Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) was founded to bring attention and a much-needed platform to designers of color—and it’s done so for over a decade, garnering groundbreaking respect throughout the industry and enviable corporate partnerships. In the midst of the coronavirus, HFR’s mission continues, as on Wednesday, its CEO and founder Brandice Daniel announced the nonprofit entity ICON 360, co-sponsored by Gap, Inc., Ciroc, Nike and Shea Moisture and designed to support designers with financial relief and encouragement through this ongoing crisis.
“The current economic climate has brought forth uncertainty for designers,” reads the HFR website. “With the halt in productions and dramatic declines in sales, we at Harlem’s Fashion Row have decided to take action and assist designers of color through these unprecedented times.”
Designers in need are encouraged to apply for an ICON 360 grant, named for HFR’s annual awards issued during September’s Fashion Week. The grants will be issued in as-yet-unspecified amounts from the newly formed nonprofit, but to raise funds and awareness of designers in need, the arts and entertainment organization is hosting a “Virtual Fundraiser” on May 30, presumably in place of its annual September gala (though we shall see). The virtual event will feature “special fashion industry guests, to celebrate and support designers who apply for the ICON 360 grant,” says the site.
“During this crisis I thought it was critical to do everything in our power to support designers of color,” says Daniel in a statement sent to The Glow Up. “I’m incredibly inspired by the resilience of designers who are making bold pivots in their business. As a fashion community we have an incredible opportunity to help scale the businesses of designers who are thriving even in the middle of a pandemic.”
Confirmed panelists for ICON 360 include Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Peoples Wagner, veteran fashion and beauty editor Mikki Taylor, pioneering designer Tracy Reese, Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund winner Christopher John Rogers in conversation with celebrity stylists Wayman and Micah (Regina King, KiKi Layne), celebrity stylist Kesha McLeod (Serena Williams), influencers like Tai Beauchamp and Claire Sulmers and more. The full schedule and tickets ($22) for the three-hour event are available now—and designers can apply for the ICON360 grant on the HFR website.