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How A Designer Who Disrupted The Fashion World Thanks To A Virtual 3D Show Secured A Partnership With A Premium Bourbon Brand

You can’t place Anifa Mvuemba’s creativity in a box. Back in 2020, the Hanifa founder and fashion designer shook up the fashion world with a virtual 3D show on Instagram for her collection, Pink Label Congo, inspired by her home country of the Congo. From then on, Mvuemba continued to implement her self-taught tech skills into her work, as previously reported by AFROTECH™. Now, Mvuemba has taken her fashion expertise into new territory — the spirits industry. In February 2024, it was announced that she and Sergio Hudson are partnering with premium bourbon brand Woodford Reserve. During a New York Fashion Week (NYFW) dinner, Mvuemba spoke about previously feeling like she was approached by brands for their own gain and image, per WWD. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Anifa M (@anifam) In an email interview with AFROTECH™, Mvuemba shared , “As a Black designer, navigating the barriers that come with being shortlisted for collaborations merely to fulfill a diversity...

Apr 25, 2024

McKinley Thompson Jr. Broke Barriers And Developed Concepts That Led To The Bronco, Mustang And More At Ford Motor Co.

From the time he was a kid, McKinley Thompson Jr. was never afraid to chase his dreams, and now everyone has him to thank for the Ford Bronco that the culture grew to know and love. Thanks to Thompson’s imagination and skill, he made history as the first Black designer to be hired by Ford Motor Co., and his first assignment consisted of working at Ford’s advanced design studio in Dearborn, MI, per the Ford media website. His love for cars first began around age 12 when he spotted a silver-gray DeSoto Airflow in Queens, NY, the neighborhood where he was raised. “It just so happened that the clouds opened up for the sunshine to come through,” Thompson recalled in a 2001 interview that was documented by The Henry Ford. “It lit that car up like a searchlight. I was never so impressed with anything in all my life. I knew that’s what I wanted to do – I wanted to be an automobile designer.” While serving as an Army Signal Corps in World War II, Thompson learned drafting and began work as...

Apr 17, 2024

Grammy-Nominated Singer Bryson Tiller Reveals He's Been Designing A Video Game For 3 Years And 'Been Looking Into Internships'

In 2015, Bryson Tiller released his debut studio album, “Trapsoul.” In a Complex interview, the singer and rapper described the album as “a super slow burn.” “Trapsoul” introduced the music industry to a new genre, a combination of Trap and Soul, a nd it is still appreciated by fans today. Its trajectory ultimately took Tiller from first releasing his music on SoundCloud to his debut album reaching triple-platinum status with over 5.8 billion streams in the United States, per RCA Records. What’s more, the singer-songwriter earned a Grammy nomination for “Best R&B Song” for “Exchange,” one of his hit singles, along with “Don’t” and “Sorry Not Sorry.” Tiller shared that his success in the music industry reminds creatives that it’s important not to listen to outsiders for validation. “People are going to love your sh-t, and they’re going to hate it,” Tiller told Complex during the promo run for his eponymous album released in April 2024. “Now, when I create music, I don’t really care...

Apr 8, 2024

Who Are The Black Designers Beyoncé Exclusively Sported During Her Amsterdam Tour Stop?

Since the beginning of her music career, Beyoncé has rocked Black fashion. When Destiny’s Child first officially formed and up until her own solo career, the superstar wore designs created by her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson. Fast forward to today, and Beyoncé has yet to let up on showing love to Black-owned brands.

Jun 20, 2023

Pensole Lewis College Of Business And Design Partners With DSW To Open One Of The First Black-Owned U.S. Footwear Factories

Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, president of HBCU Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, is continuing to support more Black designers to get their foot into the footwear industry.

Mar 21, 2023

Tony Hawk Taps Ray Milner And Randall Cunningham II To Lead His Birdhouse Brand Into A New Era

Tony Hawk is leaning into the culture as he reimagines the creative direction for his Birdhouse Apparel company.

Mar 17, 2023

Fashion Nova Removes Dress From Its Website After Allegedly Stealing Anifa Mvuemba's Hanifa Design

A win has commenced for Black fashion designers. Fashionista reports that a design initially stolen from Hanifa’s Anifa Mvuemba has officially been removed. Exactly. — + (@AnifaM) September 6, 2022

Sep 6, 2022

HubSpot And NTWRK Team Up With Antoine Gregory To Amplify And Fund Emerging Black Designers

An exclusive collection is set to support Black designers on the rise. HubSpot and NTWRK have joined forces for a fashion drop at INBOUND 2022 — an annual event that brings industry leaders together — according to a press release shared with AfroTech. The creative talent behind the drop’s curation is Antoine Gregory. As the founder of Black Fashion Fair, a platform dedicated to Black designers and Black-owned brands, the creative was beyond fitted for the collaboration. Additionally, Gregory has worked with the likes of Akris, Dolce & Gabbana, Pyer Moss, Fubu, and Telfar. “Antoine Gregory’s Black Fashion Fair is a great example of a business that puts its mission at its core – and they’ve scaled while maintaining purpose,” Amy Marino, HubSpot’s Global Head of Brand Marketing, said. “We’re inspired by Antoine’s accomplishments and excited to partner once again with NTWRK to co-create a one-of-a-kind collection that amplifies these talented designers and their stories.”

Sep 6, 2022

Hanifa's Anifa Mvuemba Shares Frustration After Her Design Is Stolen By A Fast Fashion Brand: 'This Sample Took Me Monthssss To Perfect'

Black designers’ work is being stolen from day by day. On Aug. 29, Hanifa’s Anifa Mvuemba came forward with her own story. In a tweet, the founder and fashion designer voiced her frustration since one of her designs being stolen. “Only because this sample took me monthssss to perfect,” she wrote. “This is actually crazy. I’m not going to tag or mention them. But this is crazy.” Only because this sample took me monthssss to perfect. This is actually crazy. I’m not going to tag or mention them. But this is crazy. — + (@AnifaM) August 29, 2022  

Aug 30, 2022

Black Entrepreneur Calls Balenciaga Out For Allegedly 'Borrowing' His Work And Selling It For 25x The Price Without Permission

A Black fashion designer has some words for Balenciaga. In an Instagram video, Lamont “Tory” Stapleton detailed his journey of starting his clothing line “Struggle is Common” in 2019. One of his shirt designs is printed with “FREE” — which received praise from celebrities such as the Kardashians during a private party in LA.

Aug 25, 2022

Antwaun Sargent, Instagram And The Brooklyn Museum Are Investing $650K Into #BlackVisionaries

Instagram is back with its ongoing initiative to invest in emerging Black artists and designers. As previously reported by AfroTech, in 2021, the social media giant partnered with the Brooklyn Museum in a joint effort to launch the #BlackDesignVisionaries. This year, the grant program is back and bigger than ever.

Jul 6, 2022

Telfar Clemens Reveals His Popular E-Commerce Brand Will Soon Expand To Its First Brick-And-Mortar Store

When speaking on successful Black-owned businesses, Telfar sits gracefully in the top ranking. With each new release, the apparel brand’s popularity continues to spike in fashion. As previously reported by AfroTech, it became the “it” brand during the COVID-19 pandemic and has since gone on to collaborate with the likes of UGG and Moose Knuckles. The hype around Telfar has reached where many fans are left disappointed when they’re unable to secure their items during the online frenzy that occurs when there’s a drop. But according to Clemens, soon Telfar won’t only be available online. Essence reports that Clemens shared in an interview with The Breakfast Club that Telfar has its first physical store in the works. “There is one coming,” he said. “We’re opening a store this year in New York City. And we’re still deciding where that is going to be. I don’t want to say too much about it, but we’re opening a store this year.” The tidbit is all that has been revealed so far. Therefore,...

Mar 15, 2022

Salvatore Ferragamo Appoints Maximilian Davis, The Young Designer Co-Signed By Rihanna, As Creative Director

Salvatore Ferragamo is entering a new fashion era with its latest appointment. On March 14, the luxury brand onboarded Maximilian Davis as its new creative director, according to Robb Report. After initially being in the running for LVMH’s Prize for Young Designers to competitively showcase his talent, the British designer has signed on to an exclusive opportunity instead. “I am delighted to welcome Maximilian at the house of Ferragamo,” Ferragamo CEO Marco Gobbetti shared in a statement, according to Robb Report. “Through his lens of contemporary sensibility, he will write a new, exciting chapter for this house built on a heritage of creativity, craftsmanship, sophistication and outstanding human values.” The British designer, who has worked with the likes of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Dua Lipa is set to bring his innovative ideas forward to pivot the longtime company to a more modern feel for today’s fashion world. View this post on Instagram A post shared by MAXIMILIAN...

Mar 15, 2022

Salesforce's Terrence Williams Believes Embracing Your Blackness Will Make You A Better Designer

Black designers have mastered code-switching while working in predominantly white spaces, but how can they embrace their authenticity more in professional settings? We’re covering this topic during the AfroTech Conference from the lens of Terrence Williams, a Black designer and visual artist who consistently advocates for more inclusive design spaces. He has been working as a senior design lead at Salesforce for the past four years. In the “Designing Blackness: How Black Designers Can Embrace Their Authenticity” session on the engineering and design stage, Williams plans to talk about why it’s crucial for Black designers to embrace being their most authentic selves in workspaces. “As a designer of color, I’ve had to navigate a number of spaces where I may be the only one or may not always feel as connected,” Williams told AfroTech. “I’ve had to learn to build my community as time has gone on.” Williams also told AfroTech that he struggled early on in his career without mentors that...

Oct 20, 2021

Nigerian-American Fashion Designer Autumn Adeigbo Raises Nearly $3M In Funding Round

It’s an undeniable fact that Black designers are trendsetters and Autumn Adeigbo is a part of their domination in the fashion industry. Adeigbo recently raised nearly $3 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm Offline Ventures, WWD reports. Prior to this recent funding, the fashion designer earned a $1.3 million investment in July 2020. While known for her “eye-catching dresses in bright colors and headbands,” Adeigbo’s collections are blazing in the fashion world and her celebrity clientele is steadily growing. Actresses Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington and poet Amanda Gorman have rocked her designs. “More than just creating chic, colorful clothing, Autumn is creating a movement tied to sustainability, design and culture,” said Offline Ventures general partner Brit Morin. “Never before has the world seen a multibillion-dollar fashion label from a young Black woman, but we believe that Autumn Adeigbo has the x-factor to be the first. Investing in a fashion brand...

Sep 28, 2021