Harlem’s Fashion Row to Launch Nonprofit to Offer Grants to Designers – WWD

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Backstage at Christopher John Rogers RTW Fall 2020

HFR MAPS A PLAN: With scores of designers in need of financial assistance due to the coronavirus shutdown, Harlem’s Fashion Row is planning to launch a nonprofit titled Icon360.

HFR MAPS A PLAN: With scores of designers in need of financial assistance due to the coronavirus shutdown, Harlem’s Fashion Row is planning to launch a nonprofit titled Icon360.

The kickoff “virtual fundraiser” event is set for May 30 and aims to raise funds for designers of color. Candidates will be able to apply for Icon360 grants starting June 15.

The online event will feature an assortment of speakers, including designers Christopher John Rogers and Tracy Reese, as well as stylist Kesha McLeod and the National Basketball Association’s senior vice president of diversity and inclusion Liliahn Majeed. Rogers won the grand prize at last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. With more than 30 years of experience in the fashion industry, Reese has become increasingly focused on eco-friendly practices and sustainable option.

The virtual happening will include the option of viewing a fashion show with previous HFR designers and up-and-coming ones.

All tickets sales will benefit Icon360. Nike, Gap, Shea Moisture and Diageo are supporting the inaugural event.

By establishing the nonprofit, Harlem’s Fashion Row is aiming to provide forgivable relief to designers of color, who are pivoting their businesses and need funding to scale up. Established in 2007 by Brandice Daniel, Harlem’s Front Row supports young talent and offers a platform for under-represented African American and Latino designers.

Daniel said, “I’m incredibly inspired by the resilience of designers, who are making bold pivots in their businesses. As a fashion community, we have an opportunity to help scale the businesses of designers who are thriving even in the middle of a pandemic.”

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