Iordanes Spyridon Gogos & Powerhouse Museum Unveil Iconic Collaboration For Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 12: Jenny Kee walks the runway during the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at the Powerhouse Museum on May 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

On Thursday, 12 May 2022, the Powerhouse staged Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’ (ISG) highly anticipated runway show for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) 2022. The unique collaboration transformed the Powerhouse’s iconic Boiler Hall for the first AAFW runway show in the museum’s 142-year history.

The Powerhouse workshop team collaborated with ISG to realise the vibrant ‘deconstructed castle’ runway. Artistic direction was led by Benn Hamilton, set design by Max Rixon, and spatial design by Tayarch Design Studio, all mainstay ISG collaborators who worked with the Powerhouse team to create more than 15 sculptural works along with painted banners, set pieces, and wearable art objects.

Jenny Kee and Jordan Gogos, Iordanes Spyridon Gogos Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 at Powerhouse. Image: Getty.

More than 1,000 hours of labour over five weeks and 123 litres of fluorescent paint, including much reused from previous exhibition projects, went into the collaboration. The full breadth of the workshop team’s skills and experience was showcased, from entry-level to experienced artisans and tradespeople with 30 years of experience across metal, timber, and scenic work, plus drawing and 3D modelling.

The Powerhouse workshop was amongst 60 Australian and international collaborators from the creative industries engaged to realise 33 singular looks for the runway show. One stand-out was a steel ‘tubular vest’ designed by Benn Hamilton and crafted by the Powerhouse workshop, which housed a floral arrangement by the Colour Blind Florist Benjamin Avery. The workshop also collaborated on NYC-based artist Patrick Church’s sculptural look.

ISG’s collaboration with Australian fashion veteran Jenny Kee AO opened and closed the show. ISG utilised recycled materials from ‘Step Into Paradise’ (Kee and Linda Jackson’s seminal Powerhouse retrospective) for the lining of garments, shoes, set design, and other elements. Kee’s archive of iconic prints and motifs, including her signature ‘Earth First’ scarf, were translated into textile designs by Brittney Wyper and incorporated into new garments. The designer herself made a runway cameo alongside her granddaughter.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 12: Designer Jordan Gogos thanks the audience with Jenny Kee following the the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at the Powerhouse Museum on May 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

In his unique graphic style, Apollo Michaelides illustrated textile designs with cartoons featuring references to the Powerhouse’s expansive collection. Victoria Todorov’s textile designs also referenced a variety of collection objects for a garment designed by Shanghai-based Jake Siu. Photo media artist and sculptor Anna Pogossova’s oversized coins, seen on shoes, garments and jewellery, referenced real and counterfeit ancient Greek coins from the Powerhouse collection.

In collaboration with Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, ISG presented a silhouette which captures the fashion label’s relationship with Sally and the Gallery. Clad in jacket and skirt, the model represented Sally as the gallery director, while a ‘shell’ reflected the distinct, considered textures of the gallery architecture, with a headdress symbolising the gallery’s iconic ‘halo’ light entrance.

Winner of the National Indigenous Fashion Awards 2021 Simone Arnol, working in collaboration with masters of Ghostnet woven totemic artworks Pormpuraaw Art Centre and Yarrabah Arts and Culture, presented a series of designs combining recycled fishing nets, textiles, and printed fabrics.

Jordan Gogos and Jenny Kee, backstage at Iordanes Spyridon Gogos AAFW 2022 Runway Show, Powerhouse. Collaborators: Patrick Church, Brittany Wyper, Max Rixon, Julia Baldini. Model: Kyva/Kyle. Image by Jamie Heath.

The show was presented alongside a curated Powerhouse Late program, which included a live stream of the runway show into the Powerhouse Theatre alongside artwork projections, documentary screenings and music curated by FBi Radio.  The runway show will remain available to view on the Powerhouse’s YouTube channel.

“The Powerhouse is thrilled to present our collaboration with ISG for AAFW 2022. Since our collaboration was first announced, Jordan’s epic vision has expanded in new and exciting ways. Galvanising the resources of the Powerhouse workshop team and production teams, this marked a momentous moment for the museum, transforming the iconic Boiler Hall into the world of Jordan Gogos” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.

Jordan Gogos and Jenny Kee, backstage at Iordanes Spyridon Gogos AAFW 2022 Runway Show, Powerhouse. Collaborators: Yarrabah Arts and Culture, Pormpuraaw Art, Julia Baldini. Model: Abbey. Image by Jamie Heath.

“Our collaboration with the Powerhouse has enabled us to realise the full scale and magnitude of our creative vision for this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week runway show. Being embedded in the Powerhouse Ultimo Creative Industries Precinct as a Resident has generated thrilling new collaborations. Access to the incredible workshop facilities and production team at Powerhouse Ultimo has elevated the show to new heights in the iconic Boiler Hall,” said ISG founder Jordan Gogos.

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week is an IMG event proudly supported by the New South Wales Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Jordan Gogos and Jenny Kee, backstage at Iordanes Spyridon Gogos AAFW 2022 Runway Show, Powerhouse. Collaborators: Jenny Kee, Ruby Peddler, Brittany Wyper, Max Rixon, Sacred Honeys, Julia Baldini. Model: Stefania Gertis. Image by Jamie Heath.

Jordan Gogos and Jenny Kee, backstage at Iordanes Spyridon Gogos AAFW 2022 Runway Show, Powerhouse. Collaborators: Max Rixon, Jo Morton, Jenny Kee, Sacred Honeys, Julia Baldini. Model: Elliot. Image by Jamie Heath.

Spotted: TORANNCE At The Afterpay Australia Fashion Week 2022

TORANNCE is an Australian elevated contemporary label dedicated to timelessness, luxury, and wear-ability. Paying homage to vintage trends and muses, TORANNCE plays on eccentricities and eye-catching details while still being completely wearable and something that can take you from day to night.

TORANNCE was established by Julia Torannce Hemingway in 2015. Having studied a Bachelor of Business and working within the fashion industry for almost a decade, Hemingway felt she needed to create her own label so that she could push the design boundaries without limitation.

With a strong emphasis on quality, all TORANNCE garments are designed using premium materials, including natural fabrications, ethically sourced leathers, and beautiful hand-embellished materials.

Check out their collection below at the 2022 Afterpay Australian Fashion Week courtesy of Dave Choo.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Kavya Prakhyati

Kavya Prakhyati is a 27-year-old Boston-based designer focused on creating sustainable fashion rooted in femininity and romance. She draws inspiration from couture techniques, renaissance paintings, 90s movies, and her Indian heritage.

Kavya graduated with a certificate from the school of fashion design in 2019 and apprenticed for Daniel Faucher Couture, learning the craft of tailored, custom-made garments. Some of her garments have appeared on independent magazine covers, and a collection of her garments were featured in Boston Fashion Week.

Her handmade-to-order garment addresses and empowers different body types and design needs through the use of traditional sewing techniques. She believes that her customers should buy her pieces because they truly speak to them. It just so happens that she encourages sustainable production and empowers everyone along the way.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Kavya to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I started off studying marketing and worked as a market analyst. I wanted to pursue a career in fashion, and I was always drawn to it ever since school. For many reasons, I chose to play safe with my career choice until I realised it wasn’t for me and decided to do what I always wanted. I went back to school to study Fashion Design, which really helped me develop my technical skills. I have been doing this for five years now (I did internships with very talented and established designers in Boston and got my first job as a technical designer in New York) and have never looked back.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Seeing the ideas come to life! I spend a lot of time drafting patterns/draping, manipulating fabric, sewing the garment using intricate details, and then finally seeing it on my clients or models is a total dream come true, especially when they notice the little details and tell you how they feel in the dress.

Meeting other creatives in the industry is another thing I love. I’m always meeting new people (online & in-person), and listening to different perspectives and ideas is always refreshing!

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Someone commented on my TikTok saying, “how does it feel to live my dream?” and I wanted to respond by listing several reasons why the fashion industry is difficult. Still, the truth is that although many downsides exist, they can all be overcome with workable solutions. That being said, the fashion industry is very demanding, both financially and time-wise. Another downside is that the fashion industry is so saturated that it’s hard to stand out, so you have to work really hard to differentiate yourself and be seen. Made-to-order designers, in particular, have trouble finding success in this ‘fast-paced, inexpensive clothing’ environment because their goods don’t have a quick turnaround time and are expensive. Thankfully, the situation is one of the most talked-about topics at the moment, so it’s easier to educate consumers about the trade-off and true cost.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

I would have to say that one of my most (recent) memorable experiences was having Dodie (a British singer-songwriter) perform in one of my garments. A true pinch-me moment! Her initiative to support independent designers is very thoughtful. Kudos to her and her team!

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve had an incredible opportunity to meet so many models, photographers, teachers, and other designers in the industry! (All the pictures you see are works of these incredible artists, you will find them tagged in my Instagram account.) They truly changed my perspective on competition. For me, now, it is all about supporting each other and uplifting each other as a community because I truly understand what it takes. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet some of these creatives; they are all very interesting with unique personalities and backgrounds.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

#1. Quality>>>Quantity and #2. I don’t have to be a genius protege with an exuberant personality to convince people to like what I make. Just take some challenges, don’t downplay accomplishments, get hands-on experience, and invest in skill and practice. Who would have thought? Not me!

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

I am very grateful that my family and friends are always there for me and encourage me to follow my dreams. They’ve been very supportive of my new venture.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Cliche, but I can’t say I’d do anything differently because I would definitely have valued the opportunity to learn from my mistakes more. If I could go back, I’d take some financial, sewing, and confidence tips and a few self-help books with me.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Do your best, and watch your best get better.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I am excited about my future plans! Right now, my plan is to continue working with my current company for the foreseeable future. I’m working on launching my brand ‘Aeris’ late this year or early next year, where I take custom orders and also launch mini collections twice a year which are also customisable and made-to-order. Follow me on my Instagram @kavyaprakhyati to order, see my pieces in action, or just follow along my journey. I am also very keen on learning 3D software (like clo3d and browzwear). I’m curious, could this be the answer to all my sustainable custom fashion business problems?

Photo credits: Lena Nugent, Sasha Iman, Anna Istomina, and Siobhan Beasley.

Event To Watch Out For: Afterpay Australian Fashion Week

What: Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) engages the industry alongside fashion’s most passionate consumers in one dynamic program, marrying physical and digital activations that celebrate Australia’s preeminent designers and fashion’s cultural influence.

Australia’s only international fashion event, AAFW takes place annually in Sydney and is the premier destination for Resort collections.

Where: Carriageworks – 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh NSW 2015

When: 9-13 MAY

Here’s Why Throwaway Fashion Is Out Of Fashion

With the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival underway, experts from RMIT are available to comment on some of the biggest trends in the fashion industry, from circular fashion to capsule wardrobes built for comfort.

Circular fashion: Brands need to design for longevity

Dr Rebecca Van Amber, Senior Lecturer, School of Fashion & Textiles, Program Manager, Bachelor of Fashion & Textiles (Sustainable Innovation), RMIT (

“One of the most significant things the fashion industry can do to reduce waste in the industry is to design garments that are durable and long-lasting. Circular fashion is becoming increasingly popular and mainstream, however, we can only repurpose, re-sell, rent and repair fashion if it is made from quality fabrics and designed to last in the first place.

“One of the fascinating things that has happened with the proliferation of the fashion rental market —whereby you can rent special occasion clothing from online and bricks and mortar fashion rental boutiques — is that the brands who supply to this market are redesigning their products to make them more long-lasting. Previously, evening gowns weren’t designed to be worn over and over again. But that’s changed and they now need to be much more durable.

“Similarly, the sophistication of the second-hand fashion market, which has moved well beyond op shops and eBay to curated second-hand fashion boutiques who charge a premium means that well-made, quality garments are becoming increasingly valuable in that resale market, and that can only be a good thing when we are thinking about reducing fashion waste.

“This appetite for circular fashion, whether it be renting, re-selling or re-purposing garments, means there is increasing value in making and investing in good quality garments, which in turn reduces waste.”

How the pandemic prompted the rise of the capsule wardrobe

Dr Kate Sala, Lecturer, Design & Technology, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT (

“I definitely think people are more aware now of what they have in their wardrobes than they were before the pandemic.

“You’ll find many people used those long periods of lockdown to clear out and sell superfluous items in their wardrobe and as a result I think people may be more mindful now of what they do and don’t need in their wardrobes.

“People are also more mindful of how they can use what they have available in their wardrobe to style different looks for different occasions. We have become resourceful.

“I think the fact that many of us are only in the office two or three days a week, or even less, means perhaps we’ve come to realise we don’t need as many clothes as we used to.

“And when we do leave the house, I think we are much more considered about what we wear. There is this real sense of occasion to be celebrated when we go out now.

“At the same time, I think we’ve become accustomed to a sense of comfort that extended periods at home have given us. So, while people are loving the opportunity to dress up for social occasions and going into the office, they are combining comfort with occasion, by being more experimental with their fashion and embracing relaxed silhouettes, comfortable footwear, and items that can take them easily from home to working away from home.”

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Can Digital Fashion Make The Fashion Industry More Sustainable?

Fashion has become one of the latest industries put under the scope of digitalization. As more people opt for buying virtual clothing, the opportunity to minimize carbon emissions, textile waste, and water usage within the sector presents itself. 

With the metaverse, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasing concerns related to climate change, fashion designers have turned to digital platforms for releasing their pieces. Louis Vuitton, for example, has designed a set of skins for the MOBA video game League of Legends. As virtual clothing becomes more accessible to the average user, fashion could become a more sustainable industry by allowing people to explore their style without needing to buy physical items.

Digital clothing tackles fashion’s sustainability issues

Despite brands incorporating “green policies” to reduce their harm to the environment in recent years, the fast-paced nature of the fashion industry causes it to be one of the biggest pollution-spreading sectors in 2021. However, rapid digitalization occurred within clothing companies as they failed to meet manufacturing goals as a result of the pandemic, which paved the way for virtual clothing.

Brands turned to mapping out initial drafts virtually, only physically crafting the clothes once a design has been settled on. In turn, as reported by ProSoft VR, the manufacturing process of one simple dress reduced environmental costs by around four times.

“As items go out of fashion and new trends pop up, a cycle of environmental harm is created. Old items end up in landfills, while the creation of new ones emit massive amounts of CO2  and deplete water resources. Games alleviate this burden, as unworn pieces may simply be deleted and replaced by other items with substantively less impact,” notes Victoria Trofimova, CEO of Nordcurrent, the biggest game development company in Lithuania.

While not completely impact-free, digital clothing items save around 3300 liters and produce 97% fewer carbon emissions per item, compared to their physical counterparts. By satisfying the need for engaging with new trends, consumers will likely be more mindful when buying physical pieces, reducing harm in the long-term.

Virtual clothing quickly garnering popularity

“Real-life clothing items increasingly find their way onto digital platforms. With famous designer houses joining the trend, virtual wardrobes are becoming more similar to ones in real-life,” notes Trofimova. “By emulating clothing, users may explore trends, styles, and brands without needing to purchase physical pieces, and therefore reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry,” she continues.

The trend is significantly supported by video games, as character customization becomes an integral part of an immersive experience. Games such as Pocket Styler allow the player to fully customize their avatar’s look with different clothing and accessories that can be found in real-life stores.

“People may express themselves using Pocket Styler by transferring their particular tastes and preferences to the virtual version of themselves. Players may take their time developing a personal sense of style, which is difficult to achieve in real life as trends change and are phased out of stores rapidly,” explains Trofimova.

With digital fashion only becoming increasingly popular, a new, sustainable route for the industry is coming into view. By playing with style on virtual platforms like video games,  people may still express themselves and be creative using clothing – with minimized detriment to the environment.

About Nordcurrent

Nordcurrent is the biggest Lithuanian video game developer and publisher, known for such games as Cooking Fever,  Murder in the Alps, Airplane Chefs, Sniper Arena. Focusing on freemium and casual games, the company created over 50 games since 2002, attracting more than half-billion players  worldwide.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Lukas Pereckas of

Zero Footprint Repurposing Presented by Revival Projects Wins Melbourne Design Week Award

Robbie Neville, Founder of Revival Projects, at Zero Footprint Repurposing presented as part of Melbourne Design Week 2022 running 17-27 March 2022.

Photo: Sean Fennessy

With almost half of waste worldwide coming from construction and demolition, Zero Footprint Repurposing by Revival Projects, presented as part of Melbourne Design Week, seeks to make sustainable construction alternatives more accessible to everyone by providing one of the world’s first free repurposing hubs to fill a vital gap in the industry by facilitating the storage and reuse of demolished materials, which would otherwise become landfill.

Founded by Robbie Neville in 2016, Revival Projects has already salvaged hundreds of tonnes in construction and demolition waste across Melbourne channelling it into furniture, interior, and architectural projects including R.M. Williams stores across the country, Industry Beans new Fitzroy flagship, and the 2020 demolition and salvage with Hip V.Hype, who were heading up the development of a Six Degrees Architects-designed block of 22 apartments in South Melbourne.

This first hub, opened in 2020, and in operation for a year, was situated immediately adjacent to the Hip V Hype site, and saw Revival Projects repurpose the 2000 lineal meters of timber beams into several local projects including a whisky bar, a ceramic studio, a burger bar and in sustainable furniture design workshops for women, which were run from the hub. The remaining timber will be used in feature elements of an 8 story Perri Projects development, designed by Tandem Studio, which is now under construction on the site of the South Melbourne hub.

The second iteration of the hub, presented during Melbourne Design Week 2022, is situated in Islington Street, Collingwood in a 100-year-old, 1500 square-metre warehouse, that will be demolished in 2024. True to their cause, Revival Projects, who are utilising the space in the interim, is working with Grimshaw Architects, the architects of the site’s future development, to repurpose the existing materials from the warehouse into the new development.

During Melbourne Design Week 2022, Revival Projects will open the hub to the public, Friday 25 March, with visitors able to discover how designers, builders and clients can work together to revolutionise the industry’s approach to repurposing and sustainable construction, and see a range of materials that have been stored onsite by FJMT, Perri Projects, Beulah International, Edition Office, BAR Studio, Hip V. Hype, Kerstin Thompson Architects, Assemble Communities, Grimshaw Architects, ANPlus Developments and Bayley Ward Architects among others.

A panel event discussing the work and impact of Revival Projects and some of their collaborators will take place on the premises, featuring Robbie along with speakers from Grimshaw, Hip V. Hype and Assemble Communities, the discussion will take place 5:00, Friday 25 March, 111 Islington St, Collingwood. For full details visit: Zero Footprint Repurposing MDW 2022

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria, said: ‘Zero Footprint Repurposing is a project of ambitious scale with global importance. Offering a unique platform for the design and construction industry to make a sustainable impact, the project is a real catalyst for positive change. Revival Projects draws attention to an important issue, demonstrating that the value of a design is not only in its function or aesthetic, but also in its environmental impact.’

Florian Seidler, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, said: ‘Great design creates products and services which help to realise a healthier future and Zero Footprint Repurposing by Revival Projects is doing just that. Through their design week event they are both drawing attention to the issue of sustainable building practice and demonstrating how it can be achieved.’

‘At Mercedes-Benz, we’re also on a journey to a sustainable future, which includes finding ways to drive recycled products and methodologies into our supply chains and our vehicles.’

Robbie Neville, Founder of Revival Projects, said: ‘Our mission here is to revolutionize the way our industry approaches existing materials; we are disrupting centuries of traditions based on reckless consumption of natural resources. We are tremendously excited by the galvanic, inclusive energy of Melbourne Design Week, we have the dream combination of right place, right time, and right people to channel this incredible energy into affecting immediate change.’

Zero Footprint Repurposing is presented as part of Melbourne Design Week, an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by the National Gallery of Victoria. In 2022 Melbourne Design Week runs from March 17 – 27. For full program please visit Proudly supported by Major Partners Mercedes-Benz and Telstra, and Design Partner RMIT University.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by NGV Media & Public Affairs

UOMA Beauty CEO Launches Make It BLACK 2022 Campaign

Sharon Chuter and Pull Up For Change re-launch the Make It BLACK campaign with new beauty brand partners to continue to shift perceptions around what it means to be Black and raise funds for the Pull Up For Change Impact Fund, which provides capital to emerging Black founders.

Teaming up with 8 beauty brands, Make It BLACK launched last February for Black History Month. Participating brands include UOMA Beauty, e.l.f. Cosmetics, M∙A∙C Cosmetics, Mented, Morphe, Flower Beauty, Ulta Beauty, and IPSY/BoxyCharm.

Following a successful launch in February, in which over $400,000 was raised and deployed to eight emerging black business founders at Essence Festival of Culture, Sharon Chuter and her non-profit organization, Pull Up For Change are re-launching the Make It BLACK campaign for Black History Month 2022 with new beauty partners.

After the disruptive launch of Pull Up For Change and the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign in June 2020 – a social call-to-action that demanded companies to publicly disclose the number of black employees in their corporate office and leadership roles to help dismantle a system that has led to low economic participation for black people – Sharon Chuter and Pull Up For Change shook up the beauty landscape once again with the launch of Make It BLACK, a breakthrough campaign delivering iconic beauty products in limited-edition black packaging to redefine what it means to be Black and raise funding for black founders.

The Make It BLACK campaign deals another blow to systemic racism by reclaiming the word black and making consumers understand that black is nothing but beautiful. Make it BLACK is making a bold statement to change the inaccurate and dangerous negative perception in society of the word and instead reframe and refocus on the beauty of Black. Afterall Black is the color of absolute luxury – it’s chic, classic, timeless, and iconic.

The Make It BLACK campaign’s PETITION – which was created to get the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster Dictionary to update their definitions of the word black immediately – already has over 6,220 signatures and counting. As an integral part of the petition and campaign, Sharon Chuter herself has written an OPEN LETTER to the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster Dictionary, and is writing 6,200 additional letters – in support of each petition signature – to push upon the dictionaries and advocate for real change.

“Language plays a critical role in how we perceive the world,” says Sharon Chuter. “The function of language goes beyond expressing ideas and concepts, it shapes thought and defines our collective consciousness. Language should be neutral, unbiased and reflective of our current realities. It is in this regard that the dictionary has work to do.”

For this year’s Make It Black campaign, Pull Up For Change is partnering with established beauty brands – e.l.f., Flower Beauty, M∙A∙C Cosmetics, Mented, Morphe, and UOMA Beauty – to repackage their most iconic products in black. These limited-edition products will be available for purchase throughout February (Black History Month) and will be sold online with Ulta Beauty, through IPSY and BoxyCharm’s subscription boxes, and via the Make It BLACK and participating brands’ websites.

100% of the gross profits from the limited-edition iconic black products will be contributed to the PULL UP FOR CHANGE Impact Fund, which deploys capital to black-owned businesses and are allocated as grants to emerging black founders. Last year, the campaign raised over $400,000 which was deployed as grants to eight black female founders.

“As a Black Female founder, I understand, first-hand, the struggles of raising capital or accessing funding,” says Sharon Chuter. “In fact, I am one of only 93 Black women in the history of America who have raised over $1M for startups. On the other hand, the average white male receives $2.1M to fund their start-ups. We have a long way to go to create true economic equality and there is no equality without equity. This is where I am proud to play a small part in supporting other Black female founders to make their dreams a reality, and to truly get the seat at the table that they very well deserve”.

“Ulta Beauty is proud to join Sharon and Pull up For Change to empower Black beauty and drive meaningful change in our industry,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer at Ulta Beauty. “As a values-based company, we share the passion to shape how the world sees beauty and the intention to build greater equity for Black founders. Make it BLACK helps achieve this and we’re honored to support as the exclusive retail partner.”

The Make It BLACK iconic beauty products for retail include:

e.l.f. Cosmetics Total Face Sponge

This multi-sided sculpting face sponge has angled sides for highlighting, and rounded sides for flawless blending. The precision point is perfect for concealing imperfections and works with any of our liquid and powder formulas.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Lustreglass Sheer Shine Lipsticks

Experience glamour in a glide with these luscious lipsticks. Blended with of good-for-lips ingredients like a creamy combination of jojoba, raspberry seed, coconut and organic extra-virgin olive oils that nourishes lips, while shea butter conditions and hyaluronic acid helps moisturize. The result? Comfortable, buildable colour, a luminous, long-wearing finish and softer, smoother and more supple lips that look as good as they feel. Pamper your pout with shades Beam There Done That, Hug Me and Thanks It’s MAC.

Morphe x Make It Black Empower Your Expression 18-Pan Artistry Palette

Empower your expression and promote positive change with this limited-edition Morphe X Make it BLACK Artistry Palette packed with bold browns, glimmers of shimmer, and pigment-packed pops.

UOMA Beauty Make It Black Color Palette and Badass Icon Lipsticks

Make It Black Carnival Color Palette: Invoke the hypnotic, spellbinding allure of your inner Carnival Queen with this limited-edition high octane, high impact and highly pigmented color palette. Lavish textures transform into ultra-thin, full colored film on the eyelids which are long lasting and water resistant.

Make It Black Badass Icon Matte Lipsticks: Available in four iconic UOMA Beauty shades, these lipsticks are highly pigmented yet lightweight, with a silky texture that leaves lips silky smooth with just one stroke. Let your inner BADASS shine through! Shades include – Elaine (Jet Black), Ruby (True Red), Eartha (Warm Nude), Maya (Pink Nude).

Make It BLACK is no longer accepting the things that historically could not be changed. It is changing the things we cannot accept. Black must be redefined.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Anderson Group Public Relations

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Téa Nassi

Téa Nassi is a Parisian-based designer from Albania. She started her career in finance before quitting her day job to pursue her dream in Paris. She studied fashion design in a Parisian school and launched her brand under her own name.

She finds inspiration for her concepts in human psychology, optical illusions, and modern art. She enjoys blending classic cu4cts with a twist of fantasy, stylistically, for refined, cultivated women but with a streak of extraverted fun.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Téa to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I grew up in post-communist Albania when there were no fashion schools, and choosing a career was motivated first by financial security. I followed a scientific baccalaureate, studied finance, and nailed a 9 to 5 job in accountancy. Nevertheless, I’d spend hours sketching outfits in our building’s staircase from a very early age, and it never left me. So, at the age of 25, I took a huge leap of faith, quit my job, left my country, and moved to France to study fashion design. I first became an au-pair, had to follow a 6-month crash course in French, put money aside, and nine months later, I was ready to apply to a fashion school in Paris.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Where do I start? It’s a wonderful, applied art form that sublimates an everyday necessity into a means of self-expression. I love the transformation process of the industry, from a shapeless piece of fabric to an accomplished work of art.

On a personal level, I love the challenge it requires to reinvent myself in each new collection. Putting in the hours, doubting, researching, starting all over again from scratch, until finally the outfits are finished, and I can feel the pride of seeing them worn.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Putting in the hours, doubting, researching, starting all over again from scratch! Jokes aside, we currently have the massive responsibility of reinventing one of the world’s most polluting and irresponsible industries. We must slow down, produce less and more intelligently, against everything that has been done for decades. It represents huge stress for all involved, including emerging brands such as mine. While the big brands have the teams and means to imagine new processes, new designers have to carry the burden of finding solutions alone, and at times we feel like small fish in a huge pond.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My very first catwalk! The feeling of accomplishment overwhelmed me after such a long journey. I knew instantly I was in the right place and had made the right choices; it motivated me, like nothing else, to pursue the path I had chosen.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I like to surround myself with many interesting people from all walks of life. But the most interesting person I’ve met is my own father! He’s a secretive but fascinating person who never complains but always finds solutions to every possible problem he encounters. He is a true inspiration for me, and even though he is not part of the industry, I strive to apply his soft skills to my own work every day.

On a professional level, I wouldn’t want to differentiate one person from another; I sincerely thank all my professors and collaborators who have taught me invaluable lessons.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry? This can be about the industry or about yourself.

I had a valuable but frustrating experience learning the following lesson. I preferred to follow other people’s advice on several occasions instead of listening to my own creative instinct. I would put enormous amounts of work into something I didn’t personally believe in. Unsurprisingly, I would have to undo everything to start all over again and follow my initial hunch! Hence the lesson would be: take in the advice but don’t let it stray away from your instinct. And don’t be reluctant to put in the hours; inspiration comes working.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My parents were born and grew up in Communist Albania. So naturally, their outlook on life is not risk-driven. When I told them at age 25 that I was willing to quit my safe situation in Tirana and leave to Paris to study fashion without even knowing the language, they were naturally worried about my life choices. Yet today, on the contrary, they are so supportive!

My grandmother was a dressmaker; my mother is also talented with a needle and a thread. She’s the one I call every time I need technical advice; she’s even pulled off quite a few sleepless nights to help me!

As for my partner, we work side by side every day, and he helps me with everything. He specializes in graphic/motion design and has helped me with my branding and photo edits… but we also love to discuss artistic viewpoints and regularly brainstorm on my brand. It’s a loving, virtuous circle!

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I strongly believe in the four spiritual laws of Hinduism. The second law states, “What happens is the only thing that could have happened.” And it must have been like that for us to learn that lesson and move on.

But all the while knowing it, I regret not having listened to my inner voice earlier. Instead of studying fashion straight after school, I studied finance for security. So as that spiritual law has it, finance was so unlike me that I believe it was probably exactly what I needed to find the courage to give up everything I had and study fashion design.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My first drawing teacher, Sylvie Fontaine, once told me that if I wanted to succeed as a designer, then all my energy must be focused on that one goal. Hence that meant for me to see the whole world through the eyes of a fashion designer. Movies, art, experiences, books, everything surrounding me should become wells of inspiration. I thank her as it has become my lifestyle ever since, and it really does produce tangible results.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My immediate plan is to finish and publish my next collection, but my future plan is to expand my brand and achieve my first stand-alone runway.

In the distant future, I’d like to open a fashion school in Albania and provide young Albanians with the French savoir-faire I acquired. It’s a small country with huge potential, but it suffers from a fleeing young population who relocate in the hope of finding more opportunities elsewhere (been there, done that). It would be my contribution to my beautiful country of birth and heart.