Tommy Hilfiger is launching a five-part podcast series on April 20 titled “The Invisible Seam: Unsung Stories of Black Culture and Fashion.” The podcast aims to highlight the overlooked contributions of Black culture and communities and expand the narrative around the history of American fashion.
The series has been developed through Tommy Hilfiger’s People’s Place Program in partnership with The Fashion and Race Database and Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios.
Following its debut, new episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays through May 18.
“We are all responsible in shaping a future that is truly equitable for BIPOC creatives,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “It’s incredibly meaningful that some of the most notable voices in fashion have come together to bring this podcast to life. It’s a necessary step to acknowledge, recognize, share and celebrate Black contributions in defining modern fashion and culture.”
The podcast will be hosted by Kimberly Jenkins, a consultant, assistant professor of fashion studies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and founder and lead researcher of The Fashion and Race Database. Guests will include designers, academics, fashion historians, museum curators, stylists and artists.
Randy Cousin, senior vice president, Product Concepts and People’s Place Program, said: “When we talk about representation and equity, it is important to recognize that fashion history as we know it rarely depicts the stories and contributions of BIPOC communities that formed the backbone of our industry. The work that Kim and her team have been doing to bring marginalized history to the forefront is so crucial and meaningful and it truly aligns with our mission for the People’s Place Program. Together, we want to amplify the work and influence of the uncredited trailblazers in fashion and culture, both from the past and the present. We envision the podcast to be a learning resource and a means to create further dialogue around change, not just with our brand, but with the rest of the industry as well.”
Jenkins added: “Tommy Hilfiger’s partnership with The Fashion and Race Database is a game-changer, because it shows what’s possible when industry leaders listen and collaborate with those of us doing the work to educate and advocate for a more diverse and socially responsible fashion system. Fashion education and research is often isolated in the fashion system, so I hope that other fashion brands will take notes from what Randy Cousin and the Tommy Hilfiger People’s Place Program are producing with us.”
The first episode is called “No Blueprint,” which establishes the reason for the show with designers Jeffrey Banks and Romeo Hunte, and Ceci, a costume designer. Other episodes are titled “Rhythm & Muse” (April 27), which looks into how the hip-hop community built its look on the margins of an unwelcoming fashion industry before it became as sought after as it is today; “Statement Piece,” (May 4) explores Black America’s connections with fashion and the relationship between what one wears and what one believes; “The Best, the Brightest, the Dressed,” (May 11) explores how Historically Black Colleges and Universities have used fashion to show that Black culture is a mosaic, and to position Black Americans as tastemakers and leaders in what the world wears, and “There Will Be No More Doors,” (May 18) looks at a world where Black artistry continues to be the blueprint for what the everyday person wears.
Among the more than 20 podcast guests are Law Roach, image architect; Brandice Daniel, chief executive officer and founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row; Ade Samuel, celebrity stylist; Miko Underwood, founder and chief creative director at Oak & Acorn; Jasmine Guy, actress and singer; Elena Romero, assistant professor at FIT and TV correspondent; Angela Tate, women’s history curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Aria Hughes, editorial creative director at Complex Networks, and Elizabeth Way, associate curator at The Museum of FIT.
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