“I am really excited that we are expanding this partnership because it still feels like such a weird time to be creative, especially for a young designer,” said Lindsay Peoples Wagner, BIFC cofounder and editor of The Cut. “Something that I’m personally passionate about is making sure that the next generation of designers has the support and resources that they need, specifically people of color creators in the industry really getting that access to resources.”
After last season’s showroom at NYFW, Peoples Wagner and her BIFC cofounder Sandrine Charles were flooded with emails from Black designers looking for support; choosing the 16 that will be represented at NYFW was a concerted effort to show the breadth of Black talent in the industry. “It’s never really about them having a certain amount of sales, winning awards, or anything like that,” Peoples Wagner said. “It is people that really have a great portfolio, a great perspective, and who are really bringing something to the table that feels like it’s breaking through the noise of what’s already out there. We also want to give this opportunity to designers who are really invested and who really care about making sure that their brand is successful and has longevity.”
The 16 brands showcased span the country, as well as categories from shoes and jewelry to ready-to-wear. “We call it a discovery showroom, and I really want it to feel like people are actually actively discovering new names and new people,” Peoples Wagner adds. “There are so many talented, young Black designers that [people in fashion] may not even know about. And so we really take this responsibility seriously. We want to make sure to give them this platform.”
“We want to think outside of the regular names and designers that are always listed or featured,” adds Charles, a public-relations expert.