When all else fails and you can’t locate the market for a need, the best bet is to create a lane yourself. That’s what one Black retail executive did after the realization that she could not find her sorority’s colors in any dresses in stores.
After the realization that her sorority’s colors weren’t included in dress designs, Cenetta Baker-Woods took it upon herself to present a new strategy to help Macy’s win over sororities included in the Divine Nine. Now, the line is expected to hit $10 million in sales this year, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Searching for the royal blue and white colors that represent Baker-Woods’ Zeta Phi Beta sorority was no easy feat. So, she then had the idea to partner with clothing maker Kasper Group to change this.
She stressed the importance of the need for clothing that represents Black sororities and fraternities and even admitted to having to paint a t-shirt at one point just to have something reflective of her organization’s colors.
The collection, which is available in about 200 Macy’s locations and online includes five pieces from sororities including Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Sigma Gamma Rho. Each group will have a minimum of five pieces per launch with women’s suits set to debut next month.
“We come in a variety of shape, sizes, curves and I understand the challenges we face when shopping,” said WyQuasia King-Thomas, one of the masterminds behind the line and the director and buyer of day dresses at Macy’s. “I know the need and the importance of this dress collection.”
A More Inclusive Future
The latest strategy is another step forward for the major retailer that aims to be a place where diversity and inclusion thrive. It is anticipated that the new line will draw in $10 million in sales by the end of the year.
“We know when we see our stuff,” said Baker-Woods. “I now know where to look.”
Additionally, Macy’s will donate $1 million to the sororities’ education and research foundations.