In 2020 we launched Elevate, our grant and mentorship program designed to promote a more diverse retail landscape and accelerate change in our own vendor base by supporting the next wave of entrepreneurs of color. Now in its second year, we are honored to announce the 2022 Elevate recipients.
This year’s recipients embody what is new and exciting about the industry today – their brands are bold, sustainable, inclusive and versatile. We can’t wait to share their stories with our community and introduce their products to our clients.
The first Elevate collection launched in October 2021 on Stitch Fix, featuring six Black-owned women’s and men’s apparel and accessories brands including Diarrablu, Busayo, Kahmune, Marcus Alexander, Sarep + Rose and Chloe Kristyn and we are proud to have these brands as part of our growing vendor base. Each designer received financial grants and mentorship to help grow their business. Through Elevate, they accessed our resources, data insights and art and science approach to help bring their collections to our clients and to expand their offering on their own platforms.
The Elevate program will continue to award a $25,000 cash grant to each recipient and provide eight months of advisory support from leadership across Stitch Fix based on each recipients’ unique business needs, ongoing support from our Algorithms team, as well as mentorship sessions with Stitch Fix executives, including Stitch Fix Founder Katrina Lake and/or Stitch Fix CEO, Elizabeth Spaulding, along with Brandice Daniel, CEO and Founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row. In addition, recipients will receive amplification through our marketing channels and orders for their products to be sold on Stitch Fix.
We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) and its Founder and CEO, Brandice Daniel, for the second year of the program. HFR supports emerging talent and provides a platform for designers of color. The organization has been instrumental to the development and success of the program to date. Additionally, SPS Commerce is extending a complimentary 2 year partnership for the Elevate grantees, offering a full suite of services with a dedicated team to support fulfillment (EDI), assortment and analytics.
As we enter into the second year of Elevate, we are humbled by the response to the program. Thank you to everyone who applied this year. It was an honor to learn more about your brands, each one unique and inspiring. Elevate is an annual program and we will announce a call for 2023 applications through our social channels and this blog in Fall 2022.
Besida is a womenswear clothing and accessories brand built on ethical practices. Crafted in the heart of Benin City, Nigeria by skilled local tailors, Besida offers bold prints and effortless cuts inspired by African heritage. The line is known for its multifunctional designs that have endless styling options. Founder Sophia Danner-Okotie embraces sustainable and fair-trade practices to ensure women are always proud to wear the brand.
BruceGlen is an apparel and accessories brand that creates unique pieces in bold, colorful patterns and prints. Based in Los Angeles, Founders Bruce and Glen Proctor strive to elicit joy with their electric and conversational pieces. The BruceGlen ready-to-wear collection uses sustainable manufacturing processes and organic materials, with made-to-order items resulting in no unused inventory or fabric.
Edas is a Brooklyn-based accessories brand that delivers feminine, staple accessories that accommodate the everyday, eclectic woman. Sade Mims, Founder and Creative Director, is a multidisciplinary artist who holds a strong interest in art, fashion and beauty and uses her brand to encourage conscious consumption, community building and land preservation.
Gracemade is a faith-driven women’s apparel brand that delivers a fashion-forward interpretation of modesty. Each Gracemade piece is designed and manufactured locally in Los Angeles, using ethical standards with the utmost respect for people, the local community, and the environment. CEO and Founder Jasmine Rennie created the brand as a means for women to express their personal style while honoring their values.
Megan Renee is a sustainable women’s contemporary brand created by Megan Smith, designed and produced in Los Angeles. The brand uses deadstock fabric and holds little to no inventory to reduce waste. Megan Renee is known for its bold yet wearable prints which are all digitally printed, using a fraction of the ink and water compared to traditional fabric printing. Megan draws inspiration from her travels around the globe and the strength, confidence and beauty of women.
Taylor Jay is a womenswear line designed with everyday comfort in mind. The collection features elevated basics that can be tailored to fit any style or personality. The brand strives to meld confidence and ease with the use of luxurious fabrics and flattering silhouettes for all shapes and sizes. Taylor Jay, Founder and Designer, was inspired to create a brand where everyday comfort is far from ordinary.
Learn more about the Elevate program here.