Synchronicities create a fashion collection and opportunities

Childhood dreams and synchronicities transformed a launch dinner into endless possibilities. The Harlem Festival of Culture Foundation and Steve Madden hosted a feast on Tuesday, July 18 to celebrate their new limited collection with DaQuane Cherry, the winner of their design challenge. The self-taught painter was enthusiastic and in good spirits during the night’s celebration. The dinner, which took place at Settepani in Harlem, showcased Cherry’s three-piece wearable art including  his Mirage jacket, Phantom boot and Shadow bag. Cherry, 25, allowed his creativity to turn his dreamy nightmare painting, titled “The Phantom of The Child,” into a stylish three-piece outfit. 

Brenika Banks photos

Cherry was announced as the design challenge winner on March 8, a spiritual day for him. He drafted his acceptance speech hours before it was announced because his intuition predicted the win. “I was manifesting like I already won so walking into it, I had that energy of ‘thank you’ and me waiting to hear the announcement of my name versus hoping for it,” said Cherry. He expressed operating in the energy of already claiming what he believes is his. That day proved to be no different and it seemed to have worked in his favor. “That is the key to manifestation, you have to claim that you have it.”

Info about the Harlem Festival of Culture

The next monumental event for the Harlem Festival of Culture Foundation is the festival starting on Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30. This celebration is 54 years in the remaking, with its last gathering in 1969. Weekend headliners include Doug E. Fresh and Teyana Taylor and will be hosted by MC Lyte.  

Ticket sales are $75 for Harlem residents. Jackson and Evans-Hendricks also launched a fundraiser intended for raising money to send as many NYCHA residents to the festival for free. “The main reason was because Musa grew up in the NYCHA developments,” said Evans-Hendricks.  “His mother still lives there today and so it was very important to him and to us that the festival in 1969 was free for people to attend and so his mother was able to bring him to that festival and it changed his life.” For more info, visit

Synchronicities were present when Cherry, days before the launch, saw a Bloomingdale’s truck outside of the coffee shop where he once worked before his shift at the famed department store. Other synchronous events included him working in the shoe department where Steve Madden was sold. Cherry’s newest synchronicity was driving through Manhattan and seeing the Empire State Building lit up with colors blue, yellow and red—his collection’s colors. “This is a very pivotal time, and I could not have done it easier or better without any of you so thank you for having this moment with me,” he said at the launch dinner. 

Also in attendance was Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, co-Founder of the Harlem Festival of Culture Foundation. The socially impactful visionary and go-getter strongly believes in figuring out how to get important things done, especially for Harlem. Evans-Hendricks and her co-founder, Musa Jackson, are thrilled to have this collaboration with Steve Madden. The Harlem Festival of Culture Foundation and Steve Madden’s partnership represents the kind of collaboration Evans-Hendricks consistently aims to grant the community of Harlem. 

Brenika Banks photo

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