Day: June 2, 2020

What Luxury Brands Can Learn from Looting

This weekend, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, cities across the United States erupted with protests against systematic police aggression—portions of which damaged a number of businesses, including designer stores. After sitting dormant (and even boarded up) for nearly two months following the pandemic-mandated shutdown of nonessential businesses, major luxury retail thoroughfares, from New York’s Soho to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive to Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza, are now covered in messages in support of Black Lives Matter and against the use of violent force by police. Many stores, both luxury and independent, have been looted, and left with windows smashed and merchandise stolen.

Designers and brands have spent the past four years trying to distinguish, with varying degrees of success, the difference between tepid support for social justice issues and true activism. The realities of looted stores and calls from consumers to speak

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Reviewed: Why Fashion Girls Love The Folklore

What inspired you to start your business?

My undergraduate experience inspired me to start The Folklore. While attending Rutgers, I majored in African American and African Studies. Before I started the program, I had not been exposed to that much Black literature, art, and innovation. Many of the people I studied the most during college—James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston—all produced work that was impactful and pushed Black social, economic, and political agendas forward. I decided then that I would dedicate all of my career pursuits to serve the same purpose.

Having had experience in the fashion media space and in e-commerce, I knew I could build a platform that would provide African designers with the ability to further monetize their brands through capturing the attention of global audiences. Fashion is a major revenue driver in countries around the world—it employs so many people. I wanted to start

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19 BIPOC-Owned Fashion Brands to Support

But what if you’re an individual? You can put pressure on these major retailers by contacting the company or commenting on their social posts. You can also consider dedicating 15% or more of your personal fashion spending to Black-owned brands.

It’s also important to note that the financial impact of COVID-19 has generally hit Black-owned brands harder than others, as illustrated in the graphic below by Mona Chalabi. This New York Times opinion article “How We Spend Tells Us Whose Lives Matter” delves into one of the reasons, inequality around stimulus packages. Thinking longer-term about positive economic change for the BIPOC community, it’s crucial to support these businesses now so that we don’t lose them due to financial hardships associated with the pandemic. To that end, we’re listing some of our favorite businesses here in the fashion category. Shop if you can, and if not, bookmark for

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