Eagle-eyed buyers and editors may notice this fashion week a curious uptick in the use of alpaca -- a mohair-like material usually associated with momish twinsets -- on the runways. And that's no accident: In fact, the Peruvian government is compensating them for doing so.
The curtain rose on New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center's Theatre and Stage Thursday, but Report Card knows there was an awful lot of good style action happening among emerging designers presenting Wednesday--or Day 0. Critics were especially jazzed about Billy Reid alum Charles Harbison's Aaliyah-African diaspora-Yves Klein-prepster mashup and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominee Veronica Beard's decision to blow out their blazer-and-dickeys into an eightiesrific full collection. On the official first day of fashion week, fashion's Midwestern eccentrics Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters blew into town with an infectiously ebullient ode to Hyperborea, a utopia where the sun always shines, and Richard Chai got some love from critics for his lightest collection in a number of seasons.
This New York Fashion Week delivers 13 brands–with aesthetics ranging from avant-garde and edgy to classic and couture-inspired–being helmed (or co-helmed) by African American creatives. We are excited to see these individuals defying the odds many face as black designers in New York. Click through the slideshow to check them out.