Returning to Shopify for their autumn showroom, The Folklore Connect celebrated their five-year milestone, solidifying their venerated role as nurturers of the next generation of fashion talent from the Black Diaspora. The centerpiece of opening night was a panel conversation, “Unlocking Retail: Captivating Buyers’ Interest” featuring a dialogue between the organization’s stakeholders, buyers (Sharmaine Harrison, Saks, and Chrissy Kim, Bergdorf Goodman) and emerging designers (Sade Mims, Edas, and Emefa Kuadey, Israella Kobla).
Getting into retailers is often framed as the holy grail for budding brands, and yet the process can feel arbitrary. Bringing the two groups together shed light on the vital strategies and approaches that can spur success. The conversation revealed the necessary symbiotic relationship between buyers and designers, both heavily committed to each other’s successes. And as with most relationships, transparency and engagement foster the trust and longevity needed for growth.