Issa Rae Loves The ‘Contagious’ Energy Of Gen-Z When It Comes To Style And Fashion
As New York Fashion Week comes into full swing, patrons and party-goers are preparing their ultimate slay during the most highly-anticipated and hectic time of the year for the fashion gworls. One of the most coveted events is the Black excellence that pours from the annual Fashion Show & Style Awards by Harlem’s Fashion Row. Founded by Brandice Daniel, the 15th annual event and after-party were sponsored by LVMH North America (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), a luxury good with famed subsidiaries including Dior, Sephora, Fendi, and more.
Last night at General Grant National Memorial – also known as Grant’s Tomb, the final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant, and the largest mausoleum in North America – Daniel and the HFR team rounded up A-list invitees of designers, stylists, editors, and more to watch the latest collections from Johnathan Hayden, Nicole Benefield, and Clarence Ruth. From Bevy Smith and Ebony Obsidian to Erica Campbell and Ty Hunter, the evening was star-studded with industry notables across fashion, style, and beauty. Honorees included Ade Samuel for Stylist of the Year, Robin Givhan for Editor of the Year, and Sergio Hudson for Designer of the Year. During this special night, a new award was presented by Shannon Abloh, the wife of the late Virgil Abloh, to a very special honoree.
In honor of the barrier-breaking designer and visionary, Insecure and Rap Sh!t creator Issa Rae was honored with the Inaugural Virgil Abloh Award presented by LVMH. “It is a true honor to be even seen in line with his mission,” Rae told Girls United. “I know he was cut off way too soon. He had so much more to do, so to get that encouragement and that validation meant a lot.”
When asked about how the next generation is breaking fashion barriers and molds, the Lovebirds star did not hesitate to give Gen-Z’ers their praise. “Gen-Z has multiple platforms, they’re vocal, and they’re just uninhibited. They feel like, ‘The world is going to end anyway so fuck it,’ and that energy is contagious.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06: Issa Rae attends Harlem’s Fashion Row 15th Anniversary Fashion Show And Style Awards on September 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Style architect, designer, and force in the fashion industry Misa Hylton was also in attendance to celebrate Harlem’s Fashion Row’s 15th Annual Fashion Show and Style Awards, which also honored Janet Jackson with the Icon of the Year award. While she has served as a stylist to some of the most notable names in hip-hop and R&B including Lil’ Kim and Mary J. Blige, Hylton’s definition of style seems evergreen as the world of fashion and style evolves around her. “Fashion and style to me mean expression of creativity, which is bravery and courage,” Hylton told Girls United.
“Brandice and HFR have impacted what it means to be a Black person in fashion by empowering us, by showing us what’s possible, having our backs, providing financial support, moral support, and mentorship,” she praised of the ICON360 founder. “She’s showing us, ‘Forget sky’s the limit. There is no limit to what we can do and what we can be.'”
Similar to the Hoorae Media founder that was honored with the first-ever Inaugural Virgil Abloh Award earlier that evening, Hylton agreed that Generation Z. “I think Gen-Z has changed what fashion and style is today because fashion and creativity is about bravery. Gen-Z leads with bravery, courage, hanging outside the box comfortably, and they represent the future of fashion and what’s to come, and I love it.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06: Misa Hylton and April Walker attend Harlem’s Fashion Row 15th Anniversary Fashion Show And Style Awards on September 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
To the next generation of fashion designers, style architects, and creatives, Hylton encouraged young girls to “perservere.” She added, “You need to believe in yourself, trust in your gift, trust the process, and know that every step matters whether it’s a step forward or a step back. It all matters. Stick to your guns, trust the process, and always keep moving forward.”
“You can pause for a second, take a break, catch your breath, but always get back up and keep moving forward.”
Photo Credit: NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06: Issa Rae attends Harlem’s Fashion Row 15th Anniversary Fashion Show And Style Awards on September 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
About D’Shonda: Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, D’Shonda Brown is the Associate Editor at Girls United. When she’s not interviewing or writing, she enjoys running, dancing, buying sneakers, and binge-watching Lifetime movies.