Break

Industry Insiders Break Down How To Get Into The Business At ESSENCE Fashion House

Three fashion insiders shared their paths to creating progress at the 2021 ESSENCE Fashion House. Chris Collins, Founder of World Of Chris Collins, Groovey Lew Fashion Consultant and Celebrity Stylist, and Brandice Daniel CEO and Founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, revealed how they worked their way into the industry during the “Black Fashion & Beyond: The Journey To Success” panel. 

Lew revealed that networking across helped him succeed. “That’s one thing I did is reach out to my Black designers,” he said. “And see if I can assist them, or if I can work with them and that’s what helped me build.” He named June Ambrose, April Walker, and Karl Kani as examples of those he connected with and said those in his community seemed more approachable than “Polo,” or “Tommy Hilfiger,” at the time.  

Collins, a former Ralph Lauren model who is also a heavyweight in

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How Pietra Is Helping Black Businesses Break Into the Fashion Industry

Like the inseams of a dress that no one ever really sees, the fashion industry has a history of hidden issues, including a lack of inclusive sizing, ableism, or absence of diversity on the runways and in boardrooms. In the wake of mass protests to honor Black Lives Matter, and with COVID-19 impacting Black entrepreneurs at a disproportionate rate, the fashion industry has had to flip their dress inside out and face these issues head-on. 

Leaders and entrepreneurs like Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies, have called for companies to pledge to source at least 15% of products from Black-owned brands. But before we can even support our favorite Black-owned fashion and beauty brands, we must address inequities Black entrepreneurs face when starting and scaling any business. 

Globally, 80% of all venture capital firms don’t have a single Black investor, and just 1% of venture-funded startup

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