Hudson’s Bay Announces Newly Minted Fashion Fund To Foster Emerging BIPOC Designers In Canada
Hudson’s Bay to provide three-year mentorship and a $25,000 grant to annual winner
TORONTO, ON — Hudson’s Bay is proud to announce the launch of the Hudson’s Bay Fashion Fund, an initiative built to mentor and support up-and-coming BIPOC designers in Canada. Each year, the Fashion Fund will award one designer with a $25,000 grant, coupled with an extensive three-year mentorship program to help brand build and alleviate some of the obstacles fresh designers face when entering into a competitive retail landscape. The Fashion Fund is a part of Hudson’s Bay’s extensive work to help accelerate racial equity in Canada, and follows the recent launch of the Hudson’s Bay Foundation’s new social impact platform, Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change.
As part of the three-year mentorship program, the selected recipient will gain an unprecedented opportunity to leverage the Hudson’s Bay network to build their skills and expertise in product development, sourcing, financial management and marketing, while also utilizing Hudson’s Bay’s bricks and mortar retail and digital channels to showcase and sell their collection. The application process will open early Fall.
“As one of the country’s leading fashion retailers, we have a unique opportunity to support Canada’s talented and emerging BIPOC designers through long-term investment, including industry access and mentorship as well as financial support,” says Tyler Franch, VP Fashion Director at Hudson’s Bay. “The Hudson’s Bay’s Fashion Fund is designed to nurture talent through sustained collaboration, which is so integral to setting new designers up for success.”
The launch of the Fashion Fund was announced at this evening’s Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards virtual event by Brother Vellies Designer and Fifteen Percent Pledge Founder, Aurora James, on the heels of Hudson’s Bay signing the Fifteen Percent Pledge - the first department store in Canada to do so. The annual Fashion Fund award is planned to become a mainstay category at the prestigious Canadian fashion event.
“Hudson’s Bay is taking action across all areas of its business to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of how we do business. The launch of the Hudson’s Bay Fashion Fund is part of our commitment to drive change across our organization and our industry,” added Felicia Lekan-Salami, DVP, DE&I at Hudson’s Bay.
In the coming months, the Fashion Fund plans to announce its advisory board, consisting of some of the country’s leading industry and societal change-makers. Candidate criteria and the application process will open in September 2021.
ABOUT HUDSON’S BAY
Hudson’s Bay is a digital-first purpose-driven retailer helping Canadians live their best style of life. As one of the country’s most iconic brands, Hudson’s Bay operates 88 full-line locations and thebay.com featuring Marketplace -- the 5th largest e-commerce business in Canada. Hudson’s Bay has established a reputation for quality and style through an unrivalled assortment including fashion , designer, home, beauty, food concepts and more. The Hudson’s Bay Rewards program is ranked second in department store loyalty programs in Canada. Hudson’s Bay operates under the HBC brand portfolio. Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s oldest company. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of HBC.
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