Black History Month: Brandice Daniel on launching Harlem's Fashion Row

January 31, 2019 - 10:18 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Fashion matchmaker Brandice Daniel launched Harlem's Fashion Row after attending a show, and finding a lack of designers of color represented on stage.

She told 1010 WINS' Larry Mullins that absence was reflected in the marketplace.

"There were designers here, but when it came to seeing them in the markets, seeing them sold in department stores, seeing them kind of be on the stage as other designers, there just weren't many of them," she said.

She created Harlem's Fashion Row in 2007, but things weren't easy at first.

"In the beginning I had to beg designers to be a part of HFR. They didn't know me, they didn't know who I was. They had spent years building their brands and for them to take a brand that they had taken so many years to build and trust a nobody, an outsider with it, wasn't easy for people to do," she said. "For the first couple of years I didn't have any sponsors, so I self funded. I was working a good 9 to 5, and so I used my income from my day job to basically fund those first few events."

Things have gone up from there -- way up!

Daniel has paired some 50 designers with TreSemme, Marriott, Target, and many others. Eventually, Nike got involved; Lebron James partnered with Harlem's Fashion Row last year to create a shoe designed for women by women.