Still Whitewashed? A Look at Black Influence During Fashion Week


June AmbroseBlogging, which is a rising phenomenon in the fashion industry, has opened doors for Black faces like LoveBrownSugar’s Christina Brown, Glamazonsblog’s Andrea Arterbery and Afrobella’s Patrice Yursik. However, there are many editors and bloggers who cite racism as the reason they’re shut out of shows and denied invitations. The fashion community does not see the value in a niche, race-specific audience, so mainstream bloggers and publications get priority.

While these industry heavyweights help diversify the white-dominated fashion landscape, Harlem’s Fashion Row stands out as an isolated beacon of Black influence. Founded by Brandice Henderson, HFR offers a memorable presentation of regalia created by Black designers and worn by Black models at the close of New York Fashion Week. Last year’s Harlem’s Fashion Row honored Essence Magazine’s Emil Wilbekin and accomplished stylist June Ambrose, while introducing designs by talented artists like Kellia Kebero.

It is a testament to the unbridled potential of Blacks in fashion, still untapped by the fashion industry at large.–Jessica Andrews