Zerina Akers, longtime stylist to Beyoncé and Chloe x Halle and costume designer, will launch Friday the Black Owned Everything website, an e-commerce platform that is a marketplace and media culture hub.
The platform, which will operate at blackownedeverything.co, was created with the purpose of highlighting Black entrepreneurs and to support the expansion of their businesses. BOE spotlights brands within the fashion, accessories, beauty, lifestyle and design arenas, bringing visibility and reach in global commerce. It launches with 35 brands.
The marketplace will begin with exclusive offers from Sergio Hudson, Glemaud, Blackwood NYC, Fe Noel and William Okpo, among others.
The platform was initially introduced on Instagram in June and quickly developed a community of more than 14,000 registered businesses and more than 200,000 followers. As reported in June, Akers and Beyoncé also created an extensive resource for consumers to shop from Black-owned businesses, and the duo released the directory, also called Black Owned Everything, in celebration of Juneteenth.
With the formal launch of e-commerce on Friday, consumers will have the opportunity to shop among a globally sourced offering of established and emerging Black-owned businesses.
In addition to the aforementioned designers, others participating include Lumier, Roam Loud, Sammy B, 3rd Eye View, Amany Z, L’Enchanteur, Timeless Goods, Kicky Mats, Wear Brims, Cream Blends, Johnny Nelson, SkinButtr, Predominately Black, Tori Sudan, Girl+Hair, Sunni Studio, Kendra Duplantier, Grayscale, Kn.ngsley and The Fond Home.
Apart from e-commerce, the platform will serve as a content hub for creators to virtually connect with designers through immersive storytelling and activated experiences.
Akers, who is based in Los Angeles, said she’s financing the site herself.
“It’s such a test concept since you don’t see a lot of things like it,” she said. “Before getting too deep, I wanted to get the concept model up myself and make sure it is indeed functional and everyone is interested in it. We’ve had great response from designers who wanted to be on the platform.”
The idea came from wanting to create a space that felt curated, but still allowed for discovery. “I thought it was important to take some designers who have grown to be pillars in the community, such as Sergio Hudson, Fe Noel and the Aliette collection, and some smaller brands coming up and allow them to get that spotlight,” Akers said.
The designers handle their own inventory and shipping, and there’s a 20 percent commission on each sale to Black Owned Everything. Some designers are creating exclusives, such as Fe Noel, who designed a capsule for the site, and Keeyahri, a shoe brand, which she partnered with to design boots.
Akers said she will work with the creators directly to run testing and create products and new color ways she thinks will do well.
“Overall the goal is to have a place where people can access the market and a wider audience. From a customer perspective, you’re able to check out with one cart,” she said. It’s, as she noted, a go-to-place where consumers can find cool stuff, support independent brands as well as smaller businesses, and creators in the Black community.
The content aspect of the site will shine a spotlight on “cool influencers, the designers and the creators to get to know them more intimately,” according to Akers. For example, the site will feature an interview with Sergio Hudson, who designed Michelle Obama’s outfit for the Biden Inauguration.
Continuing on with her original aim of creating a positively charged space to discover Black-owned brands, Akers said she expects to bring new brands in monthly.
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