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Harlem’s Fashion Row Launches Nonprofit to Aid Designers of Color Impacted by COVID

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The fashion industry has not been immune to the economic effects triggered by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. In light of the halt in productions and dramatic declines in sales, Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR), a New York-based organization that champions designers of color, is stepping up to empower the fashion community during these unprecedented times.

On May 30, HFR will launch a new nonprofit called ICON 360 to support designers impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit program seeks to provide grants for designers of color who are pivoting their businesses during the pandemic and need funding to scale.

“During this crisis, I thought it was critical to do everything in our power to support designers of color,” said Brandice Daniel, who founded HFR in 2007 as a platform for black and brown designers, in a statement. “I’m incredibly inspired by the resilience of designers who are making bold pivots in their business. As a fashion community we have an incredible opportunity to help scale the businesses of designers who are thriving even in the middle of a pandemic.”

To raise funds, the organization will host a virtual fundraiser on May 30 co-sponsored by Gap, Inc., Ciroc, Nike, and Shea Moisture to offer designers financial relief and encouragement. According to a press release, 100% of the proceeds will be allocated towards the ICON 360 grants, which eligible candidates can apply for beginning June 15.

A number of special fashion industry guests will appear during the digital event, including designers Tracy Reese and Christopher John Rogers, stylist Kesha McLeod, and writer Tamu McPherson. In addition, Teen VOGUE’s Editor in Chief Lindsey Peoples Wagner will host a panel discussion about the Gen Z and Millennial response to the COVID-19 crisis. Guests will also have an opportunity to view a fashion show with past HFR designers along with upcoming emerging designers.

Guests can purchase tickets to the virtual event at www.hfricon360.com. To view the full schedule for the fundraiser, purchase tickets, or apply for the grant, visit the Icon360 website.


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Fashion & Style

Prabal Gurung’s Stronger In Colour Collection Is Donating 100% Of Proceeds To The Bail Project

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For many brands, 2020 will be the year they “pulled up” to stop racial injustice, both in the fashion industry and beyond — but not for Prabal Gurung. Since founding his namesake brand in 2009, Gurung has been constantly fighting to make the fashion industry a more equal place at every turn, which is now underscored by the revival of a relevant past project. Announced on Jun. 3, Prabal Gurung’s “Stronger In Colour” collection is getting a second life, continuing the commitment to diversity and inclusion that’s been the brand’s lifeblood from the start, selling 100% charitable tees and hoodies for a noble cause.

Available on its site right now, shoppers can choose from two unisex styles, in two shades — a basic tee ($95), or a basic hoodie ($175), in either black or white. In multicolored typeface, each reads “STRONGER IN COLOUR,” echoing the longtime ethos of the New York-based womenswear brand. To sweeten the deal, 100% of net proceeds will be donated to The Bail Project, which is presently focused on combatting the mass incarceration disproportionately affecting the Black community.

Right now, there’s a disparity between brands who have been posting fervently in accordance with the present moment, and those who were slower to respond. The Nepalese-American designer has, alternatively, been using his near-750,000 following to get messages out around the clock, spread powerful footage of protests and messages of hope. Still, he believes there’s more to be done. “We have posted, donated, signed petitions, marched in protests, spoken on panels, and shared important resources – but this didn’t feel like enough. This is just one additional step, and we know there is still more we can do,” shared Gurung in an Instagram post this week.

Available now through Jun. 15, shoppers can purchase the tops exclusively on Prabal Gurung’s site. To participate in the movement and support the brand’s initiative, browse the styles ahead — and, you can shop rest assured that your full contribution is paid forward. And, as the fight continues, some words of encouragement from Gurung’s Instagram: “…as we walk through the streets alongside protests, and unified chants for justice are heard around the world, it feels as though we are on the precipice of true change as this movement barrels forward.”

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Some of the hottest streetwear brands are making a George Floyd memorial tee

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Fear of God has pulled together some of the best names in streetwear and fashion for a T-shirt honoring George Floyd. Off-White, Pyer Moss, Union, Noah, Awake, Just Don, Denim Tears, and Melody Ehsani all lend their names to the tee, of which proceeds will go to the Gianna Floyd Fund.

The late Floyd’s initials appear on the front of the shirt, while all nine brand logos appear on the back. Available in black or white, the shirt will sell exclusively through Fear of God’s Instagram page for $100. It goes live at 9 a.m. PST Friday, June 5.

Fear of God

A limited run — While streetwear consumers often call for fundraising T-shirts to be made available for pre-order to maximize proceeds, COVID-19 has rendered that more difficult. We’ve seen it already with Supreme and Noah’s coronavirus relief tees, and that’s the case here as well. Jerry Lorenzo, Fear of God’s founder and designer, said in an Instagram comment that the T-shirts are “limited to the fabric availability we have.”

Streetwear at its best — At its roots, and too often forgotten, streetwear is about community. And you can’t talk about the culture surrounding it without acknowledging the contributions and support from the black community. That makes it encouraging, but not at all surprising to see so many brands step up to raise funds to organizations tied to Black Lives Matter, as well as the families of victims.

Online Ceramics

With T-shirts quick and easy to produce, several brands have produced their own as fundraisers, including Brain Dead and Blood Orange, Online Ceramics, Andrew, and Advisory Board Crystals. In addition to the Fear of God collaboration, Denim Tears also has its own tee with proceeds going to the Know Your Rights Camp.

Without product involved, Supreme announced it’ll donate $500,000 amongst Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, Campaign Zero, and Black Futures Lab. A-Cold-Wall*, meanwhile, will award 10 grants for a total of £25,000 (~$31,500) to independent, back-owned companies.


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Banana Republic Donates $20M of Clothes to Americans in Need

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Over the past few months, we’ve spotlighted fashion businesses stepping up and taking action, whether it’s to help support Americans affected by the COVID-19 crisis or to stand behind the Black community with donations, acknowledging the racially unjust murder of George Floyd and the larger conversation surrounding Black Lives Matter. Brands with a large platform can and should acknowledge voices that are struggling in America, and Banana Republic — notably a part of parent company Gap Inc. — is striving to make a difference. BR teamed up with Delivering Good to donate more than $20 million of new clothing to those in need in order to help America get back to work. It’s a project they’re calling “Will Work For a Better Republic,” and it comes after months of actionable Instagram posts the brand has put up, all of which are meant to encourage positive thinking.

“By supporting Delivering Good [an organization that helps kids and families through tragedies], Banana Republic is helping men and women across the US, including those facing poverty, homelessness, and job loss. Among our network of more than 700 community partners, we will focus this donation on nonprofits with workforce training and re-entry programs and markets that have been especially affected by the current crises. This donation will have such a positive impact on men, women and disadvantaged young adults,” said Delivering Good President and CEO Lisa Gurwitch.

In effort to promote equality, Banana Republic has also come together with Gap Inc. brands Athleta, Gap, and Old Navy to donate $250,000 to the National Association For the Advancement of Colored People and EmbraceRace. Previously, Gap Inc. donated $1M to support underserved families in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, posting the news on Instagram on March 27. Banana Republic also came out with a reusable cotton face mask for customers to purchase, committing to a donation of $10 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund for every mask sold. Scroll down to read about these initiatives directly from Banana Republic’s feed.


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