Black Fashion Tech Founders: Give Us A Level Playing Field, Not Charity! (FashNerd)


The virtual 3D fashion show by US-based Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba, for her brand Hanifa, left everyone mesmerized. The digital show, executed with finesse, not only sent ripples across the fashion-tech circuit but also sparked enthusiasm amongst the Black community, widely underrepresented in this space.

In fashion, the number of Black-owned independent designer brands is on the rise, but the tally of Black founder-led tech startups lags far behind. It is common knowledge that setting up a fashion-tech business (whether an e-commerce or a SaaS solution) is harder as one needs tech expertise and capital. But Black founders end up chasing not only money and skill support but also face systemic racism at every step of their entrepreneurial journey.

However, in the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests, the diversity agenda has come to the fore, giving rise to more candid and uncomfortable discussions. And Black founders have a singular message for investors and companies that want to breed fashion-tech innovation— “give us a level playing field.”

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