Covid-19 continues to ravage our country and stifle business.
Neiman Marcus at Hudson Yards in New York City waved the white flag a few weeks ago, and Men’s Wearhouse and Tailored Brands are the most recent companies to join the “retail parade [into] bankruptcy court,” as Women’s Wear Daily put it.
What is emerging from the ashes is a more equitable fashion ground, one that we have been asking and agitating for for decades. It seems it took the world to stop–and the Black Lives Matter movement to ignite–for us to analyze all that was wrong in the fashion industry. Now is the time to make it right.
In the wake of the Retail Parade into Bankruptcy, has emerged the Black Parade, a vehicle to empower black creatives on Beyonce.com. Created by Beyonce’s stylist Zerina Akers, the platform generously links to a host of black owned brands (including a few brands available on FashionBombDailyShop.com). Zerina also created an Instagram page called Black.Owned.Everything that upholds the same mission (We have also been doing our part with our Top 100 Black Designers Lists (read parts 1 and 2 here and here)).
Beyonce also used her formidable influence and star power to employ and use black designers in her critically acclaimed Black is King film. Designer Keama Garrett told Fashion Bomb Daily, “There are many black fashion houses that have been lost during the times of struggle. Black people are often the source of “inspiration” but often left out of the presentation. To be apart of making the product is another. We deserve to be apart of the whole design process… This is how we build a black fashion legacy. The time is now!”
The time is definitely ripe, not just for a Black Renaissance, but for a re-imagining of the fashion industry as we once knew it. 3D fashion shows, as witnessed by Hanifa and bridal designer Ese Azenabor, have temporarily eliminated the need for expensive fashion productions with limited seats and little access.
And while retail stores did absolutely nothing to deserve their demise, there is hope that designers can make their profits without brick and mortar enclaves, using social media and e-commerce to bring visibility and new customers to the check out line.
New 5G technology promises to revolutionize how we shop, with tech that brings product catalogues to life through holograms. The stores of the future will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen or imagined.
The fashion world is now our oyster.
The time is now. And we have the power to empower ourselves.
*Support small businesses and bomb designers by shopping at FashionBombDailyShop.com.
**To book Claire Sulmers to speak about the State of Fashion, Entrepreneurship, or Retail, email Book@ClaireSulmers.com