NEW YORK — However singular her first fashion-show sashay may have been in the Sixties, Bethann Hardison was honored Thursday for championing racial diversity for decades.
When the activist and documentarian accepted a Frederick Douglass Medallion from the New York Urban League, two of her prodigies, Iman and Liya Kebede, were the first to bring the crowd to its feet. Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Angela Davis, Drena De Niro, Audrey Smaltz, Lola Ogunnaike and Shiba Russell listened up as Hardison cited Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Stokely Carmichael as childhood heroes. “These are people who, when I look back, really made a change and weren’t afraid to go up against things. We need to educate people who think they’re educated.”
Hardison, whose modeling days are featured in the documentary “Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution,” is working on another documentary called “Invisible Beauty.” In the Eighties, through her own modeling agency, she shaped such careers as Tyson Beckford’s, and founded The Black Girls Coalition to raise awareness about a bevy of issues. Smaltz recalled how she and Hardison once relied on eye contact to orchestrate a Roseland Ballroom fashion show with two backstages, one loud band and no headsets. In recent years, Hardison has challenged the status quo of fashion shows that have overwhelmingly white models.
In presenting the award, Kebede said Hardison has been a confidante and a source of inspiration to Naomi Campbell, Iman, herself and countless others. “My friend Bethann shows what a revolutionary is all about,” she said.
Iman said, “Bethann has said many times, ‘Activism has to stay active.’ That’s true. It’s not something you choose because it’s hip or happening. You have to constantly be active.”
Closing her speech, Hardison shared a different memory. “As Iman said to me many years ago, ‘You never know when they’re going to stop honoring you, so you’d better show up.’”
Dinkins was one who was glad she did. Asked if he knew Hardison personally, he said, “No, but I would like to.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion