Ready for the (Virtual) Runway? The Black Fashion Lover's Guide to New York Fashion Week This February

Makeup Artist Jezz Hill and model Anika Hartje during Jezz Hill & Tood Masterclass at New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Spring Studios on Feb. 14 in New York City.
Makeup Artist Jezz Hill and model Anika Hartje during Jezz Hill & Tood Masterclass at New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Spring Studios on Feb. 14 in New York City.
Photo: Arturo Holmes (Getty Images)

Black History Month. Valentine’s Day. President’s Day. New York Fashion Week. Mardi Gras. The Golden Globes... For the shortest month of the year, February 2021 sure is jam-packed. While many of us are still living life in our sweatsuits with no major style moments immediately in sight, the fashion industry is still planning ahead and continuing to creatively adapt New York Fashion Week to a gathering-free format. Accordingly, in addition to streamlining the typical week of showings for a second consecutive season, this February even more of the presentations will be shown via virtual runway formats or evocative short films.

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Take, for instance, Sadé + Shaniya, who helped to kick off NYFW on Sunday with the sumptuous, intimate, and Valentine’s Day-appropriate Green Eyes: A Fashion Film by Sadé + Shaniya. (And yes, the nearly 10-minute film with an all-Black cast is set to the single from Erykah Badu’s now classic 2000 album, Mama’s Gun.)

But even in a slightly shorter show calendar (many designers choosing to present on their own time amid the pandemic), there’s much more to come. Recently rebranded the American Collections Calendar by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), you can keep up with all of the shows—and via free subscription, add them to your calendar—via the CFDA’s Runway360 platform.

What are we looking forward to this week? Well, everybody Black, of course. Some of the week’s online-accessible presentations include:

Monday, February 15

Tuesday, February 16

Wednesday, February 17

  • Theophilio (4:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET)
  • E! Online is this year’s official media partner of NYFW: The Shows and fashion lovers can therefore follow them all week long for insider access to the shows, designers, stylists, and tastemakers. On Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. ET, E! will feature a conversation and exclusive showroom tour with Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor-in-chief of The Cut and the co-founder of the Black In Fashion Council.
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Thursday, February 18

  • Harlem’s Fashion Row’s 3rd Annual Digital Fashion Summit (9:00 am to 5:00 pm with scheduled breaks) culminates NYFW with its signature event, “Moving Beyond the Black Box: A New Conversation About Race & Fashion.” Over 30 professionals from across the fashion and retail industry are scheduled to participate, “discussing best practices by brands that are ‘getting it right’, education for brands ‘figuring it out’, and opportunities for brands ready to ‘make a difference,’” per a press release from HFR.
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Illustration for article titled Ready for the (Virtual) Runway? The Black Fashion Lover's Guide to New York Fashion Week This February
Image: Harlem’s Fashion Row

Featured guests include Aurora James (Brother Vellies/15 Percent Pledge); Bethann Hardison; Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles (Black in Fashion Council); designer Tracy Reese; Samira Nasr (Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar) and more. Tickets are available and pro-rated for students through corporate professionals; for more information, visit HFR’s event page.

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A short week with so much to look forward to—we’re feeling more stylish already.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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