A Global Collective of Black Creatives in Fashion Launch IN THE BLK

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( ENSPIRE Fashion ) IN THE BLK and Builds Economic Independence for Black Designers in the Fashion Industry

ENSPIRE Contributor: Taylor Groft

Today, The Business of Fashion announces the launch of IN THE BLK, a 501(c) organization and global collective of Black creatives in the fashion industry founded and led by Haitian-American designer Victor Glemaud. Members of the collective hail from nations around the world, including the United States, Nigeria, Italy, South Africa, France, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and more, and make up an extensive list of renowned designers including AliétteNY, ASHYA, Awa Meité, Bantu Wax, Bien Abyé, Christie Brown, Daily Paper, Fanm Mon, Fe Noel, House of Aama, Kenneth Ize, Khiry, Lem Lem, LoveOhLou, Loza Maléombho, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Maki Oh, Marty Moto, Maxhosa by Laduma, Off-White, Orange Culture, Rich Mnisi, Romeo Hunte, Tongoro, San Sovino 6, Selly Raby Kane, Sergio Hudson, Sewit Sium, Shekudo, Stella Jean, Studio 189, Thebe Magugu, THIRD CROWN, Tokyo James and Zashadu.

IN THE BLK and its members are dedicated to creating and expanding spaces for Black designers in fashion and developing opportunities for the designers to build economic independence. IN THE BLK has identified three pillars to aid in their advancement, politics, economics, and innovation, with each initiative created by the collective tying back to their established pillars.

The collective builds on these areas of focus by enlisting the resources and support of their seasoned members who offer development and mentorship to the collective’s up-and-coming designers. 

On the collective’s launch, Victor Glemaud shares:

“A lot of Black-owned brands are self-funded…so what I realised was that this business services aspect is something that [In the Blk] can provide.”

“We’re bringing people on board with shared experiences … And everyone is welcome.”

Abrima Erwiah, co-founder of label Studio 189 and a member of the collective, shares their experience with IN THE BLK:

“It’s so encouraging — people just offered to support.” 

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In his nearly two decades in fashion, Victor Glemaud has never felt alone — a feat that he largely attributes to his mentor, best friend and former boss, Patrick Robinson. But the New York City-based designer knows that he’s the exception. Through conversations with industry peers during the pandemic as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, Glemaud said it became clear to him that the fashion industry lacked a real support system for Black creatives — especially considering the widespread racism that afflicts them.⁠ ⁠ So, in June, Glemaud founded In the Blk, a professional network dedicated to helping Black designers and other creatives in the fashion industry all over the world to achieve economic independence. The organisation, whose members so far include Virgil Abloh, Jason Rembert, Fe Noel, Omoyemi Akerele and Stella Jean, aims to pool resources — such as tools for legal assistance and logistics support — for fashion companies of any size. “A lot of Black-owned brands are self-funded,” said Glemaud, and this means they might not have access to lessons in wholesale or running a direct-to-consumer business. “So what I realised was that this business services aspect is something that [In the Blk] can provide.”⁠ ⁠ While trade organisations like the Council of Fashion Designers of America or the Fédération de la haute couture et de la Mode exist to support independent designers, they’ve yet to truly listen and acknowledge the Black experience in the industry, Glemaud said. “The difference is now we designers are no longer waiting for [them] to acknowledge us," he said. "We are moving forward collectively together [with In the Blk].” Glemaud plans to officially launch the organisation as part of Paris Fashion Week this month, in partnership with the Fédération as well as Instagram. Continue the read on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio] 📷 : @gettyimages

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“Virgil [Abloh] offered to design the logo and assets, and Victor was supportive and connected me to other brands … This is a distinctive community that’s needed.”

About IN THE BLK

IN THE BLK is a collective of Black creatives in the global fashion industry who are dedicated to creating and expanding spaces for fellow Black designers in fashion by developing opportunities for them to build economic independence.

Founded by Haitian-American designer Victor Glemaud, the mission of IN THE BLK is to unify fashion creators and create solidarity for Black individuals in fashion, globally. IN THE BLK has identified and is committed to three pillars to aid in the advancement of Black creatives: politics, economics, and innovation. The collective builds on these areas of focus by enlisting the resources and support of seasoned fashion professionals who are devoted to the development and mentorship of up and coming designers. IN THE BLK, a 501(c) organization, has assembled an extensive global list of renowned designers from some of the fashion industry’s leading Black-owned fashion brands. For more information on IN THE BLK, visit INTHEBLK.ORG.

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