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Harlem's Fashion Row - Front Row & Backstage - September 2018 - New York Fashion Week

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On May 31, 2020 designer Tommy Hilfiger called for bold change in support of the Black Lives Matter. That July he made good on his promise by launching a program to empower Black Designers with Harlem Fashion Row. 

As per Hype Beast Mr. Hilfiger is advancing his People’s Place program in 2022. The Tommy brand partnered with Harlem’s Fashion Row on a design competition, and now three young designers who have made it to the final round of the New Legacy Challenge will recreate iconic prep designs. One of them will win the opportunity of a lifetime: a co-designed capsule collection with Tommy Hilfiger. This week the three finalists were announced; Clarence Ruth (New York), Megan Smith (Kansas City) and Johnathan Hayden (New York City).

“We are far behind where we should be in achieving diverse representation. It shouldn’t have taken us this long to acknowledge that, but we are determined and committed to changing it going forward” Tommy said in a press release. “We will be intentional, fearless and unwavering in the actions we take. Through the People’s Place Program, we will use our platform to create opportunities and stand up for what is right.”

The program takes its name from Tommy Hilfiger’s first store which opened in 1969 in his hometown of Elmira, New York. At only 18 years old, Tommy created the People’s Place as a dedicated space for people from all walks of life to come together to enjoy art, music, fashion and pop culture. Shaped by the cultural revolution of the 1960’s, the original store fostered an exchange of ideas, encouraged authentic self-expression and challenged social norms. It is in this spirit that the new People’s Place Program has been founded and will continue to expand.

The New Legacy Challenge will be captured in four episodic installments and can be viewed here.