Ending Black History Month with a continuous collection beyond February is JOANN. The lifestyle, fabric, and craft storefront released its Cultural Pride fabrics collection at the beginning of Black History Month announcing designer Paris Campbell as the lead on this project. Campbell is a designer and Trend Analyst at JOANN Stores, the creative got her start designing for labels like Victoria’s Secret and Justice before expanding her reach to textiles as well.
The new JOANN collection offers 12 culturally inspired, yet non-traditional prints. The patterns include artwork that celebrates the diversity of hair and skin tones, Ankara prints, Africa icons and affirming words are on bold display. The fabric collection is intended to inspire, and Paris hopes fellow Black creators, crafters and style enthusiasts feel celebrated and uplift others through their designs. “This is not a trend for us ,” Campbell tells ESSENCE. “We’re committed to providing a platform for those who are typically underrepresented within the creative industry.”
ESSENCE spoke with Campbell about JOANN’s latest collection and the brand’s commitment to amplifying Black designers. Read below.
ESSENCE: What is unique about the collection?
Campbell: The collection offers new culturally inspired yet non-traditional prints. Artwork that celebrates the diversity of hair and skin tones, Ankara prints, Africa icons and affirming words are on bold display. What’s unique about this collection is the mix of the traditional African culture, with a twist on color that instantly draws your attention, while uplifting spirits with powerful and affirmative mantras.
What do these fabrics mean to you?
Representation, and inclusion. It’s not often for Black individuals to be able to identify ourselves and our culture on products in the mainstream industry. Myself along with the design team that worked on this collection wanted to make sure we designed prints that reflected different skin tones, coiffed visuals, and key icons to celebrate Black History Month, as well as Black culture in a fun and impactful way. A focus of this collection was also to inspire everyone to be proud of who they are.
Beyond Black History Month, how does JOANN support the Black community?
This collection was created to honor Black History Month, but will be available beyond February. Black History Month isn’t a time that we minimize to a mere monthly observance; we realize the importance in uplifting and offering visibility to Black creators, as well as other diverse crafters year round.
Can you tell me more about JOANN’s annual grant program?
JOANN Stores created the minority grant program to inspire creativity, and provide visibility to Black crafters. 20 Black creatives were selected, and received a $5,000 grant to utilize at JOANN stores to secure the product they need to expand and amplify their businesses. The winners were also featured on all JOANN marketing channels to bring awareness to their outstanding work and websites.
What advice would you have for other Black creators looking to work with brands like JOANN?
Tag us on social media and use our hashtag #HandmadeHappiness. We love viewing the amazing crafts and projects from our customers and enthusiasts. This is a great way to connect with us, and to be considered for opportunities with our brand.
The collection is available in-store and on www.joann.com. Each fabric can be purchased for $6.99/2 yards.