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We profile the people behind the fashion industry’s must-know brands, from high-end industry leaders to breakout names. Learn about their creative process and get to know who makes the designs you love.
The life cycle of a designer can be a vicious one: Fabric samplings, fittings, editorial placements and designing collections, among other things. That doesn’t even include the business aspect of working for yourself, especially with unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19.
“I launched my company in November 2019. I actually received my production order from New York a week before the shutdown in LA,” fashion designer Kendra Duplantier explains to In The Know.
“Then everything with George Floyd happened. It just brought up so many feelings and so many emotions; the last thing I was thinking about during that time was, ‘Oh, let me promote my business.'”
On her “overnight” success:
Seemingly overnight, Duplantier achieved commercial success after her brand appeared on Black Owned Everything, an online directory founded by Beyoncé’s stylist Zerina Akers that highlights Black-owned brands.
“One day, I literally woke up, and I checked my Instagram, and it was blowing up. And then I found out Black Owned Everything posted my brand, and I just got all these new followers and interest,” the Houston native shares.
On this moment for Black designers:
However, make no mistake: The designer has been putting in the work and grind for years. Now, the world is seeing her talent for what it is. The best part? She’s not the only designer at the table.
“With everything that’s gone on with the movements of supporting Black designers, I think the good thing that’s come out of this is I had no idea there were so many of us,” she excitedly comments. “[We’re] creating our own industry. Shop us, here we are.”
On making it in a tough industry:
And for new and emerging designers looking to leave their own footprint? Nothing substitutes the work. “Do what you can with what you have. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Remember why you started.”
Shop Kendra Duplantier below and check out the brand @Kendraduplantier.
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If you liked this post, check out Batsheva Hay found strength in dressing for herself and is now sharing that strength through her designs.
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