MTSU to Host Fashion Icon Brandice Daniel on Feb. 27

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Middle Tennessee State University Textiles, Merchandising and Design will host fashion icon and Memphis native Brandice Daniel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Keathley University Center Theater.

The free public event featuring Daniel helps round out Black History Month activities at MTSU and segues into an early kickoff for National Women’s History Month in March.

“It’s extremely important to me that this be a part of Black History Month, but also it engages from her power as a woman, which leads into Women’s History Month,” said TXMD instructor and event organizer Nia Allen, MTSU Diversity Dissertation Fellow who will interview Daniel on stage that evening.

Over the past 20 years, Daniel has worked to bridge the gap between designers of color and the fashion business, providing fashion professionals like Allen with a role model.

“When I was growing up, there was nobody in the fashion industry who looked like me that made me feel like I can actually do this career,” Allen said. “What Brandice did for me was help me see myself and what I could be.”

Daniel’s passion for style and inclusion led to becoming founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row, which she started in 2007 to provide opportunities to showcase the skills and abilities of multicultural designers in an industry that is often fraught with inaccessibility.

“I’m very passionate about the color of my skin,” Allen said, “and sometimes it feels like the industry has forgotten about us. I wanted to bring that to the forefront but help my students as well. If they see change in action, it will help them become changemakers in the industry.”

Daniel’s collaborations with brands like Banana Republic, Janie and Jack, American Girl, and the most historic, Nike and Lebron James, have been paramount in creating opportunities for designers.

“She thought about ways in which she could not only serve a purpose in the fashion industry, but bring others along as well and help them reach their full potential,” Allen said.

Daniel has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, the New York Times, Essence magazine and Vogue, among other international publications. She’s also been interviewed on national shows like “Good Morning America,” “The Drew Barrymore Show” and served as guest judge on “Project Runway.” And she’s a member of Gucci’s Changemakers Council.

The Memphis native has also shared her talent as a speaker at TEDx, the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, and the Forbes CMO Summit.

“I think she lights a fire under people. She never stops working. She’s been told no, but never gave up and I think that’s admirable,” Allen said. “And she challenges me to create my own space in the industry.”

The event is sponsored by the Distinguished Lecture Fund, June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, Office of the University Provost, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and Workwear Outfitters.

Keathley University Center is located at 1524 Military Memorial. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Learn more about fashion design and merchandising by visiting the TXMD website.