Harlem’s Fashion Row’s Brandice Daniel Partners With Retailers on Shopping Directory for Black Designers – WWD

Brandice Daniel, chief executive officer of Harlem’s Fashion Row and Icon 360, has partnered with retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop and Macy’s to create an online shopping directory for Black designers that launches Monday.

The new online shopping directory, HFR & Co., provides a curated list of emerging brands owned by Black and Latin designers. Rather than scour the internet or a retailer’s website for Black designers, HFR & Co. allows shoppers to find and support these designers Through the partnering retailers’ websites. Consumers will be able to shop a variety of merchandise including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, children’s clothes and accessories.

Among the designers featured are Amsale, LemLem, Chelsea Paris, Feben and Studio 189.

“I want to build a community to increase awareness of emerging designers of color and to make it easier for consumers to find and support them,” Daniel said. “I am very grateful for the support of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Shopbop in making this possible .As time progresses, I hope that other retailers will come on board.”

Shawn Outler, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Macy’s, said, “As a company committed to tackling barriers to representation, we at Macy’s Inc. are honored and proud to be a part of HRF & Co. This platform will not only increase consumer awareness of, and access to, Black and Hispanic/Latino-owned businesses and designers, it will also play a crucial role in creating an equitable and sustainable future for these creators, as well.”

It is no secret that Black-owned brands are significantly underrepresented in the retail industry, but that appears to be changing due to increased demand for Black-owned brands. A new survey commissioned by Bloomberg and conducted by Morning Consult revealed that over a quarter of Black Americans said that they purchase from Black-owned brands frequently. That share increases to 40 percent for Black people under the age of 35.

The site at hrfandco.com will be updated weekly and will have three onboarding periods next year for more retailers to join the platform. All merchandise selections are directed to the retailers for purchasing. HFR’s team is managing the site and curating the products from the retailers . At present, this is strictly an affiliate website with the retailers. HRF will receive an affiliate commission from the transactions.

The goal is to provide consumers a way to shop Black and Latin brands sold in the stores where they already shop. “We hope that this drives more sales to the retailers and more business to the designers,” Daniel said.

Daniel founded Harlem’s Fashion Row in 2007 to support emerging talent and provide a platform for underrepresented Black and Latin designers.

Last February, Color of Change and IMG’s #ChangeFashion, along with Black in Fashion Council, launched what was considered the “first directory focusing on increasing opportunities for Black professionals in the fashion industry.” The directory contained profiles and resumes of more Black than 300 Industry professionals, from photographers and makeup artists to set designers and more, spanning locations globally.

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Jorge Oliveira

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