The Wall Group’s mentorship program, TWG Incubator, returns for cycle two in January 2022.
The six-month-long project pairs up-and-coming creatives with artists managed by the company. Founded by Brooke Wall in 2000 (and acquired by Endeavor, formerly WME-IMG, in 2015), The Wall Group represents some of the industry’s top fashion stylists, hairstylists, makeup artists and production designers.
Now comprised of 12 mentor and mentee pairings, double that of last year, the initiative aims to democratize industry access for those underrepresented in the industry. Applications are open now at TheWallGroup.com through Oct. 11.
“In recognizing the position The Wall Group holds in the larger ecosystem, we took a look at how we could use our platform to open the door wider and create opportunities, access and relationships for untapped and underrepresented artists,” Ali Bird, director at The Wall Group, told WWD in an exclusive statement.
“Upon the completion of cycle one, we were able to fully realize the value created through our mix of one-on-one artist mentorship coupled with education from, and exposure to, the agency-side of the business,” she continued. “As we look toward 2022, our industry is in a different place — the door is widening, conversations are happening and I’m hopeful that we will continue on this path.”
Hairstylist Naeemah LaFond and Chanel makeup artist Kate Lee are among those returning as mentors. Cycle two participants include fashion stylists Elizabeth Stewart, Jeanne Yang, makeup artists James Kaliardos and Jessica Smalls and hairstylist Nai’vasha.
“Being a Black woman in this industry, I always try to put myself in a position to be for others what I needed when I was coming up, and The Wall Group Incubator Program does just that,” said LaFond, global artistic director at Amika. “When it comes to moving the needle forward in the inclusion of underrepresented groups in fashion and beauty, it can be hard to measure where the progress is being made, but being a part of a program that targets the issues directly by opening doors and providing access to information allows me to watch the needle move in real time. Though mentoring isn’t by definition supposed to be transactional, I feel as though I get as much from the experience as the mentees do.”
Along with the mentorship, the mentees will have access to networking sessions with industry players, portfolio reviews, workshops and will be gifted a full artist kit, customized for their profession. They will also have the opportunity to feature their work in a shoot for an upcoming September issue of InStyle, which returns as exclusive media partner.