Flawless by Gabrielle Union is backing Black businesses.
The hair care brand has teamed up with LinkedIn to inaugurate a grant awarding three Black, female-owned fashion, skin care and hair accessory brands with mentorship sessions and $25,000 each.
“Lifting as we climb has always been an initiative of ours, straight out of the gate,” said Union’s longtime hairstylist and Flawless cofounder, Larry Sims, who was brought on in 2020 to help relaunch the brand with a sharpened focus on natural ingredients and the needs of textured hair types.
“There are so many times when women founders aren’t given the opportunity and access to funds that would take their business to the next level — we’re looking for people who are in that space; who have businesses that are already established, but just need that capital to push themselves to the next step.”
Through April 19, founders can enter the competition by submitting a one-minute video and brand deck for consideration; a finalist-only virtual pitch event will take place on May 10.
Judges of the competition will include Black Fashion Fair founder Antoine Gregory and Dvrgnt Ventures founder B. Pagels-Minor, as well as a third, yet-unnamed judge.
“Both Antoine and B. [Pagels] are disruptors who have moved the culture in different ways,” Sims said. “To have on board a transgender, nonbinary person like B. [Pagels] who is moving the needle the way they are is so inspiring from our perspective as a brand and what we represent — with Gabrielle having a transgender child, and me having a transgender sibling — in addition to the sheer innovation and inspiration he’s brought through his business.”
Last weekend, Union expressed support for Dove’s #TurnYourBack campaign against the recently launched Bold Glamour TikTok filter, which has raised questions regarding the ethics of distorting the faces of young, oftentimes impressionable, social media users.
Said Union on the Vanity Fair 2023 Oscar After Party carpet: “The Bold Glamour filter dramatically distorts reality and reinforces narrow and unattainable beauty standards. As a parent and someone who’s felt the pressures from social media to look perfect, it’s important to me that people realize the negative impact this can have, creating appearance pressures and low self-esteem particularly among young girls.”