#NYFWSoWhite, But We Still Showed Up (and Showed Out)—So Who Won NYFW?

(L-R) Stylist Law Roach, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Victor Cruz, Karrueche Tran, Kelly Rowland and Tiffany Haddish attend the Prabal Gurung - Front Row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on September 9, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images)

Real talk? After a year in which black designers seemed to be gaining more traction and shine, the last New York Fashion Week of 2018 was a bit of a disappointment. While Cushnie, Pyer Moss, Telfar Global and LaQuan Smith all gave us great shows this season, there were glaring absences, like Off-White, Romeo Hunte, Ennyluap or even Yeezy.

Obviously, there are reasons for some of those absences, like Virgil Abloh’s relocation to France for Louis Vuitton, Romeo Hunte’s decision to focus on Menswear this season, and the incredible expense of mounting a runway presentation. But while the runways themselves were mostly diverse, this Fashion Week was once again dominated by the well-known establishment of white designers, continuing to raise questions about when and how more seats at the table will be afforded to designers of color—and black designers, in particular.


But the lack of black designers didn’t stop a significant black celebrity presence this season, as evidenced by the front rows and step-and-repeats of several shows and events. And there were a few faces we just kept seeing again and again ... leading us to wonder: If not black designers, then which black celeb “won” Fashion Week?

The Ingenue

There was no shortage of celebrity spawn at New York Fashion Week, but one of the most visible this week was Steve and Marjorie Harvey’s youngest daughter, 21-year-old Lori. Though only 5 feet 3 inches, the diminutive Harvey is nevertheless a signed model determined to blaze her own path in the industry—starting with becoming ubiquitous with fashion. That might explain why she seemed to appear front row at pretty much every major event and show this week.


The Lovebirds

She co-stars on hit show Claws and he’s newly retired from a high-profile NFL career, but Karrueche Tran and Victor Cruz were clearly aiming to be #CoupleGoals this Fashion Week, arriving boo’d up and coordinated at almost much every appearance they made. Apparently, the couple who slays together, stays together?


The Attention Getter

A little high-profile conflict wasn’t going to get in the way of Nicki Minaj’s good time this Fashion Week; wearing a dizzying array of wigs, the rapper continued to promote her latest album—and her growing status as a fashion icon (argue with the covers, not me)—by continuing to make the rounds throughout Fashion Week. But despite all appearances, was Nicki the winner this round?


The Rookie-Turned-MVP

She Ready! The title this Fashion Week has to go to Tiffany Haddish, who won her first-ever Fashion Week hands down, with the help of friend and celebrity stylist Law Roach, who accompanied her to almost every show. Starting the week off with Jeremy Scott’s Thursday, Sept. 6 presentation, Haddish was a ride-or-die all the way through to the Diamond Ball a week later, where she simply asked the Associated Press: “Is there food at these things? ... Because I’m hungry.”

Tiffany Haddish attends Rihanna’s 4th Annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on September 13, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Theo Wargo (Getty Images)

After getting some much-needed sustenance, Haddish then bid $75,000 on a pair of Chopard earrings. Because, charity (actually, in true Groupon fashion, she was getting a great deal, since USA Today reports that they were valued at $112,000).


Yeah, she ready.

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Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.