Disclaimer: This article was originally published on February 16, 2021. It is being reshared in honor of Zerina Akers' 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards win for 'Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program,' for Beyoncé's 'Black Is King.'
Zerina Akers, stylist to Beyoncé, has pivoted her Instagram curation of fashion labels into a bona fide luxury marketplace and content hub. Black-Owned Everything features solely Black-owned brands with the aim to engender meaningful and enduring participation and growth for Black entrepreneurs.
Check out our highlights from the new shop here, and read on to see where Akers wants to take BOE "once the trend is over."
BOE, when did the idea for the platform come to you? What opportunity did you see?
After seeing the overwhelming response from the @blackownedeverything Instagram page, I recognized the need for a luxury retail space for Black-owned businesses to have a global reach. It was a natural progression for us.
Why is it important to create a destination with exclusively Black designers?
Unfortunately, they aren’t represented elsewhere. [The market was missing] a place where Black-owned brands are showcased in a curated and elevated light. Black Owned Everything’s goal is to amplify and empower a community of brands to reach diverse and engaged audiences and encourage them to shop inclusively.
Black Owned Everything’s IG bio reads “For When The Trend Is Over.” Can you elaborate a bit on this?
BOE is a medium for creating meaningful and long-lasting participation for Black-owned businesses. We are building a community, growing socioeconomic status, showing pride in our product and what we produce. Taking ownership of our creativity so other brands don’t take or sell our stories.
Next to e-com, how will the content/community element plug-in?
Alongside e-commerce, we will spotlight brands and stories from Black-owned businesses in editorial features and with original content. Soon you will see additional channels roll out on the platform, special projects that will be unveiled from designer collaborations, capsule collections, immersive storytelling content, and curations
Who are you aiming to reach with the platform?
BOE is for Black people by Black people but I want everyone to discover and experience it, there is room for everyone to support.
Business-wise, how many people are involved? What’s your growth ambition for the platform?
BOE will evolve into a full-fledged one-stop space for all things Black. bringing new brands in monthly from established to emerging and independent Black-owned businesses. A community and culture was also started with the Instagram page and I see it continuing to expand with the launch of BOE.
What do you hope BOE can teach the industry at large?
To give proper recognition to Black creatives. All of the brands on BOE are innovative and bring a unique perspective to the marketplace.