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Diverse Creators Are Getting a Seat at the Table

Bloomingdale’s and LVMH are among the high-profile names investing in diverse creators and placing them at the heart of their latest initiatives.

Bloomingdale’s will be home to a limited-edition collaboration between its exclusive Aqua contemporary fashion brand and Studio 189, the African-inspired premium brand co-founded by actress and activist Rosario Dawnson and Abrima Erwiah.

Launching July 1, the Akua collection features 17 summer-ready pieces including dresses, tops, skirts, and eight swim styles priced from $48-$198. Each piece is designed with hand-dyed prints produced by Studio 189 artisans in Ghana.

A total of 11 different hand-batiked prints were created exclusively for the collaboration, resulting in Studio 189’s largest single fabric order to date, according to Erwiah. Prints include palm leaves and pineapple motifs in an array of vivid colors made to mix and match.

Bloomingdale’s will fete the collaboration by hosting events at The Surf Lodge in Montauk, N.Y. through July 4. The collection is available at Bloomingdale’s stores and on its website.

Aqua has previously collaborated with cultural icons and influencers including Pendleton, Mary Katrantzou and Zendaya.


Similarly, LVMH North America and Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) are joining forces to advance the next generation of BIPOC fashion designers.

Founded by Brandice Daniel in 2007, HRF supports emerging talent and provides a platform for underrepresented Black and Latinx designers. The partnership aims to advance HRF’s mission of discovering, mentoring, and showcasing emerging talent through multi-platform, high-visibility events and customized pipeline programs.

LVMH is partnering with Harlem's Fashion Row to advance diverse BIPOC fashion designers.

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“We’ve successfully introduced a wealth of diverse designers to a world-class fashion curriculum consisting of invaluable tools and resources to grow their businesses, and have educated Gen Z on how they too can change fashion’s course. Conjunctively, we’ve created opportunities for youth to engage as early as high school, meeting the marginalized, particularly HBCU students, where they are in their fashion careers,” Daniel said, using the acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The partnership is tackling a variety of initiatives.

The HRF Icon 360 HBCU Summit aims to transform the art and fashion programs at North American HBCUs by providing direct design expertise from industry experts.

The three-day HFR Designer Retreat hosted more than 75 designers and featured an array of fashion speakers. During “Industry Stops,” designers visited the North American offices of Louis Vuitton and met with key executives, including Lanessa Elrod, Zone president and CEO; and Thomas Haupt, senior vice president of U.S. retail.

Black History Month Summit serves as a forum for conversation with industry leaders including Anish Melwaniand, LVMH North America CEO, Corey Smith, vice president of D&I, and as well as Daniel discussing the current state of diversity in fashion.

Smith said the luxury titan is committed to making a positive impact in the community and “realizing the path forward set by Virgil Abloh and others who helped foster equity and inclusion in the fashion industry by supporting and building a pool of diverse creative talent.”

Hudson x The House of LR&C

Star quarterback Russell Wilson and wife and singer Ciara just scored a touchdown for their retail concept, The House of LR&C.

The House of LR&C
The House of LR&C is partnering with Hudson for travel retail. Courtesy

Travel goods chain Hudson and The House of LR&C announced an exclusive travel retail partnership bringing LITA by Ciara and Good Man Brand to the former’s duty-free and specialty retail stores. This will be the first time two brands from The House of LR&C will be carried in U.S. and Canada airports.

Hudson debuted two clothing lines from The House of LR&C inside the Gallery ORD store at Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 5.

“Hudson has always prioritized giving back and creating development opportunities for the minority-owned companies we do business with,” said Freda Cheung, executive vice president of duty free and chair of Hudson’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Travelers can shop a selection of accessible and sustainable clothing products from The House of LR&C’s two participating brands.

LITA by Ciara, which stands for “love is the answer,” offers contemporary dresses, sweaters, outerwear, and accessories intended to be a “woman’s best friend in fashion.” Good Man Brand offers crewnecks, polos, sneakers, and other apparel designed to help men “look good, feel good, and do good.”

Hudson and The House of LR&C hosted a fashion show fundraiser at the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) Airport Business Diversity Conference in Chicago featuring video appearances by The House of LR&C founders. A portion of the proceeds from purchases at the launch event will be donated to the AMAC Foundation supporting minorities and women pursuing careers in the aviation industry.