September 8, 2022
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Gap Inc. continued its longstanding support of Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) as a sponsor at the fifteenth annual HFR Fashion Show & Style Awards. With legendary fashion figures in attendance, Gap Inc. was honored to bear witness once again to incredible collections and welcome in the next generation of exceptional Black and Latinx designers.
Since 2019, we’ve partnered with HFR on our shared commitment to amplify the work of designers of color in the fashion industry. As one of the largest specialty retailers in the world, we believe it’s our responsibility to lead the industry and create opportunities for professionals of color by uplifting voices that historically have been overlooked.
Just last year, we announced the Closing the Gap initiative – a scholarship program formed between Gap Inc.’s Create with Audacity (CWA) designers and ICON360, a nonprofit subsidiary of HFR, aimed at strengthening educational opportunities for the next generation of Black fashion leaders by offering financial awards to fashion departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
This fall, Gap Inc. will announce the second round of Closing the Gap award recipients, in addition to launching the first ever CWA Design Apprenticeship class. The Design Apprenticeship year-long program seeks to attract, develop, inspire and retain diverse high-caliber creative talent who have potential to become future industry leaders. Design Apprentices are partnered with creative mentors from across Gap Inc.’s portfolio of powerful brands. The mentor and apprentice relationship is one that fuels shared learning, as well as inspirational and creative experiences – with each apprentice building skills across the product creation cycle. Threading through our commitment to ICON360, more than half of the apprentices are recent graduates from Closing the Gap-awarded HBCUs.
At the 2021 Fashion Show & Style Awards, Banana Republic also served as the title sponsor and showcased an amazing collaboration with Charles Harbison just before the limited-edition capsule collection launched in-stores and online. The collection proved successful for the brand, beating financial expectations by double digits and garnering over 1 billion external press impressions, showcasing that building with inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s right for business.
Want to catch the replay of last night’s event? Follow @harlemsfashionrow on Instagram to get updates and learn more about this incredible organization!