When the coronavirus pandemic escalated in March, a lingering question swept over the fashion industry: What does this mean for fashion week? We’ve since seen fashion almost fully immerse itself in the digital world, from Hanifa’s revolutionary 3D Instagram runway show in May to designers who have recently showcased their Resort 2021 collections, along with some Spring 2021 showings. After the July confirmation that the show would go on for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) this fall, CFDA has announced the official NYFW schedule, beginning on September 13 and ending on September 16—as you might imagine, the list is shorter than usual, and most shows will be digital.
In the wake of the worldwide health crisis, brands faced unprecedented challenges from factory shutdowns to significant drops in sales, leading some labels to cancel or push back collections. Additionally, the industry’s current state prompted a much-needed conversation about just how often fashion shows should take place. As a result, many designers have opted out of fashion week this go-round, some to presumably showcase their spring collections at a later date.
Though NYFW typically boasts the most diverse lineup across all four fashion capitals, of course, a reduced calendar means fewer Black-owned brands on the catwalk this season as well. (Pyer Moss, Telfar and Christopher John Rogers are among the designers who have opted out.) Conversely, there are 15 new additions to the NYFW schedule this fall. Doux, Frederick Anderson, Frère, Oak & Acorn and Theophilio are among the few, bringing the number of Black designers showcasing at Fashion Week this fall to 10 out of 60. Ahead, here are all the Black designers participating in New York Fashion Week in September.
Harlem’s Fashion Row (Digital) – 9/13 – 7:30 PM
Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR), founded by Brandice Daniel, is a creative platform serving multicultural designers, aiding them in presenting and selling their collections. HFR will celebrate their 13th annual Style Awards & Fashion Show, as well as showcase collections from BIPOC designers Kimberly Goldson, Rich Fresh, and Kristian Lorén.
CFDA Special Announcement 12 PM (Digital)
Dur Doux (Digital) – 9/14 – 4 PM
Presenting designs that empower the coexistence of avant-garde and wearability, signature design elements for Parsons design school alum, Najla Burt, include unexpected shapes and intricate fabrication. Already under the radar of the likes of Elle and Vogue, this mother daughter duo (Burt’s mother, Cynthia Burt, runs Dur Doux’s operations) is the statement brand to keep your eye on.
Stay Me7o (Digital) – 9/14 – 7 PM
Stay Me7o is the brainchild of Portland Trail Blazers basketball star, Carmelo Anthony. Anthony began hinting at a line on social media in May, and later released a limited edition capsule collection to support the fight against racial injustice. Comprising of hoodies and T-Shirts with phrases such as “FREEDOM” and “PEACE,” all profits from the collection are to go towards the NAACP.
APOTTS – 9/15 – 9 AM
APOTTS was birthed by Aaron Potts, who got a start in design working with brands such as Anne Klein, Tamara Mellon and Escada. APOTTS puts a fashion-forward spin on staple pieces, often using neutral colors elevated by strong silhouettes. According to the designer, APOTTS‘ pieces are meant to serve as freeing garments consumers can wear everyday.
Frederick Anderson (Live) – 9/15 – 2 PM
Sleek silhouettes and uniquely feminine elements come to find a home at Frederick Anderson. The FIT alum’s fall collection took an edgy approach on fashion-meets-lingerie, with a strong usage of lace, sheer fabrics and silk.
Oak & Acorn (Digital) – 9/15 – 4:30
Oak & Acorn is a sustainable denim-centered brand based in Harlem, rooted in telling the untold history of the contribution of indigenous Americans and enslaved Africans to the denim industry. Led by Miko Underwood, Oak & Acorn is anything but your typical denim line. Instead, artfully crafted pants and ponchos marry upscale elements with streetwear.
Frère (Digital) – 9/15 – 5:30
As one of the most influential names in menswear, designer Davidson Petit-Frère’s creations have been seen on the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Jay Z, Terrance J., and more. Elegant finishes and clean lines create a statement look with even the brand’s most casual pieces.
Kenneth Nicholson (Digital) – 9/15 – 7 PM
Kenneth Nicholoson’s eclectic designs aren’t for the faint of heart, but that’s what makes them so good. From zig-zag lace tops, to checkered pants with a ‘70s flare, the Houston-bred designer does not disappoint with his extreme attention to detail. Use of textures and movement take his designs to the next level.
Studio One Eighty Nine – 9/16 – 11 AM
Co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, Studio One Eighty Nine is a Ghana-based lifestyle brand working with artisanal communities to highlight the beauty of African clothing. A contemporary spin married with African inspired prints it’s at the core of the brand, met with lively colors and closely, feminine shapes.
Who Decides War (Digital) – 9/16 – 11:30 AM
Most known for his hand-embellished pieces, designer Ev Bravado approaches streetwear with a distinct and crafty eye, using elements such as contrast stitching, glitter, and unexpected pockets and patchwork to turn everyday pieces such as denim and crewneck sweaters into statement works of art.
Maxhosa Africa – 9/16 – 2 PM
Maxhosa Africa was founded by Laduma Ngxokolo in 2012, introducing a wide range of elevated knitwear inspired by traditional Xhosa aesthetics. From double-breasted jackets to wide-leg pants, the brand tells a story of African-inspired fashion through bold color, traditional shapes and stand-out prints.
Theophilio (Digital) – 9/16 – 3:30 PM
Jamaican, New York based designer Edvin Thompson’s line is a pleasing-to-the-eye tribute to his time in Jamaica during his youth, marrying the concept of upcycling with contemporary dressing. Colors play a strong part in Thompson’s designs, along with stand-out adornments such as fringe and metal details.