“Everyone may not understand your vision at first,” she shares, “but if it’s a strong conviction for you, keep going.”
Brandice Daniel is founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR), the foremost platform for multicultural fashion designers, pushing boundaries and changing the narrative.
A pioneering voice promoting inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry, with over ten years of wealth of experience ranging from retail, buying, costing, and production, she in 2007 created HFR, going ahead to produce her first fashion show which received critical acclaim.
Her work has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, and dozens of other outlets.
Through her work powering the diversity movement in fashion, she produces events to teach, inspire and encourage as well as provides a platform for designers of color during fashion week.
In just five years Brandice amassed great success and moved her Harlem’s fashion show from a small restaurant to the striking Allen Room at Lincoln Center. She notably also gained corporate support, partnering with companies such as Target Stores, Google, Coca Cola, Iman Cosmetics, Sprite Green, and BET.
Brandice Daniel is also co-founder and co-host of the Great Girlfriends, a podcast series created to commit women with daily tips and solutions for living passionate lives and building thriving businesses!
“When you’re doing something that’s bigger than yourself, the key is to not give up.”
The 41-year-old collaborated with Nike and LeBron James for the signature LeBron 16 sneaker, which invoked the strength of African-American women- it was the first Lebron sneaker designed by and for women. The shoe sold out in less than 5 minutes.
To bring the shoe to life, Nike tapped Daniel who then enlisted three black female designers — Kimberly Goldson, Felisha No,el and Undra Celeste Duncan. The result was an all-white shoe with gold accents. The sneaker reportedly sold out in five minutes. The project was a game-changing example of authentic collaboration in fashion.
“The partnership for the designers was so incredible because it shows other brands the power of African-American women,” Daniel told NBCBLK. “It shows why brands need to pay more attention to this market and what can happen when you build something catering, respecting and honoring that market.”
Daniel is inspired by the legacy of Lois. K. Alexander Lane, the founder of the Harlem Institute of Fashion in 1966 and the Black Fashion Museum in 1979 and vows to follow her path.
In 2008, Daniel read Lane’s book Blacks in the History of Fashion. Without her, Daniel says, a huge chunk of black history would be missing in fashion.
“Because of her, so many designs by people of color are preserved and are now in the Smithsonian African-American Museum,” Daniel said. “She did this in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. I feel like I’ve taken off where she left off.”
On the journey so far and success achieved, she says:
“A lot of these opportunities did not come until we celebrated 10 years,” she said. “When you’re doing something that’s bigger than yourself, the key is to not give up. Things will get difficult, but keeping in the race is the only way to see all of these incredible opportunities come because you decided to stay.”
Brandice Daniel is an advisory council member of the Social Justice Center at FIT.