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Noel Stevensons head shot for beginning of colm.
FROLOV Instagram: Frolovheart Intelligent provocation is how FROLOV’s founder describes the label on the ‘gram. This Ukrainian brand is committed to social responsibility and continues to promote dialog about LGBTQ+ and gender issues. Celebrity fans include Dua Lipa & Rita Ora. To shop, visit: https://frolov.fr
Brother Vellies Instagram: @BrotherVellies Brother Vellies is a black-owned, woman-owned business based in Brooklyn. Founded and designed by Aurora James, her collection is handcrafted sustainability with talented artisans from the local New York area to Nairobi. She weaves beautiful inspiration and storytelling into every piece.
Farai London Instagram:@farailondon Farai London is a black-owned resort wear label founded in 2020 that already has a large celebrity following, including Kylie Jenner. The designer MaryAnn Msengi offers artistic swimwear, dresses, and her styles can already be shopped on sites like Revolve.
The Folklore Instagram: @thefolklore You may not recognize the brand by name yet, but The Folklore is where you want to shop online for this spring and beyond. This black-owned business features up-and-coming brands from Africa and the diaspora. The Folklore features show-stopping styles and on-trend fashions, but most importantly is amplifying Black designers and talent in the fashion industry. To shop online, visit: thefolklore.com.
Sleeper Instagram: daily_sleeper You may already know the Ukrainian fashion brand Sleeper without even realizing it. This brand changed the game when celebs started wearing its peejays as evening wear. A-list fans include Busy Philips & Kourtney Kardashian. To shop, visit: https://the-sleeper.com
It seems that almost overnight we’ve moved into some semblance of normalcy. The past two years have been hard. We been through shutdowns and restrictions. We had to pivot and adapt … not just on a daily basis, but at times from hour to hour or minute to minute. We’ve social distanced and worn masks. We grieved, not only for lost loved ones, but for life as we once knew it. We reopened businesses and resorts. We’ve demonstrated that Atlantic City — as both a city and a community — is resilient. We embraced face coverings as a form of fashion. And in an ironic twist of life, through the darkest days of the pandemic — and there were many — there were moments that showed the best of humankind, even when things were at their worst. And then, we saw some light.
Mask down, lately I have finally been feeling as if I could exhale a much-needed sigh of relief. But, the last month has reminded me that whenever possible, if you have a voice and a platform — and I am fortunate to have both in our community — that we use it to bring bigger messages to table and amplify brands who are making a difference in the world.
In my day job as a comms and marketing pro, we focus on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) 365. But, an equitable and inclusive world only happens when it becomes like fashion — a lifestyle — and we view all aspects of life through this lens.
This week, I’m spotlighting five Ukrainian, black and woman-owned brands who are changing the fashion game. As our community looks to brighter days ahead, and the world continues to hope for peace, these five designers are transforming design and style.