An assortment of temporary clothes and accessories fill the space on the top floor of a casting-iron building in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. Nine entrepreneurs across the U.S. are displaying their forthcoming summer collections at the final fashion display from their accelerator programs in conjunction with AfroPunk x Shopify.
The Black Fashion Accelerator program spanned six months. It offered the class’s first-ever top-quality curriculum that provided them with the chance to grow as artists and create successful sustainable, profitable, and sustainable businesses. “It challenged them to think about what they’ll do with their money and provided a good support system for their internal decisions,” said program director Christopher Bevans, who is also Dyne artistic director Christopher Bevans.
Bevans added more details about the significance of these programs: “Our gifts and our abilities are being acknowledged at a higher level today, and I would like youngsters to take advantage of the moment, financially and in relationships, and also have their assets. We’re at a basic stage of helping them to get their final transaction, which Shopify is so good at with cash-outs.”
Working in partnership with Shoppingify, AfroPunk approached the metier with aplomb, and the track record of their most memorable shows gets longer each season. The brand added another piece of jewelry to its collection, showcasing the latest summer collections by nine voices that were deemed to have the potential to have the possibility of having a “major impact” on the fashion industry by the AfroPunk team.
The nine entrepreneurs from 902 candidates included Par Bronte Laurent creator Bronte Laurent, Wear Brims founders Archie Clay III and Tajh Crutch. Corin DeMarco creator Corin Lindsay Beside the founder of Sophia Danner Okotie Abeille Creations founder Melissa Mitchell; Mizzi founder Paakow Essandoh RuvaAfricWear founder Sylvester Dhlovu Vavvoune creator Valerie Blaise; and House of Fleek founder Jelisa Smith.
Its Green Street store that served as the venue was a central location that featured models in the front of tilt windows, playing with the designer’s dazzling collection. A couple of feet away were crowds of fans glancing at their phones as they stood in anticipation of the event. To the left of the multileveled stage sporting black Telfar logo boots — was hosting Jorge Wright, who goes under the name of the creative Gentoo. While Gentoo took over the step with banter, the crowd gradually moved to models sporting the latest fashionable designs.
Inspiring by the fascination with space-inspired fashions and streetwear, The Mizzi collection incorporated the fashionable elements of sport and contemporary techniques to show Essandoh’s vision of African Futurism. In a somewhat counterintuitive expression, Essandoh called the group “Africans in Space,” an apparent reference to the collection’s source of inspiration.
“We wanted to show something brand new. We imagine that the African Union would have completed its African space agency, and we imagine what the astronauts of that agency will appear like if Mizzi hired them,” he said.
Mizzi’s latest collection included two nylon and leather boots with black and white finishes. The shoes have a maxi rubber sole with a distinctive monolithic design to improve the look of the biker boot. The silhouette has grown into the most sought-after model in streetwear.
According to Essandoh, Mizizi’s new line is different from the brand’s core business. Alongside his range of leather goods, there was a selection of streetwear. (Similar to Diogenes looking for a trustworthy male, quite a few have browsed websites of the top brands for the perfect streetwear to match their summer style.)
With bold “Afronaut” logos, Mizizi’s Jogger sweats were available in two black-white patched and white-white finishes. Wearing smoky Afros and bright shades, all models were paired by wearing Jersey Baseball Collar Button-Up T-Shirts. His collection also included the full-body jumpsuit, which resembled an astronaut’s classic suit.
In the wake of this sneak peek of the new line, Essandoh will unveil the Mizzi summer collection at the end of this month.
For Smith, she highlighted the vibrant colors and anticipated trends for the coming season in Smith’s House of Fleek collection. The collection was designed by examining 2022’s summer trends and did a remarkable job in identifying areas of interest to the public. For example, not only is her collection inclusive, but it also joins in the cause of sustainable fashion only made of recycled plastics.
“I looked at trends and added my spin on the trends — something that is crucial for swimwear. Cutouts, bright colors, and mesh were essential to this collection.” Smith said.
Her collection includes a variety of Lace-Up heels with blue, pink, gold, and black finishes. The heels are inspired by the classic stiletto with lace-ups and come with a distinct size of lacing.
In conjunction with the raging design of the heel are two swimwear pieces that are fresh updates to the brand’s newest design process.
“I started doing 3-D designs, taking advantage of a 3-D software before bringing them to life,” Smith stated. “First, I’ll sketch them out using amazing details. Then, I’ll crank up my program and begin the lengthy steps.”
Blue and pink The swimwear items included unique cuts and gold accessories adorned with the brand’s logo. The bikini set has a beach batik ruffled with a string attachment to switch its length. Other dresses are displayed with the same ruffled fabric in beige.
AfroPunk and Shopify have documented the program on social media platforms to highlight participants’ progress. They have also released an episode-long video series revealing the process behind each entrepreneur.
Shopify is accepting registrations in its 1 million Black Businesses program. It is a joint partnership with Shopify with Operation HOPE that provides Black entrepreneurs with training tools, resources, and networking opportunities to transform their business plans into reality.