Inside The Folklore Connect x RAISEfashion NYFW Showroom

Inside The Folklore Connect x RAISEfashion NYFW Showroom

The first initiative from the partnership between The Folklore Connect and the non-profit advisory network of fashion industry leaders RAISEfashion, The NYFW Showroom took place over four days from February 9-12 during fashion week in New York.

A display that featured the fall/winter 2023  collections from a selection of 15 Black-owned brands hailing from Nigerian, Ghana, London and New York, the Showroom provided a unique opportunity for retail industry professionals to engage with designers and explore their latest creations in person.

To celebrate the launch of the showroom, The Folklore Group founder and CEO Amira Rasool and Felita Harris, chief executive of RAISEfashion hosted a cocktail party to welcome retail buyers, fashion creatives, media and industry trailblazers to the four-day event, which was held at the Shopify hub in SoHo, New York. Music was supplied by a live DJ while refreshments were provided by Courvoisier and VitaCoco.

The successful event hosted a number of guests from the walks of fashion, media and design, including Jamillah Davis Hernandez, VP and divisional merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue, Dalila Shannon of Urban Outfitters, and Nicole Jeter West, CEO of Underdog Venture Team as well as designers Felisha Noel of Fe Noel and Khiry’s Jameel Mohammed.


“The party perfectly reflected our mission to connect diverse brands with companies and individuals that are passionate about seeing them win on a global stage,” says Rasool. 

Shopify’s three-story building was the perfect setting for private retail appointments and walk-in showings for retail buyers to meet with the designers featured in the showroom, including accessories brands ASHYA and Vavvoune, ready-to-wear labels Onalaja and BruceGlen, and footwear designers Nalebe and Tiannia Barnes. Over the four days that the showroom was open, more than 800 visitors attended, including retail buyers from Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, and Shopbop, as well as press from The New York Times, Business of Fashion, Vogue Business, Who What Wear and Vanity Fair.

In their shared effort to support Black-owned brands, the partnership between Connect and RAISEfashion will also facilitate an exchange between the two. A selection of 17 designers from RAISEfashion will join the Connect platform on a six-month free membership with a new cohort onboarded on a rolling basis, while 10 brands from Connect will benefit from a mentorship program provided by RAISEfashion.

“There is a common goal and interest among us in promoting greater diversity in the fashion industry,” Harris said of the event and partnership. “Whether you are behind the scenes, leading the charge or cheering from the sidelines, we all win together.”

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