Macy’s Names These 6 Black Designers As Icons Of Style3 min read
Macy’s continues its Icons of Style initiative, which was created to celebrate Black creatives and their visions, with a brand new class of designers. Last year’s “Icons of Style” cohort included industry titans Misa Hylton and Zerina Akers, and this year’s group consists of a total of six Black designers: Jerome LaMaar, GooGoo Atkins, Ade Samuel, Areeayl Goodwin, Stella & Blaise Bennett, and Matthew Harris.
Each designer in Macy’s Icons of Style 2022 Class will share their vision with the department store’s global audience by designing 3 capsule collections. The first capsule is set to go live on macys.com starting April 21st, with the later capsules launching in July and October. In addition to diversifying Macy’s assortment, each designer will also contribute to providing an elevated fashion experience with their unique perspectives.
“We are proud to announce the second iteration of Icons of Style with a new group of Black visionaries who are bringing their creative excellence to Macy’s,” said Durand Guion, Vice President at Macy’s Fashion Office. “We’re using this moment to tell their stories and provide our fashion-devoted customers with exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces to help them express their personal style.”
Ade Samuel, a celebrity stylist responsible for some of today’s hottest entertainers, style moments, and covers, continues to conquer new heights with her designs now being sold in Macy’s. “I feel blessed!” Samuel tells ESSENCE. “It’s a beautiful feeling to have new consumers shop a collection I designed with them wholeheartedly in mind. I hope to inspire the next generation of fashion students to follow their dreams.”
Samuel’s first capsule is hyper-feminine and inspired by her personal style. She designed dresses, blouses, and suiting with vibrant colors and prints – making them ideal for the warmer seasons ahead. “Each collection pushes comfortability, sophistication, and versatility – three elements in fashion I can’t live without,” Samuel explained.
LaMaar, founder of 5:31 by Jerome LaMaar, is a fashion extraordinaire who started their career at a young age, working alongside Kimora Lee Simmons on Baby Phat in the brand’s early days. “I’ve dressed so many celebrities and worked for brands where I’ve seen my designs on the people of the public, but there is nothing like seeing your very own designs in a retail space so massive like Macy’s,” said LaMaar. “Macy’s is where the world shops. It’s inclusive and is relatable to the people who are seeing style, but may not have access to it.”
The NYC-born and raised designer is known for their fashion-forward aesthetic and fantastical approach to design. Using an array of colors, patterns, and trend-forward silhouettes, LaMaar has created a genderless collection for their Macy’s debut. “My vision for the three capsules is to tell a new story around gender fluidity,” LaMaar shared. “I feel many brands are focused too much on the old idea of gender instead of making great items that can be shared across all ages and genders.”
Matthew Harris, the founder of Mateo, is another NYC-based designer who is beloved for his elegant jewelry and accessories. His products are available in a number of luxury retail stores, on mateonewyork.com and were even selected to be sold at the African American Museum of Art and Culture in Washington D.C. in 2016. For his Macy’s collection, Harris extended his wheelhouse of accessories, making his first foray into footwear.
“I am truly just beyond grateful and humbled to have designed my first collection of footwear for the iconic Macy’s department store,” he said. “Being a little island boy from Jamaica, one can’t even fathom this idea. Nonetheless, I am just very proud of this chic and very elevated collection of luxury shoes that I can’t wait to share with the world.”
Shop the full Macy’s Icons of Style assortment on macys.com and in select stores nationwide starting April 21st.