Updated: May 16, 2021
Growing up, I've always understood that fashion is a big part of the African American and
hip-hop culture. The first pair of Jordans you purchased.....was mentioned in a song or two.
Your first pair of Timberland boots were worn by at least one of the Wu-Tang Clan members.
Let's not forget that Coogi sweater that Biggie rapped about in his verses! Fashion is at the
forefront of our culture, and while we continue to change and grow as a people, so does style.
Harlem has been in the loop for everything on the rise in the African American culture since the Harlem Renaissance. You can't say anything about the timeless neighborhood nowadays
without mentioning: the mini shops inside Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market; or Bakery HNY, a
Paris-based collective that's been cooking up some of the freshest new sneaker releases in
NYC for some time now. Now we all know that New York is notorious for NYC Fashion
Week(NYFW), where celebrities from all over the world come to check out some of the fashion
industry's best new and legendary fashion brands. But the African American and hip hop
cultures now blissfully join forces together at Harlem Fashion Week(HFW). They are truly dedicated to the people: FOR the culture, BY the culture!
HFW allows designers and guests to mix and mingle with some of the fashion industry's biggest names. Luminaries like Jay Manuel, Erykah Badu, Teyanna Taylor, and the late Dapper Afrika are movers and shakers in the fashion industry you would see while enjoying the runway shows and galas at HFW. HFW has been spreading the word about this week through various media outlets such as Vogue Italia, Paper Magazine, and The New Yorker, to name a few.
The Creative Director and Co-owner of Harlem Fashion Week, Yvonne Jewnell, is an ingenious entrepreneur. Yvonne is also a designer for the Malcolm X Legacy and Resident Stylist for "The Sum of Us Project" led by renowned photographer Brooklyn McTavish. Yvonne has been making her mark in the fashion industry for some time with her fashion brand "Yvonne Jewnell NY," an award-winning womenswear company that encourages women empowerment and celebrates different cultures across the world. After looking at some of the pieces presented in the YJNY collection, I think it is the perfect depiction of diversity and the Harlem Renaissance all in one.
I'm looking forward to seeing more designs from Yvonne and reaching her goal of spreading a positive message through the influences of art and fashion.
-the pretty hustler