Designers Of Color Travel From Across The U.S. For Harlem’s Fashion Row’s Designer Retreat

ByJohnie Turber

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Over 70 Black and Brown designers across the U.S. and across the pond (London) traveled to the Big Apple last week for Harlem Fashion Row’s 4th Annual Designer Retreat, presented by Nike. The three-day event took place at Nike’s New York City headquarters.

Image courtesy of Harlem’s Fashion Row | Photographer: Lebo Lukewarm

Image courtesy of Harlem’s Fashion Row | Photographer: Lebo Lukewarm

About Harlem’s Fashion Row

Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) is an agency creating a bridge between brands and designers of color. The agency has collaborated with brands such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Banana Republic, just to name a few.

You may know of them from their collaboration with Nike and LeBron James on the LeBron 16, the first LeBron signature shoe reimagined by women.


The Designer’s Experience

Designers at every experience level participated in networking sessions, meet and greets with top fashion executives, and panel discussions.

Fashion industry leaders such as Jarvis Sam, Nike’s vice president of global diversity and inclusion; Sharifa Murdock, Kith’s chief impact officer and Lanessa Elrod, chief senior vice president of U.S. retail at Louis Vuitton Americas were in attendance.

On the second day of the retreat, the designers traveled to multiple locations across Manhattan for Industry Stops. Industry leaders at Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tory Burch led each Industry Stop.

Designer Cora Spearman of fashion brand Coradorables, traveled from Hawaii to NYC for the retreat. She has been in attendance since the very first Designer Retreat in 2019. Tolu Coker of her eponymous brand Tolu Coker is a London-based sustainable designer who was also in attendance.

There were designers who traveled from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Memphis, and everywhere in between.

Image courtesy of Harlem’s Fashion Row | Photographer: Lebo Lukewarm

Image courtesy of Harlem’s Fashion Row | Photographer: Lebo Lukewarm

The selection process is rigorous and consists of each designer submitting an application to get into the Designer Retreat.

HFR’s Founder and CEO Brandice Daniel says, “Last week was INCREDIBLE. Harlem’s Fashion Row’s 4th Annual Designer Retreat was held at Nike’s NYC headquarters and WOW — the joy I felt watching designers enjoy every moment is indescribable.”

Daniel goes on to say, “It all goes back to the core of why I started HFR, and 15 years later, I am still as excited about the advancement of designers of color as I was on Day 1.”

You can find out more about Harlem’s Fashion Row and its upcoming events at


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