The founders of Harlem Fashion Week are the Powerhouse mother-daughter team of Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell, owners of the fashion design company Yvonne Jewnell New York LLC. Yvonne Jewnell New York is an award winning, women's wear company that creates clothing that promotes women empowerment and celebrates cultures from across the globe. Yvonne Jewnell New York LLC are members of Harlem Arts Alliance and Harlem Business Alliance. They have participated in the Annual Harlem Week Festival, hosted a Pop-Up Shop at the Black River Studio, produced fashion shows at the Hip Hop Cultural Center and the Image-Nation Raw Space and hosted their video release party and VIP reception at the Aloft Hotel. It is only natural that they would produce Harlem Fashion Week to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Harlem, New York
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER + CO-FOUNDER: Tandra Birkett
Tandra Birkett has accomplished many goals and wears several hats. As a teacher, motivational speaker, education activist and entrepreneur her duties are never done. Tandra Birkett was born and raised in the South Bronx of New York City were she first hand witnessed all the hardships and hurdles her community was stricken with. Fueled with motivation and eagerness to help her community and the youth, she decided to not be a statistic. Tandra obtained her B.A. in Political Science (with a concentration in Speech Communication) from New York University. She later went on to get her Masters in Divinity with a concentration on At-Risk and Urban Ministry at New York Theology Seminary. She has had lots of success in education and mentoring the youth. Tandra's motto is, "Inward transformation for outward mobilization" Tandra Birkett and her daughter Yvonne Jewnell founded the fashion firm Yvonne Jewnell New York. Every year Yvonne Jewnell designs sponsors a fashion exhibition with the goal of creating a platform for young fashion designers and entrepreneurs to showcase their talent and build their careers. From there the mother daughter duo birthed Harlem Fashion Week.
Their goal for Harlem Fashion Week is to produce an event that will showcase the fashion industry, provide business education for emerging designers, grow Harlem businesses, create a cultural platform and just have fun!
CREATIVE DIRECTOR + CO-FOUNDER: Yvonne Jewnell
After receiving the Top Emerging Designer Award at Caribbean Fashion Week in Kingston, Jamaica at age 19; Yvonne Jewnell NYC is back at it again with memorable collections like Dashiki & Denim and Afro Bloom which was a collaboration of ethnic ideas with urban concepts. Yvonne has showcased in runways around the world including London, U.K., Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, New Jersey and Kingston, Jamaica. Yvonne is skilled in various mediums that include fine art, photography, cartooning, sculpting, fabric painting, mannequin display, garment construction and pattern making. She has studied at the Bronx River Art Center, Harlem School of the Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fashion Institute of Technology and Columbia University: Design Engineering Program. She is an alumnus of The High School of Fashion Industries and Parsons:The New School with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in fashion design, where she served as the head of stylist management of the Stylist Club and has worked for Alice and Olivia, G -Lish Studios and Milk Studios.
As Creative Director, her goal is to scout new talent, showcase unique designers and inspire young entrepreneurship.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: Jessica Bramble
Jessica is the Executive Assistant for Harlem Fashion Week. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Because of her love for Harlem and dedication to cultural authenticity, Jessica's participation in HFW is her way bringing cultural awareness to the community she loves.
VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: Joi Booker
Joi is the Volunteer Coordinator for Harlem Fashion Week. She manages all elements of volunteering on behalf of the organization. Her role involves assessing and meeting all Harlem Fashion Week's needs through the recruitment, placement and retention of volunteers.
EVENT COORDINATOR + BACK OF HOUSE COORDINATOR: Brittany Wilkerson
Brittany has worked with Yvonne Jewnell for over seven years assisting in the planning and coordination of the various fashion events. Brittany has an extensive background in marketing and customer service and has almost a decade of planning and coordinating experience. With strong communication skills geared to both internal leadership and providing outstanding customer service, Brittany is perfect for the job as Event Coordinator. She is an excellent multi-tasker not only I also detailed oriented, but she is also passionate about customer service and building relationships.
Brittany is a valuable team member and works hard to ensure wonderful and stress-free events.
EVENT PRODUCER + MODEL COORDINATOR: Stewella Daville
Stewella Daville was born and raised in Bronx, NY. Has 3 + years as a Runway Model with printed publications in Vogue UK, GQ UK, ELLE UK and Harper's Bazaar UK. Stewella has received the opportunity to work more behind the scenes as as Backstage Manager and Model Coordinator for Small Boutique Fashion Week (SBFW).
She has continued to grow and improve her skills in fashion production and was was given the opportunity to produce for Harlem Fashion Week (HFW). After a successful first season, HFW brought Stewella back on the team as Event Producer and Model Coordinator. Stewella has accomplished so much with the opportunities offered and looks forward to sharing her skills and knowledge to upcoming models is my continued passion.
HFW Red Carpet Host: Jonathan Boderick
Vintage Fashion store owner and fashion maven Jonathan Bodrick has been styling people since the age of five – when he first asked his mother if he could give his teacher a necklace from her jewelry box as “a little style inspiration.” Jonathan fondly reminisces about large closets filled with elaborate hats and impeccably tailored suits, as his father, grandfather and uncles were all sharp dressers, further driving Jonathan’s keen eye for fashion. As he recalls detailed stories told by his parents, as well as old pictures of The Savoy in Harlem, he says there has never been a lack of inspiration in his life. Fashion is in Jonathan’s DNA and he uses it everyday as a vehicle to influence and inspire.
HFW Backstage Coordinator: Justin Johnson
Born and raised in Queens, NY Justin has always had a love for fashion and the arts. In his earlier years he spent time has a traveling dancer under the direction of Alvin Ailey choreographer J. Meash. Masterfully trained in ballet, modern and jazz styles Justin performed with the Dance Theater Troupe of queens.
Those years on stage has since transcended to behind the scenes and production work. Having studied stage production Justin has directed dozens of fashion and theater shows. Justin believes it’s the small details that make a show spectacular. Lighting, timing and flow are his keys for bringing fashion to life on a runway. Although now having a career in the private cooperate sector Justin stays closely connected to the fashion and entertainment industries.
HFW Front of House Coordinator: Nefertere Edwards
Nefertere Edwards has been working with youth for over 10 years. A veteran to collaborating Yvonne Jewnell Designs and Harlem Fashion Week. She is currently an educator at an High School in the South Bronx. She thrives in providing opportunities to nurture and cultivate youth, as they grow to their fullest potential. She believes in creating a balance between knowledge, love and discipline. Graduating Magna cum Laude in African and African- American History from Lehman College, she believes that all youth deserve a shot. She is passionate about exposing youth to vast opportunities for higher learning, and serves as an advocate for Youth in any capacity to achieve their dreams.