This Black History Month we take a look at some of the many black-owned businesses that call Sook home.
We love being in a position to notice change as it happens on our high streets, and this year Sook’s spaces have been graced with a huge number of black-owned businesses, reflecting the increasing diversity that is so important to our communities, and creating unique experiences on our high streets.
Andy Davies, a leading voice for diversity and inclusion, and the founding investor heading up 10x10, an all-black VC group, has co-authored The Black Report, which is the first deep-dive of its kind into the state of the black-owned start-up ecosystem in this country. ‘Black founders are ready’, Davies says, ‘...we’ve forever had hurdles put in our way or opportunities afforded to others not like us. But we are changing that. We’re understanding our past, adapting our present, and re-writing our futures’.
It’s a drive and a sentiment echoed by the incredible brands we’ve had the privilege of working with at Sook. Business owners who are promoting real change, and developing our business landscape, as well as creating killer experiences and offering up some super-cool stuff.
Read on for just a few examples of the black-owned businesses that have popped-up at Sook recently:
Founded by Ade Hassan MBE, Nubian Skin sells lingerie and hosiery that match the skin tones of women of colour; an essential need that’s been over-looked by the mainstream market for too long. Ade says:
"My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops. Despite the reality that women of colour have the same needs as all women when it comes to lingerie and hosiery, the industry simply doesn’t cater to us. So, I thought, it’s time to rethink the definition of nude".
Nubian Skin is based in London, and Ade hosted her pop-up shop in our 58 Oxford Street Sook in October.
Check out Nubian Skin’s Skin Tone Guide
Gorgeous art and homeware, anyone? Caroline Chinakwe is a Nigerian-born artist living in London, known for her powerful, striking visuals that capture the beauty found in black cultures and style, while also addressing the issues that affect people of colour.
Her aesthetic developed off the back of a 20-year career in the fashion industry, during which the lack of diversity in the sector, and in ma was notable. Caroline says:
“I create art that will challenge the mainstream, igniting an understanding and appreciation of black culture, style and beauty as equal to the western ideology of beauty”.
Chinakwe exhibited her beautiful work at our 10 South Molton Street Sook.
Nigerian born, contemporary lines, and utterly gorgeous fashion. Masterminded by Toluwani Wabara, Wanni Fuga’s collection is all generous swathes of premium fabric, and timeless, elegant silhouettes. Prioritising comfort and simplicity, Wanni Fuga fuses African culture with supreme modernity. WE LOVE!
Wanni Fuga held their first UK private sale pop-up at Sook 58 Oxford Street.
And finally... Sook X Marmalade Collective
This October, we’re using Black History Month as a springboard to celebrate the rich black culture that’s been bringing our pop-up spaces to life all year. We’re proud to have partnered with Marmalade Collective earlier this year, who are a digital media company bringing Africa’s stories, culture and ideas to a global audience.
In support of their important work, Sook is working with the collective to bring their Beyond Black and #CultureInColour campaign to life. Beyond Black aims to shift the conversation around Africans away from skin colour, and towards culture.
The campaign activation involves the use of Sook’s digital screens across all our sites during Black History Month to show their impactful images and messaging, with a big pop-up event happening all day in our newest space, Sook Shoreditch, on the 29th of October. Everybody, as always, welcome. See you there.