Black Fashion Designers: Taubman’s Color Luxury Boutique For African Americans Designers In Los Angeles Has Opened.
Emerge in Color, a premium fashion shop at Taubman’s Beverly Center in Los Angeles, will sell only products designed by Black designers and Black-owned fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands from around the country.
The specifically created room, which will be open from June 17 to July 23, will be positioned on level seven of the mall, adjacent to Tiffany & Co. and across from Ferragamo, along the mall’s luxury row.
Lori McGhee-Curtis, vice president of specialized leasing at Taubman, created Emerge in Color to help Black entrepreneurs increase their retail prospects.
According to Taubman, despite the $1.7 trillion in Black spending power in the United States, only about 10% of fashion and accessory firms are owned by African-Americans, and only about 1% of Black-owned brands are carried by American retailers.
Tori Nichel, the New York-based founder of the online retail platform Maison Black, which has popped up at Shinola in Detroit and GSTQ in New York, and Frenchye Bush Harris, who founded The Black Fashion Movement in 2020 as a grassroots social media campaign to promote Black-owned brands online and eventually via in-person luxury shopping experiences at Galleria Dallas and other properties, are curating the brands.
The store will carry more than 50 labels, including garments from Kevan Hall, In Earnest by Byron Lars, and S. Magee, as well as footwear from Salone Monet, eyewear from Tribal Eyes, and jewelry from Jam & Rico.
A panel discussion regarding Black spending power will be held on June 19, a Crown Act Day beauty panel will be held on July 3, and a shopping event with L.A. designer Hall, a founder of The Black Design Collective, will be held on July 3.
During COVID-19, McGhee-Curtis launched the Emerge idea as a weekend pop-up at Twelve Oaks Mall in Detroit to help local entrepreneurs. She understood the notion might grow and become a platform for Black designers as a result of its success. She found Nichel and Harris, who happened to know each other, after searching for curators.
“It’ll be a location for exploration.” Shoppers will be wowed by a stunning caftan by Kevan Hall, and then meander through the store to view a coffee-table book by Marcellas Reynolds, who they may meet at an event.
They will see some gorgeous pieces from Undra Celeste New York’s capsule, and they will be able to purchase Salone Monet if they are seeking for a nice pump that complements their beautiful melanin skin tone. … Then they may come across a plant they like and wonder whether they may purchase it.
You certainly can! We formed a collaboration with Tansy, a beautiful local woman who is supplying the plants… “The plan is to make as much of it as shoppable as possible,” Nichel explained.
“One of our missions is to solve findability, so this was the ideal marriage of us being 100% digital and having a physical space to support emerging, established, and unknown designers who need a stepping stone to grow in the retail environment and gain exposure with other retailers and even potential manufacturers,” Nichel said.
“It’s critical to support these companies because their survival means money will flow into our community, and our neighborhood will begin to look different,” Harris explained.
Designers meeting consumers, according to the curators, is also beneficial. “It’s incredibly affirming…it instills pride in me,” Harris remarked.
“We’ve been the only ones in the studio for so long as designers.”
It’s amazing to see each other… “You don’t feel as though you’re alone anymore,” Nichel continued. “It’s customer-facing, as well as getting to know one another in the Black designer community.”
If the concept is a hit, McGhee-Curtis plans to repeat it during the holidays and possibly expand it to additional Taubman locations.
According to her, she chose L.A. first because of the large number of Black designers available. “Because we’re right in the middle of everything at the Beverly Center, I thought it would go over well.” We may visit Short Hills, a suburb of New York, at some point.
“These are our future retailers,” says the designer. This is something new and different after COVID-19, store closures, and bankruptcies.
We’ve begun collaborating with a number of direct-to-consumer firms that are coming to our shopping malls. It’s also a good time because we’ll be commemorating Juneteenth.”