Saturday, September 23, 2023

MailChimp and Black In Fashion Council help black designers do business

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Shreya Christina
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Fashion Week ended some time ago, but Intuit MailChimp and Black In Fashion Council’s (BFIC) commitment to create access to digital tools, mentorship and capital is ongoing. Black designers and fashion entrepreneurs have made immeasurable contributions to the fashion industry for decades. And probably under-resourced. For those reasons, MailChimp and BCIF have entered into a partnership.

MailChimp empowers customers to start and grow their business with world-class marketing technology, award-winning customer support, and content as an email marketing and automation company. They also invest in entrepreneurs through programs and accelerators such as Bloom Season. Under the tutelage of media executive Lindsay Peoples Wagner and public relations specialist Sandrine Charles, Black In Fashion Council is a collective of editors, models, stylists, freelance creatives and industry stakeholders formed to build a new foundation for inclusivity. within the fashion industry.

Black women are fashion

In September, MailChimp sponsored the first-ever “BIFC Discovery Showrooms”, designed and produced by Wink, Mailchimp’s in-house creative agency, in collaboration with IMG at Spring Studios. Designs by Izayla, Ndigo Studio, Kwame Adusei, Sammy B and Muehleder were showcased as part of their inaugural capsule collection.

As Senior Director of Brand and Content Marketing at MailChimp, Michael Mitchell is passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

MailChimp’s audience is made up of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Designers fall into that category. They may not immediately come to mind, but they are small businesses. They are entrepreneurs. They are people who want to get out into the world with their ideas. This opportunity has been created to highlight those who normally don’t get the climax and don’t get the shine,” Mitchell said. “If we can provide a platform and access to historically excluded groups. Why not? I think we’ve done a lot of work for brown and black entrepreneurs and want to expand that platform to female entrepreneurs and LGBTQIA entrepreneurs. We want to create a platform that is as inclusive as possible and offer as much representation as possible.”

And finally, Mitchell shared that MailChimp wants to get as many designers in front of people and into as many people’s closets as possible as they grow their business.

In a statement from MailChimp, Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles, co-founders of Black in Fashion, said: “The Black in Fashion Council is excited to continue helping emerging designers gain the visibility and access they need and deserve, and we are always looking for new opportunities to increase their excellence. Making the fashion industry more inclusive is an all-encompassing endeavor and partnering with brands like Mailchimp to continue to strengthen inclusiveness efforts is just one step closer to a more equitable environment for all.”

MailChimp and BIFC are uplifting women

When asked how it felt to have the support of BIFC and MailChimp behind her, Samantha Black, founder Sammy Bsaid: “This time feels more special, especially because I love launching Samantha Black in partnership with MailChimp. A lot is happening at the same time. But it all comes at the right time. So I’m excited about everything coming. As part of the collaborations we get mentoring. My brand is self-funded. And as a small business owner who has to do everything, the help of a big machine behind me will make such a big difference.”

Last season, Black took fellow designer Larissa Muehleder to Fashion Week. Now they are both part of the BIFC and MailChimp program and capsule collection. When she started her Muehleder in 2014, she said she didn’t realize how many barriers she faced as a black designer and entrepreneur. She believes that building relationships and being persistent creates invaluable opportunities like this.

“This program is so important because it keeps us going and saying, ‘Hey, watch these designers. And you have to pay attention and be aware of favoritism and the lack of inclusivity.’ It’s an honor for MailChimp to have that broader lens as they partner with Black In Fashion Council,” said Muehleder.

It’s important to leave the door open

For designer I’sha Dunston, creator of Izayla, with the help of MailChimp and Black In Fashion Council to accelerate her business, she is right on track. Over the years, Dunston has made business deals with Saks Fifth Avenue and Elyse Walker to get Izayla on the shelves and online. Nevertheless, she is always grateful for additional support through mentorship, email marketing and audience engagement on social media.

In what some may consider a short time since launching her company in 2017, Dunston has become part of the small percentage of black designers in high-end stores through a handshake.

“I’m not saying it was luck – definitely talent and resources. I came to Saks through an introduction. That’s right. It’s just about two percent from U.S. It should be more of us. Not just me. We have a lot of talent for one or two percent of us to get a chance. I am blessed and grateful to be in that position,” Dunston said. And she wants to put others in a similar position. “That’s partly why I created Izayla. It is about the empowerment, integrity and representation of women. When I get to the door, I leave it open. I’m going to give you the introductions. I’m going to help you with whatever you need.”

Dunston shared this advice for others looking to embark on their journey. “Stay consistent, be ambitious and be creative. That’s what it’s really about. And there’s no wrong way to start. I always believe it’s not how you start. It’s how you end.”


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