Brand Licensing Europe announces Culture & Unity catwalk show in support of Black Lives Matter Movement
Designers, collections and models will drop fresh from the prestigious London Fashion Week runway to appear at BLE
Brand Licensing Europe’s Culture & Unity catwalk show will be an unmissable showstopper during the event’s Sustainability, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Day on Thursday 22 September, with Black and LGBT+ designers, fashion, models and crew – some coming to BLE fresh from the London Fashion Week runway.
Black diversity, equality and inclusion sits at the heart of this 15-minute catwalk, taking place at 10:00 am on the final day of BLE 2022, which will feature:
- Four unique runway shows from Black Lives Matter and three incredible designers from the Black community
- Cardi B & Idris Elba’s DJ, DJ Longers, playing Afro beat and hip hop music to set the scene,
- LGBT+ dance performance
- African tribal drumming to provide a rousing finale of this black culture catwalk.
Curated in partnership with Black Lives Matter Licensing and founder Saphia Maxamed, the catwalk will bring the Fashion UK Black Lives Matter collection to life.
This runway will welcome Black community models from all sides of Black culture: some high fashion Dolce & Gabbana models, some Black British music artists and others high calibre influencers within the Black community. This show will highlight real people and what Black community really looks like.
Three designers will hit the catwalk next:
Sibu is a Black LGBT+ designer who has partnered with Levi’s to create value and be kind to the planet. He uses denim waste from Levi’s to create innovative fashion pieces designed with sustainability in mind. (Watch the movie.) His designs will come to BLE fresh off the London Fashion Week runway where he appears on the Jaded Life Collective – Time Traveller Catwalk.
He said: “I’m honoured to be a part of this BLE Culture & Unity catwalk driven by the important Black Lives Matter movement and to use my voice to show that I am a proud Black person who is dealing with everyday injustices step by step, and that’s the only way to deal with it.”
Bridal and couture designer Bunmi specialises in exclusive bespoke bridal and evening wear pieces, collaborating with brides to make the dresses of their dreams.
Anita Quansah is an award-winning runway accessories designer whose collections have appeared in Vogue and Elle, as well as at the highly acclaimed Africa Fashion exhibition currently at the V&A in London.
Backstage, the runways will be supported by high calibre creative professionals from the Black community, from specialised hair and makeup through to the performance team.
Saphia Maxamed, founder Black Lives Matter Licensing: “Set as a closer to BLE’s three-day fashion theme, The Culture & Unity runway show is the one to watch. For the first time, the licensing industry will be introduced to an effective way of delivering DE&I strategy correctly, and by that, I mean one that is authentic and not a tick box exercise or a number’s game.
“The BLE team has truly given back to Black community, more importantly have really taken notice of our idea to support and include the LGBT+ community in our show unity message by giving us a stage, a voice, and hiring talent from these communities to create the Culture & Unity catwalk experience, and that is exactly what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about: making a real, tangible difference to Black lives.”
Anna Knight, SVP of Licensing at Informa Markets: “Designed to unite us as an industry and empower us to move forwards towards positive social change, the Culture & Unity themed catwalk show is set to be a showstopper”.
“The runway will feature Black Lives Matter Movement fashion collections and spotlight Black-owned businesses looking to break into the licensing industry. Demands are growing for consumer-facing companies to make visible, authentic, and effective commitments to focus on—and meet—Black consumers’ needs and be inspired by those helping to drive economic equality. The catwalk will be coupled with cultural performances and LGBT+ dancers. Take my word for it, it is not to be missed.”
Visitors can also take the opportunity to meet the Black Lives Matter Licensing team on stand #D200 to learn more about how they amplify black voices across the consumer products sector while generating revenue to benefit the black community. Founder Saphia Maxamed and other members of the team will be available for pre-arranged and drop-in meetings.
BLE is the leading European event for licensing and brand extension, taking place 20-22 September at ExCeL London and visitors can register for free online.