Harlem’s Fashion Row kicked off NYFW with its 16th annual Fashion Show and Style Awards at the Apollo Theater on Tuesday (Sept. 5). Kelly Rowland and A$AP Rocky were among the many honorees of the night.
The former Destiny’s Child member was celebrated by her husband, Tim Weatherspoon, who presented her with the Fashion Icon Of The Year Award with a heartfelt speech. “You have always been my icon, not just in fashion but in all that you do, including raising our sons. You do it all with style and grace. And, you continue to innovate and inspire,” he said. “On my flight here, I thought, let me see what your toughest critics are saying. You know, all the experts in the comment section. As you all know, that section is not for the faint of heart. Forgive me if I don’t get these sayings right, as I am not well-versed in the comment lingo. But my assumption is that these are good… ‘Kelly eats the girls every time. Fire emoji, fire emoji, fire emoji, she does not miss. An icon.’ Whether you are on stage, on a red carpet, or rolling in sweats with Titan and Noah, one thing remains the same, you are beautiful inside and out.”
“I love that Black man,” Rowland responded as she took the stage. “My history with fashion actually started, I’m sure a lot of you know… Destiny’s Child was four country girls. Very country girls from Texas talking very loud. ‘Ls’ were ‘Ls.’ And ‘As’ were ‘As.’ It was very different. So, they were very reluctant to dress us. They didn’t really dress us at all, to be honest. So, Tina [Knowles] took matters into her own hands. She dressed us. And we learned, I learned then what it was like to start a trend. I remember what that felt like, the pride in it. But I also know that we are a part of that, too. We start the trends. We make what’s cool, cool. So fashion should be grateful for us.”
Harlem’s very own A$AP Rocky received the Virgil Abloh Award presented by LVMH. The honor was first introduced last year as a tribute to the late designer. “Virgil discovered us as a bunch of kids before I got my record deal. He was downtown in Soho just cooling, and we wasn’t old enough to get into this club called Le Bain, so we would sneak in there… and Virgil peeped us,” the father of two revealed during his acceptance speech. “Unbeknownst to us, we ain’t know that he knew who we was. He’s like, ‘Wait, y’all are those Harlem kids, the trendy ones.’”
He continued, “We was tripping, like ‘Wait, Virgil knows who we are, knows about us? The fashion world knows about us.’ And a year later, I became A$AP Rocky — I mean, I always was A$AP Rocky, but I became famous, if you dig what I’m saying — and Virgil designed my first album cover and my first tour… To be a trendsetter, it takes a lot of balls, and excuse my French, you feel me?”