No Man Walks Alone mentoring program for new Black designers and Black-owned brands
Through our own experience, readings, and discussions with aspiring and established Black professionals in fashion, we have come to better realize that Black designers and Black-owned brands are not simply under-represented in fashion, but that their path to success is often littered with more obstacles than their non-Black peers, from admission to schools, to finding jobs or internships, to receiving support and funding for their ventures.
The reasons are deep, complex and numerous, from rooted traditions to implicit bias to social hurdles or simply exclusionary or racist policies. While our work through the Mentoring Program will not solve these issues or end racism in fashion or elsewhere, we aim to join in a progressive effort to increase diversity in our industry and make it more inclusive of Black designers and fashion entrepreneurs, specifically by providing them with the advice, support and access that they may want to advance their project. No Man Walks Alone is seeking Black designers and fashion entrepreneurs as candidates for its newly created Mentoring Program.
We have gathered together a panel of industry experts and insiders spanning menswear and womenswear, from Design and Production to Sourcing, Merchandising, Sales, and Studio Management to PR and Editorial Photography.
WHAT THE PROGRAM DOES:
• Assist Black designers and Black-owned brands by creating a network of guidance, advice and access that will empower them to succeed
• Provide professional advice and continuing guidance to new Black designers and Black-owned brands, either pre-launch or for existing projects
• Facilitate access to relevant information, provide feedback and act as a sounding board, as needed
• Help make relevant connections and introductions to knowledgeable industry insiders
• Offer our NYC showroom space as a place to show their work, collections or meet buyers
WHAT THE PROGRAM DOES NOT DO:
• The program does not provide any guarantees of connections or business outcomes
• While mentors will be dedicating their time to discuss and review ideas and materials, they will not be delivering work product for the mentees
SOME OF OUR MENTORS & ADVISORS:
• Niyi Okuboyejo (Post-Imperial) : Design / Production / Marketing
• Antonio Ciongoli (18 East) : Design / Production / Marketing
• Agyesh Madan (Stoffa) : Immigrant Experience / Ethics of International Production / Sustainable Product Development
• Katie Simcox (Alexander Wang) : Product development / Studio Management
• Saeed Ferguson (ALLCAPSTUDIO) :Design / Production / Marketing