NEW YORK — “Fashion Goes Uptown” was the theme of Nicole Miller’s charity reception, but as trays of fried grits and catfish fritters from the famous Harlem eatery Sylvia’s wafted by and jazz filled the room, it seemed that Harlem had come downtown — if only for a night.
This story first appeared in the June 25, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It’s such a hot area, and there’s a lot of interest in the renaissance of Harlem,” said Miller, sporting a colorful, flowing blouse in a limited-edition print inspired by the upper-Manhattan neighborhood. “It’s great because we have a dedicated client base up there and they’ve already been selling our clothes.”
The event last Wednesday held at the designer’s Seventh Avenue showroom raised more than $20,000 for the Harlem Week Educational Scholarship Fund, but it also helped build momentum for Miller’s upcoming store opening on 125th Street and Fairway — the main shopping area in Harlem — slated to open next year. In addition, the special Harlem Jazz & Music Collection print, featured in scarves, ties, T-shirts and belts, will also benefit the scholarship fund through sales of the items at Nicole Miller stores.
“The revival of Harlem is what it’s all about,” said Bud Konheim, chief executive officer. “It’s a big part of New York, and we want to be in Harlem.”
Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields said: “Many of us live in Harlem and wear Nicole Miller’s clothing and it’s about time to have more stores open there like this.” The Harlem store would mark Nicole Miller’s third in New York, with shops on Madison Avenue and on Prince Street in SoHo.”