The Build Black x AFROPUNK Black Fashion Accelerator is a comprehensive program created to support nine up-and-coming Black fashion designers in developing their skills and expanding their brands in a cutthroat market.
The program’s outcomes were revealed last night by AFROPUNK and Shopify’s Build Black, giving BFA designers the option to display their goods at Shopify SoHo in New York City.
“What an absolute privilege it has been to put on this Fashion Accelerator Program in partnership with Shopify and to have an integral part in setting up these exceptional nine entrepreneurs for future success,” says Anita Asante, AFROPUNK’s Head of Global Strategic Partnerships, via press release. “What started as a seed of an idea when we saw from our Spinthrift Market at our festivals that there was a great need to support our black entrepreneurial community, has quickly grown into a behemoth of a robust curriculum program supported by the New Voices Family. I am thrilled that we have been able to offer live training, coaching support, and networking opportunities to help scale these fashion entrepreneurs’ businesses to the next level and look forward to watching them take over the fashion world and beyond.”
AFROPUNK is a global music festival and integrated media platform that gives voice to the unspoken, unwelcome, and unseen. Through its yearly music festivals, which take place in Brooklyn, Paris, London, Atlanta, and Johannesburg in addition to five other cities around the world, it continuously improves engagement and encourages conversation through content, business, and community.
“It’s been a huge honor to work alongside AFROPUNK with this cohort of exceptional fashion entrepreneurs,” says Amena Agbaje, Shopify’s Black Entrepreneurship Program Lead via press release. “Black-owned businesses are underrepresented in the U.S., and Shopify is committed to making entrepreneurship accessible to anyone, anywhere. There is nothing more inspiring to me than offering Black entrepreneurs the tools and support to get their businesses up and running. I have no doubt that this group of creatives is destined for huge success.”
Shopify is a top supplier of the crucial internet infrastructure for commerce, providing dependable tools to launch, develop, market, and run a retail company of any size.
The fashion show highlighted the BFA founders by showcasing an amazing selection of fits and clothing by the designers. Anita Asante, Head of Global Strategic Partnerships at AFROPUNK, Amena Agbaje, Program Lead, Black Entrepreneurship at Shopify (Build Black), and Monique Rodriguez, CEO at Mielle were invited to make opening remarks before the show. Chris Bevans, Senior Creative Lead at Shopify and BFA program mentor, was also invited. Local R&B musician Laya performed as part of the festivities.
Mielle, Thread Beauty, and PearNova also provided support for the Build Black x AFROPUNK Black Fashion Accelerator fashion show.
More photos below: