Prêt-À-Poundo: Harlem's Fashion Row x Black Fashion [NYFW]

Harlem Fashion Row (HFR) showcases emerging designers of color in fashion.

Harlem Fashion Row Chantell Walters Prêt-À-Poundo

*Chantell Walters (photography by Childeye)

“We have a responsibility to create opportunities for these designers through educating the media, celebrating their creativity, and ultimately have the media be a driving force," says Harlem's Fashion Row CEO and founder Brandice Henderson, “My hope is that we will all share in this responsibility by exposing them in editorials, purchasing their collections, investing in them, and featuring them in videos, movies and commercials.” Have you heard of this event, which many consider a movement?

*Brandice Henderson

The fact that after five annual editions this year's Fall Collection edition of Harlem Fashion Row took place at the legendary Apollo Theater was a beautiful accomplishment. One which reveals the community's faith in Henderson's vision of the fashion industry; something which has lead this event to the top. Viewing the show, it's obvious that these designers who suffer a lack of exposure, are as talented and creative as their more popular peers.

Harlem's Fashion Row views itself as a celebratory platform for emerging designers of color. While it took place at the same time as New York Fashion Week, the show distinguished itself with its ethos and international designer selection. The fashion designers were:

Deidre Jefferies (Espion), Shauntelé, Evelyn Lambert, Sandro Romans, Chantell Walters, Kahindo Mateene (Modahnik) and Kimberly Goldson.

Harlem Fashion Row Shauntelé Portrait Prêt-À-Poundo


*designers in the order above (from top left to bottom right)

On top of the crop of designers, HFR assembled an impressive, broad and balanced base of judges: Editor-in-Chief of Bullett Magazine Idil Tabanca, Macy's Group VP of Fashion Forecasting & Operations Shawn Outler, Celebrity/Stylist/Model Tyson Beckford, International Supermodel Bethann Hardison and Editor-in-Chief of As If Magazine Tatijana Shoan. The audience also voted for 25 per cent of each designer's rank. The winner's prize was a feature spot in Harlem Fashion Row Spring 2014.

*Idil Tabanca - Bethann Hardison, Tyson Beckford and Brandice Henderson - Tyson Beckford

The designers showcased their unique styles and demonstrated that 'black' fashion is as rich, diverse, colorful and imaginative as anything out there. They all had a strong vision on fashion and clearly excelled in creative quality. The majority of the collections featured a fusion of a modern, feminine, innovative image with premium workmanship, optimum material choices, and perfect fits. An amazing combination of fabrics, accesory-play, minimalism of forms, bold makeup and magnificence of colors made these new collections of original and exquisite. Sandro Romans was the only designer to present a menswear collection. His pieces were architectural — they were a half-way between futuristic, sportive and tribal, and put the personality of the wearer up-front. See pictures of the show on the following pages.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

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Image by Sabelo Mkhabela.

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Disclaimer: The conversation which this piece makes reference to took place before the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa.

"I said it for 10 years that I'm going to work with Beyoncé, and everybody laughed for those 10 years. And I said it with conviction. Today, I'm on a Grammy-nominated album [on a song] with Beyoncé right now," says Moonchild Sanelly referring to the song "MY POWER" in which she's featured in alongside Busiswa, Nija, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and of course Queen B herself. The track is a fan-favorite from the Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé. Moonchild is pulling out these receipts to elaborate a point she just made about self-belief which helped her build a career that's recognized globally, a feat very few South African artists have achieved.

A few of those artists— Jeremy Loops, Shimza and Juliet Harding (a member of the versatile electronic band GoodLuck)—are on the podium alongside Moonchild during the Midem Africa Conference in Langa, Cape Town towards the end of February. The four musicians are in conversation with Trenton Birch, musician and founder of Bridges for Music Academy, sharing their secrets to breaking into the highly competitive and advanced music markets of mainly Europe and the US.

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When chasing a dream from Nigeria, one needs a surplus of that secret sauce called belief. Young Nigerians in the music space have always forced the issue of their recognition as new viral sensations coming out with fresh, innovative styles are delimiting the shine of the limelight.

Late last year, "Spiritual," was the new record on everybody's lips. While hip-hop sensation Zlatan served as the poster boy for the single, the voice of a new melody twister carried most of the track. 22-year-old Daniel Benson, popularly known as Buju or BujuToyourEars in full, piqued the interest of industry giants and has been on an upward trajectory since then.

Around four million streams later, a handful of major performances, Headies nominations, and a remix of his hit single "L'Enu" featuring his idol Burna Boy on the way, the stars don't seem to be the limit for Buju.

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