Black designers add flair to Macy's private brands

The retailer's private clothing and accessories brands will see new seasonal collections from several Black designers as part of the Icons of Style campaign.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Macy's Icons of Style

Department retailer Macy’s has announced the return of its Icons of Style campaign, featuring new seasonal collections from Black designers for its private apparel brands.

GooGoo Atkins, Areeayl Goodwin, Matthew Harris, Jerome LaMaar, Ade Samuel and Stella and Blaise Bennett will create limited-edition collections throughout 2022 to inspire customers to embrace their personal style. Private brands that will see the new additions include Bar III, International Concepts, and Epic Threads. The first collection is available now, with later collections launching in July and October.

In March, the company hired Emily Erusha-Hilleque as the company’s senior vice president of private brands. As of Q4 2021, the iconic New York City-based retailer operates 510 stores nationwide.

“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 and inspiring customers to own their style with one-of-a-kind pieces,” said Durand Guion, vice president, Macy’s Fashion Office. “We are committed to helping diverse brands grow to scale and amplifying diverse voices to create more choices and robust shopping experiences for our customers while shaping a brighter future with bold representation for all.”

GooGoo for Bar III

GooGoo for Bar III is designed to be a celebration of “curves and womanhood.” GooGoo said her passion for design was born from having to improvise her wardrobe due to limited choices in plus size fashion. The plus size capsule features mix and match suiting, bold graphic prints and flirty accents. 

“I was inspired to create this collection because someone who looks like me needed to make clothes for me,” said GooGoo Atkins. “I have a colorful and feminine personality and my clothes represent that. My followers have said if you give us a line, we know it will be intended for us. I want my fans and followers to feel like I’ve listened to them, care about them and that my heart and soul is in this.”

HOME by Areeayl for I.N.C International Concepts

HOME by Areeayl for I.N.C International Concepts is a collection inspired by the concept of “home and the peace it brings.” After the sudden passing of Areeayl’s godmother, she used her jewelry creations to heal and redefine what home meant. The collection features keepsake jewelry adorned with intricate detailing, African iconography and gold embellishments.

“My collection is inspired by pieces that symbolize home so I can feel at home wherever I am,” said Areeayl Goodwin. “I want people when they wear my jewelry to feel grounded, protected, affirmed and special. My pieces are wearable art and allow the wearer to express themselves in a deep and personal way.”

MATEO for I.N.C International Concepts

Extending his love for creative self-expression and bold fashion moments, MATEO for I.N.C International Concepts brings forth the power of the statement bag and heel. Using pops of colors in green and yellow as tributes to his Jamaican heritage, the collection features several styles. Matthew Harris is an alumnus of The Workshop at Macy’s, a first-of-its-kind diverse and women-owned vendor development program.

“It has always been a burning desire for me to create shoes and this was the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Matthew Harris. “I want customers to feel empowered and beautiful when she wears a piece from MATEO for INC.”

5:31 by JEROME LAMAAR for And Now This

5:31 by JEROME LAMAAR for And Now This is a gender-fluid collection with a modern, trend-forward look. True to the And Now This carefree aesthetic, the collection features transitional clothing pieces for an on-trend day to night look.

“This collection was inspired by a balance of masculine and feminine vibes - there are no gender norms in my eyes,” said Jerome LaMaar. “When the fashion dreamer discovers these clothes, I want them to feel magical, seen, loved and most importantly happy.”

Ade Samuel for I.N.C International Concepts

Ade Samuel for I.N.C International Concepts is designed for “the woman who wants to be the architect of her own look”. The collection features bold, vibrant prints that take form in suiting, blouses and dresses featuring silky fabrics and eye-catching designs. 

“What inspired this collection was a sense of airiness, color, sophistication and femininity,” said Ade Samuel. “I wanted to create a chic collection that spoke to me and others who are like minded. I want my consumer to feel sexy, bold, empowered, playful and most importantly themselves.”

Stella & Blaise for Epic Threads

Stella & Blaise for Epic Threads provides a modern take on kids clothing. The capsule features an assortment of mix and match clothes for fashionable fun. Highlighted by vibrant prints, graphic tees and cozy fabrics with pops of blue and purple, Stella & Blaise for Epic Threads is perfect for school, the playground or a play date with friends.

“We want everyone to feel comfortable when wearing our collection all day long,” said Stella and Blaise Bennett. “Our favorite colors are blue because it is fun and energetic and purple because it is cool and chill."