Among the myriad organizations that highlight aspiring designers in New York is Harlem's Fashion Row, which, according to its website, is "committed to increasing diversity in fashion" in the same spirit as Alvin Ailey's tremendous contributions to the arts through dance. Now, for the fifth year, the program will send three aspiring black designers to New York Fashion Week, to present their collections September 16.
The latest round of six semi-finalists has been selected by the HFR committee, and voting on which designer will make it to the tents is open to voting online through May 30, according to the Daily News.
"We looked for people who have a very clear vision," says Brandice Henderson, founder and CEO of Harlem's Fashion Row. "I wanted someone who had a picture in their head of the person they are dressing."
As part of the prize, the three winners will have their collections marketed, produced, and advised by a network of industry figures backed by the organization. This year's finalists include Bobby West and Day Williams of menswear line, Bobby Day; evening-wear designer Imani Whyte of ImaniLia; Bethune Bros. menswear designer Joseph Bethune; Onyenauchea Nwabuzor of Ana Kata; and Kellia Rogers of Kebero.
The design competition serves as the organization's central initiative, in addition to editorial features and monthly designer incubator events throughout the year.