Introducing Magic Makers with Brandice Daniel: CEO, Cliff Jumper, and True Magic Maker
Introducing the Magic Makers. Those who inspire us as muses and ultimately embody the spirit of Black Girl Magic Wines, with outstanding accomplishments and character across a range of fields and lifestyles. In this new series, we aim to shine a spotlight on these individuals and allow them a platform for their stories to be told. We love to see powerhouse women building, inspiring, and growing. And we want more. We want to see more women empowered, more women moving mountains, more women transforming the world.
So, we’re raising a glass to celebrate the achievements of magic makers like Brandice Daniels. As the founder of Harlem's Fashion Row (HFR), Brandice has dedicated her career to uplifting designers of color, providing them with the platform and opportunities that have long been out of reach.
Partnering with some of the biggest names in fashion and beauty – including Tommy Hilfiger, Gap Inc., CFDA, LVMH, Covergirl, Macy’s, Dark & Lovely, ESSENCE Magazine, and more – HFR has become a powerful voice in the industry, bringing new and diverse perspectives to the forefront. As a true magic maker, Brandice inspires others to break down barriers and create their own path.
Read on to celebrate the achievements of this remarkable woman and learn about her journey, from her early days starting HFR to her plans for the future.
Meet Brandice Daniel
Brandice Daniel is a force to be reckoned with. She is the CEO of Harlem Fashion Row and the founder of The Cliff Jump Course, a course dedicated to empowering women to take that leap of faith and make their dreams a reality. Partnering with some of the biggest names in fashion and beauty, HFR has become a powerful voice in the industry, bringing new and diverse perspectives to the forefront. As a true magic maker, Brandice inspires others to break down barriers and create their own path. This Women's History Month, we had the opportunity to learn more about Brandice and her role in reshaping the fashion industry. We discussed her path to starting Harlem's Fashion Row, her takeaway from New York Fashion Week last month, and what "Black Girl Magic" means to her, personally.
Long before inclusivity became a widely accepted goal across the fashion industry, Brandice Daniel founded Harlem's Fashion Row to champion and uplift designers of color. Since 2007, Harlem’s Fashion Row has provided a voice and platform to help these fashion designers reach the same opportunities and connections as their white counterparts, enabling them access to sell and present their collections to key leaders within the fashion industry.
HFR has worked closely with some of the industry’s brightest talents, such as Fe Noel, LaQuan Smith, and Dapper Dan, and has partnered with organizations such as Target, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap Inc., CFDA, LVMH, Covergirl, Macy’s, Dark & Lovely, Coca-Cola, ESSENCE Magazine, AOL, BET and more.
Brandice, you are a Magic Maker. Your role in helping to evolve the fashion industry with Harlem’s Fashion Row is unique and impressive. You have said, "Sometimes you find your purpose, and other times your purpose finds you." Can you give us some background on how this applies to your own path?
In 2007, the year HFR was founded, I did not have plans to start a business. I just wanted to create a cool fashion show in Harlem. Through research, I discovered that Black designers represented less than 1% of designers sold in major department stores. This bothered me so much so that I felt I had to do something about it. My purpose found me.
What have been some of your proudest moments and accomplishments with HFR?
My proudest moment with HFR was our first fashion show. To see this idea come to fruition was an incredible experience and accomplishment. Another proud and amazing moment came last year when HFR partnered with LVMH and presented the first Virgil Abloh Award to Issa Rae during our Fashion Show and Style Awards. That same night, we presented our Fashion Icon Award to Janet Jackson.
New York Fashion Week took place last month. You must have been busy! What were you up to and what were the highlights?
Yes, we launched a new book, Fashion in Color. To celebrate the book’s launch, Macy’s dedicated 5 of their display windows to designers featured within the book. HFR also hosted its 5th Annual Black History Month Summit. On top of all this, I spoke on multiple panels including a panel session at Dior Beauty.
Your fingers are on the pulse of emerging talent. What designers are you most excited about right now?
I’m excited about Nicole Benefield, Clarence Ruth, and Johnathan Hayden. They all have something so unique to offer that the fashion industry hasn’t seen yet.
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers looking to get into the fashion industry?
Develop tough skin. This industry is challenging and it will take a lot of tenacity to make it.
How would you describe your own personal style? Do you have a “uniform”?
I’m actually in the process of developing my personal style now. For so long, I was in the trenches building a business. However, my style is what I like to call ‘business cool’. I love pairing a blazer with the comfort of loose pants and sneakers.
When you aren’t working, how do you like to spend your time?
I love hanging out with my great girlfriends, talking and laughing about life, our kids, and sharing life advice.
Do you have any favorite Black Girl Magic Wines and how or where do you like to enjoy them?
Yes! I have 2 bottles of Riesling in my wine fridge now. I also love the Red Blend.
What does “Black Girl Magic” mean to you?
It means anything is possible for us as Black women! We don’t let anything stop us.
What’s next for Harlem’s Fashion Row? What “Magic" would you like to make next?
We just launched a book, so we will spend this year marketing Fashion in Color. We also launched a new website www.hfrandco.com which makes it seamless to shop designers of color sold in major department stores.
I would love to expand our work to the continent of Africa. We are in the process of making that magic happen so stay tuned!