Joor, the digital business-to-business wholesale marketplace, has partnered with RaiseFashion to put a spotlight on Black-owned fashion brands.

Brands selected by RaiseFashion, with assistance from Harlem’s Fashion Row, will receive complimentary access to Joor’s digital marketplace platform for a year, helping them connect with retailers; show collections virtually; create “seamless” order management, and receive training on best practices to grow their wholesale business. They’ll also have access to Joor Passport, a digital destination powering several fashion events and trade shows.

In its announcement Tuesday, Joor said up to 25 Black-owned brands will be initially selected for the program. Fe Noel, Sergio Hudson, Kimberly Goldson, BruceGlen, Max+Min and Ashya are among the first brands participating. In six months, RaiseFashion, a nonprofit advisory network of fashion industry leaders working to advance the equity of Black-owned brands, will nominate additional Black-owned fashion brands, up to 25, to join the program with Joor. Selections are being made based on the readiness for wholesale and business growth potential, said Divya Mathur, RaiseFashion advisory board member.

On Feb. 22, Joor will launch a RaiseFashion event to showcase the brands to retail buyers around the world. To prepare for the event, advisers from the RaiseFashion network helped brands in areas such as pricing, distribution and best practices for retail partnerships. RaiseFashion expects to gain data insights from the event to support the brands in the future.

In a sense, it’s a trial run on Joor for the Black-owned fashion businesses. Joor would be hopeful that they decide to join after the year is up.

Joor said it has 12,500 brands and 300,000 retailers from 144 countries on its platform. Brands are charged while retailers get free access.

“This partnership is a dream realized for Harlem’s Fashion Row. Our aim was to always create opportunities, mentorship and provide resources to Black emerging designers,” said Brandice Daniel, founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, which helps Black fashion brands and designers connect with retailers, wholesalers and other industries. “Partnering with Joor and RaiseFashion, HFR can provide tangible networks to designers of color by connecting them to retailers in the U.S. and beyond. These amazing brands will receive the exposure they have dreamed of and deserve.”

The RaiseFashion volunteer advisory network consists of more than 200 industry leaders, with experience in branding, marketing and communications, digital strategy, creative content, merchandising, sales and business development.

“A diverse retail industry ultimately means more creativity, which makes us better as a whole,” said Kristin Savilia, Joor’s chief executive officer. “Our partnership with RaiseFashion enables opportunity for promising Black designers. Given our extensive reach within the industry and experience helping brands in their digital transformation, we are well positioned to provide assistance — something that is consistent with our company values and a core part of our mission of no brand or retailer left behind.”

“Black brands are at a disadvantage when it comes to breaking into the retail industry due to high barriers of entry, often determined by personal connections and access to capital,” said Divya Mathur, a RaiseFashion advisory board member. “With partnerships like the one with Joor, RaiseFashion is able to offer both the mentorship and digital platform to successfully connect Black designers with prospective retailers to improve overall representation.”

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