Macy’s tapped 7 new Black designers in the fashion, accessories, and footwear arena to create capsule collections for its retail stores as a part of its Macy’s Icons of Style program. GooGoo Atkins, Areeayl Goodwin, Matthew Harris, Jerome LaMaar, Ade Samuel, Stella, and Blaise Bennett were chosen this spring season to create limited-edition collections to be sold at Macy's stores nationwide.
Each designer has brought their eye, perspective, and fashion knowledge to the table to construct the best pieces for customers to enjoy. Through the brand’s Mission Every One initiative, a social purpose platform, Macy’s continues to intensify its commitment to amplify Black brands and introduce more diverse design talent into its assortment, while offering customers an elevated fashion experience. Icons of Style will feature three seasonal must-have collections with additional collections launching in July and October.
Below, we caught up with several of the designers to get their take on what it was like to collaborate with the iconic major American retailer.
Fashion Designer and Stylist Ade Samuel
Brand: ADE x I.N.C. International Concepts
"As a creative, Macy's fueled so many ideas for me when I would shop at the store. Living in NYC and having access to the flagship location, I found myself being a student of the iconic retailer. I paid close attention to the designers sold at the store as well as the way the windows were styled. It was an essential part of learning about the industry. I feel blessed and so grateful that the Macy's customer can now shop a collection that I designed with them in mind."
Jewelry Designer Areeayl Goodwin
HOME by Areeayl x I.N.C. International Concepts
"This feels like a dream come true. I have a picture I took of a Macys in Brooklyn from a couple of years ago in which I wrote “HOME by Areeayl x Macy's” on it. I am super grateful to be honored as an Icon of Style. I'm excited that with these exclusive collections, my handcrafted pieces will be available on a large scale. Now my customers can go to their local Macy's and collect the designs that are normally not as accessible. This is simply a magical experience for all of us."
Plus-Size GooGoo Atkins
Brand: GooGoo x bar III,
"At about my 15th year in the business, I remember saying, 'God I’ve been doing this for a bit. I would like to collaborate with a company that would allow me creative control to put out the designs that have been in my heart and mind for several years; aA company that can execute my designs with precision.' So the fact that after 20 years it’s actually happening exactly the way I prayed that it would just really seems unreal, a good unreal!"
Menswear Designer Jerome LaMaar
Brand: 5:31 by JÉRÔME LAMAAR x And Now This
"It’s been a very long road to share my magical realm with the public. When Macys contacted me to design, I wanted to make sure that everything I created was something wearable, yet magical, that blurs the line between genders, age, race and time. I really believe style should be available for all. This year I hope I can share my philosophy on personal style with the world in a playful way."
Jewelry and Accessories Designer Matthew Harris
Brand: MATEO x I.N.C. International Concepts
"Macy's helped to launch my fashion career with the Workshop at Macy's program over a decade ago, so I am beyond excited to have designed a collection of luxury shoes and handbags, with notes of fine jewelry. It truly is an honor and a privilege. I can only hope that the Mateo woman will adore these beautiful pieces."
Brand: Stella&Blaise x Epic Threads
Blaise: "It's so cool to design clothes that share my passion for sports (especially football and soccer) and that's also hip and comfy for everyone to wear."
Stella: "I started a mood board the first day my mom told me about the opportunity. It's so fun and cool to see my ideas created into clothes that my friends and I will wear."