It looks like emerging designers of color will finally be getting some much needed attention and investments as a new article by The Wall Street Journal suggests more and more retailers are interested in carrying new, fledging designers.
It is an effort to attract shoppers in their 20s and early 30s, who a recent NPD Group research shows prefer unusual or unknown brands over established labels.
In response, all kinds of ventures are trying to establish business relationships with undiscovered designers. That was the goal behind celebrity stylist Kanayo Ebi’s new Long Island City showroom, Kach Me If You Can, that we reported on earlier this week.
Some designers of color like Charles Harbison have been on our radars since his 2015 Harbison label launch, but is experiencing greater success with this recent industry shift.
Harbison achieved global reach when he was featured in a Dubai pop-up shop by 151Luwolt—a London-based retail site by Roy Luwolt, a former venture capitalist who is also a person of color. 151Luwolt sells emerging designers and acts as a talent incubator.
Azede Jean-Pierre is another popular, black designer featured on 151Luwolt for her feminine geometric looks.
The scramble for budding or latent brands reflects an overall cultural trend away from overexposed, corporate brands like the food industry’s farm-to-table movement.
Whether it’s in fashion or food, phasing out the ole ‘you’ve gotta make it to make it’ modus operandi in favor of unearthing the unknown could be one of the best things to happen for designers of color.
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