Fashion Week's Message-Driven Kickoff

The biannual New York event started with a fashion-art expo and a talk about black women's images.

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Fashion and art did meet and mingle. Smith specializes in putting the right people in the room and strategically using those beloved place cards to ensure that the right people connect.

Another great connection occurred at the annual fashion spectacular The Heart Truth, a fashion show featuring "the Red Dress" as worn by a bevy of celebrity women. Created to bring awareness to the fight against heart disease, this event has always drawn huge crowds and top designers who dress the fabulous and famous. This year's show was absolutely stolen by Chaka Khan. She's still an "it" girl.

Harriette Cole is the president of Harriette Cole Media and a contributing editor to The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Harriette Cole is the author of the book of meditations 108 Stitches: Words We Live By and a contributing editor at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Fashion Week 2012: Duro Olowu

Designer Duro Olowu hosted a pop-up shop in Manhattan that proved to be a feast for the senses.