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PRESS RELEASES

NAACP TO HONOR FASHION TRAILBLAZER BETHANN HARDISON WITH VANGUARD AWARD AT 54TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS LUNCHEON AND FASHION SHOW

“Images: Fashion Moments in Time” to feature looks from Kevan Hall, Kutula, House of Aama, Cross Colors, IN EARNEST by Byron Lars, and Harbison of the Black Design Collective

Winners in the Outstanding Hairstyling, Outstanding Make-up, and Outstanding Costume Design categories to be announced

**Bethann Hardison headshot here.


LOS ANGELES (February 14, 2023)

Today, the NAACP announced that American fashion model and activist Bethann Hardison will receive the Vanguard Award at the “54th NAACP Image Awards” Images: Fashion Moments in Time event, which will take place Thursday, February 23rd in Los Angeles.

“As a trailblazer and icon for the modeling industry, the NAACP is excited to honor Bethann Hardison for continuously using her talents to positively influence the world of fashion,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “We commend Bethann for utilizing her platform to consistently champion diversity within the fashion industry.”

During the event, the NAACP will also announce the winners of the “54th NAACP Image Awards” Outstanding Hairstyling (Television or Film), Outstanding Make-up (Television or Film) and Outstanding Costume Design (Television or Film) categories. 

The invitation-only event will also feature looks by the Black Design Collective, an accomplished group of fashion industry professionals that promote scholarship, mentorship, and entrepreneurship within emerging generations of Black costume and fashion designers.

Featured designers will each have themes for their segments, which will include:

  • The Harlem Renaissance – Byron Lars (IN EARNEST)
  • The Motown Effect –  Kevan Hall (Kevan Hall Designs, BDC co-founder, and former Design and Creative Director at Halston)
  • Africa Infused – KUTULA by Africana
  • The Culture of Hip Hop – Carl Jones (Founder of Cross Colors)
  • Inkwell: The Black Resort – House of Aama
  • Soon to be announced – Harbison
  • Soon to be announced – Kenneth Nicholson

Advocate, model, muse—with a career spanning over five decades, Bethann Hardison has gone from working in NYC’s Garment District; to becoming one of the first Black models favored by European and New York designers; to creative director and producer; to founding her namesake agency where she guided the careers of some of the most prominent models. In 1988, she founded the Black Girls Coalition, and in 2013, she spearheaded the launch of the Diversity Coalition sparking an industry-wide movement for diversity and inclusion. In recognition of her decades of advocacy work, Bethann received the CFDA’s Founder’s Award in 2014. In 2018, with the support of the CFDA, she founded The Designer’s Hub to guide and empower Black designers, and in 2019 became an inaugural member of Gucci’s Changemakers Council. Bethann currently serves on the CFDA’s Board of Directors and as Gucci’s Executive Advisor for Global Equity and Cultural Engagement.

The fashion event is being produced by Ainsley Connell Management.

Winners of the “54th NAACP Image Awards” will be revealed via telecast on February 25, 2023 on BET. NAACP will also recognize winners in non-televised Image Awards categories virtually February 20-23 on www.old.naacpimageawards.net and at an Awards Dinner and Program on February 24. For all information and the latest news, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.

The “54th NAACP Image Awards” is presented by Wells Fargo and sponsored by Bank of America, Black Radiance, Gushers, Google, Airbnb, Amazon FedEx, Lowe’s, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Audible, Bacardi and Mielle.


About NAACP:

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization, and shares our commitment to equal rights.

NAACP Image Awards Media Contacts:

Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis | NAACPImageAwards@sunshinesachs.com

Chyna Fields | cfields@naacpnet.org

Chloe Duverge | chloe.duverge@bet.net

Luis Defrank | luis.defrank@bet.net