The Fragrance Foundation Heralds New Fashion Week With Connections Networking Brunch In Fabulous Harlem

The Fragrance Foundation (TFF) convened an intimate gathering of some 40 industry leaders, including brand owners, designers, media, influencers and style makers to celebrate New York Fashion Week.

Also, the event allowed participants to learn the latest on #FragranceForwardTFF, the sweeping industry-wide initiative dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the fragrance industry, at every level. Held at Harlem hotspot Melba’s, on Harlem’s famed Restaurant Row at Frederick Douglass Boulevard, the event was themed around the concept of Connections. Guests were treated to a festive and dynamic atmosphere for networking, exchanging ideas and sharing insights on the latest fragrance trends for the season.

Linda G. Levy, President of The Fragrance Foundation, kicked off the event and introduced brand owners Chris Collins, founder, World of Chris Collins; Teri Johnson of the Harlem Candle Company and Francisco Costa, whose award-winning beauty line Costa Brazil is elevating the standards of sustainability in the industry.

“The Fragrance Foundation is unwaveringly committed to advancing industry diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Linda G. Levy. “We do this by creating connections, fostering connections and inspiring connections to amplify new and emerging brands – and the incredible talent behind them.

We are delighted to present what we hope is a landmark event celebrating the creativity and excellence of BIPOC brands, in Harlem, the heart of New York City.”

New York-1 News anchor Cheryl Wills reported directly from the event as part of the network’s official New York Fashion Week coverage, while also celebrating 30 years of broadcasting. Among the luminaries present were: television personality Dahiana Perez, designer and artist Rebecca Moses, Ambassador Digital’s Musa Jackson, Elle’s Kathleen Hou, WWD’s Noor Lobad; Ama Kwarteng from Coveteur; Pat Stevenson, publisher of the Harlem News Group, the New York Beacon’s Audrey J. Bernard, influencers Tiff Benson and Rosa Chang Crespo, author and fashion editor Walter Greene; El Diario’s Liseth Perez Almeida, Avril Graham, Harper’s Bazaar US, award-winning journalist Jacklyn Monk, TelevisaUnivision’s María del Pilar Casal, Fashions Week’s Maya Litovsky and Anne Raso, and InStyle’s Pia Velasco.

The Fragrance Foundation executive team was also on hand, including Sharné Jackson, Spelman College alumna and TFF’s Senior Director, Events, Education and Give Back, and Christina Iwasko, Senior Director, Membership, Awards and Administration. The event was conceived and managed by TFF’s AOR Finn Partners, with the team led by Helen Shelton, Global Chief Diversity Officer and head of DEI strategy.  

Launched in fall 2022, #FragranceForwardTFF, is now considered an industry standard-bearer in, providing real-time opportunities in the areas of mentorship, recruitment and career development as well as scholarship and education.

In less than one year, #FragranceForwardTFF:

  • created the first-ever fragrance diversity scholarship program at FIT, providing $100,000 annually to deserving undergraduate and graduate students;
  • launched Scents of Success, a career development workshop series at Spelman College and will roll out to other HBCUs Minority Serving Institutions;
  • presented a groundbreaking webinar on industry perspectives featuring diverse leaders from LVMH, the Phluid Project, World of Chris Collins and Givaudan with over 3,000 participants and;
  • galvanized the industry (including TFF’s 100+ members) to take – and commit –to the #FragranceForwardTFF DEI pledge that calls for a commitment to being “fragrance forward” in hiring practices, advancement opportunities, mentorship, recruitment and inclusivity. 

On Thursday, October 20, The Fragrance Foundation will host its second annual Diverse Perspectives webinar from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST. Moving Forward, Together will be a lively, session designed to be impactful, thought-provoking and engaging with a single-minded vision: to demonstrate that while the world of inclusiveness needed in the industry is happening now, there is much to be done to propel us forward. The complimentary session will enable participants to experience the perspectives of industry professionals who are making a difference every day, across the full industry spectrum. Participating panelists include Bernardo Möller, Founder and Creative Director, House of Bö; Mackenzie Reilly, IFF perfumer; Nicole Monson, Senior Vice President, Equity and Engagement, The Estée Lauder Companies; and, Shawn Outler, Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Macy’s. Moving Forward, Together will be moderated by trailblazing broadcaster and anchor Arthel Neville.

“#FragranceForwardTFF is an ongoing investment in the future of the industry, allowing us to drive conversation around DEI into action,” added Sharné Jackson. “Through this unprecedented pillar of support, we are creating opportunities for more diverse students to pursue their passion for fragrance through rigorous academic opportunities and access to jobs, information, mentors and much more.”

The Fragrance Foundation

The Fragrance Foundation is the premier resource for industry expertise, innovation, and education. United under the mission statement “to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance,” The Fragrance Foundation is devoted to nurturing talent, engaging consumers and driving diversity, equity and inclusion.

Through its signature initiative, #FragranceForwardTFF, The Fragrance Foundation is making the industry accessible, welcoming and diverse through the collective power of its 100+ members and an unwavering commitment. Follow The Fragrance Foundation on social media: @fragrancefoundation.

Photo credit: 1-6) Rob Kim/Getty Images.

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