Fashion Psychologist Dawnn Karen is a Columbia University graduate, the founder of the fashion psychology field and a Professor at The Fashion Institute of Technology. She attended the Harlem Derby this past Saturday as a Celebrity Judge. She judged the best hat and best dressed.
Churchhill Downs Comes to Harlem. The Derby is not just about horse racing, it’s about the magic that makes the first Saturday of May unique in Sports, Fashion & Style.
How did this event come to happen?
Three years ago, St. Croix native Kevin Krigger was the first black jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby race in 12 years. In honor of the return of a black jockey to the derby, Lenox Avenue restaurant Settepani held a Harlem Kentucky Derby Party in true Southern style.
“Historically, there have been many African-American jockeys, and their contributions have never really been recognized,” said Leah Abraham, the restaurant’s owner and one of the event organizers. “We wanted to do something honoring them.”
When the first Kentucky Derby was raced in 1875, 13 out of the 15 jockeys riding that day were black. Over the next 28 years, more than half of the derby’s winning jockeys were black. But there have been fewer African-American riders since the earlier part of last century.
As mentioned, the Third Annual Harlem Derby Gala was held at Ristorante Settepani. There Dawnn Karen deliberated with celebrity Judge Musa Jackson (Screen Writer, Producer, Special Events Coordinator) and Judge Sharon Rainey (Deputy Director Communications and Advocacy of AMREF Health Africa).
Women wore simple outfits, so as not to detract attention from their fascinator hats while drinking mint juleps. Men wore simple hats. No way they were going to detract from their suits as well!
The paparazzi and jazz musicians made for a festive event as the who’s who of Harlem made their red carpet entrance.
Wedding Officiant and Performance Artist Barbara Ann Michaels- As a Fashion Psychologist Celebrity Judge I gave her second place for #BestHat
Celebrity Judge Fashion Psychologist Dawnnn Karen, M.A. With a few attendees and CEO of the event Rob Owens (in pink blazer)
Celebrity Marcus Sammuelsen of Red rooster restaurant posing after he strolled by the event yet asked to take a photo with Celebrity Judge Fashion Psychologist Dawnnn Karen, M.A. and Reality TV Star Monet Bell from Married at First Sight
Celebrity Judge Fashion Psychologist Dawnnn Karen, M.A. With the owner of Settepani Restaurant Leah Abraham
Celebrity Judge Fashion Psychologist Dawnnn Karen, M.A. Wearing a vintage dress and vintage purse from Columbia U Consignment, hat by Christine A. Moore, shoes by BCBG, watch by Guess and lipstick by MAC Cosmetics.