to say that Russell should be banned from the shows this season. WOW! Banned. Maybe! Andre seems just as upset as we are over this Harriet Tubman sex tape foolery, but Russell did apologize, kinda. I’m still questioning that. I think he wanted us all to embrace in a hearty laugh and when it backfired… well you know the rest. I digress.

See Russell Simmons’ response at 

André Leon Talley Says Russell Simmons Shouldn’t Have Been Front Row At NYFW After His Harriet Tubman Sex Tape

September 13th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Around this time last month, Russell Simmons was catching hell for his new YouTube channel “All Def Digital” and the decision they made to put out the “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape.” The clip tried to imply as a joke that Harriet Tubman had sex with her master and taped it in order to blackmail him so that she could be able to start the Underground Railroad. That didn’t go over well whatsoever, and in the end, Russell Simmons apologized for the channel’s decision to post the video, though he claimed that he initially thought the video was funny…

As the man who once brought the world Phat Farm (and in turn, Baby Phat), Simmons can often be seen at New York Fashion Week shows rubbing elbows with other famous folks, and he was at a few shows this past week. But since he’s done that Harriet Tubman skit, some people weren’t too happy to see him at NYFW this time around, including André Leon Talley, the former editor-at-large for Vogue. In fact, he felt that Simmons should have been banned because of the poor taste of that Harriet Tubman clip. Here’s what he told TheGrio:

“I think anyone that is a person of achievement on the front row that has achieved a great deal be they black or white is a good thing.

I don’t think Russell Simmons should be seated on anybody’s front row this week after having done that disgusting Harriet Tubman sex tape. He is a man of great achievement. He is a great philanthropist….why would he think it would be an honorable thing to do? He said he thought it was funny. That is not funny it is outrageously disrespectful to the legacy and history of Harriet Tubman and to the struggle.”

I think we can all agree that it was in poor taste, but should he not be allowed to sit front row with all the other big things Simmons has done philanthropically? Let us know what you think.