Luxury Fashion

Saks Launches Second 12 months of Rising Designer Accelerator Program, The New Wave

This system helps the expansion of up-and-coming manufacturers and emphasizes BIPOC voices

NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Saks, the premier digital platform for luxurious style, has launched the second yr of its rising designer accelerator program, The New Wave, introduced by Mastercard. This yr’s program options eight new-to-Saks manufacturers, together with Claude Kameni, KEEYAHRI, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Nalebe, SUNNI SUNNI, Undra Celeste, Who Decides Battle and Zeynep Arcay. To rejoice this system, Saks will characteristic taking part designers in a strong advertising marketing campaign throughout its digital channels and in a particular window set up on the Saks Fifth Avenue New York flagship on show now by Tuesday, October 11.

The New Wave program develops and helps high-potential unbiased manufacturers in accelerating their progress at Saks, and in the end throughout the larger style trade. This yr, taking part designers have been sourced from all classes, together with girls’s, males’s and gender-fluid ready-to-wear, sneakers and equipment. Members have been recognized by the Saks management group as manufacturers that possess vital progress potential and would profit from extra help to scale their companies. 

This system additionally goals to amplify BIPOC voices and furthers Saks’ dedication to rising illustration in its merchandise assortment. This yr, six of the eight taking part manufacturers are Black-owned companies, and Saks has ensured that no less than half of this system contributors will likely be BIPOC manufacturers every year.

“We’re excited to proceed utilizing our platform to uplift rising manufacturers and help BIPOC designers,” famous Tracy Margolies, Chief Merchandising Officer, Saks. “This unbelievable program offers a singular alternative for up-and-coming designers to speed up their progress at Saks and throughout the style trade. On the identical time, it furthers our dedication to rising illustration in our assortment and delivering contemporary, compelling style to our prospects.”


This yr’s New Wave program consists of:

  • Onboarding bootcamp at Saks’ company headquarters in New York Metropolis.
  • Cross-functional advisory periods with leaders from key areas throughout the Saks enterprise, together with merchandising, advertising, public relations and enterprise operations.
  • Mentoring periods with trade consultants, together with designer Joseph Altuzarra, Harlem’s Vogue Row’s Founder and CEO Brandice Daniel, and Govt Vice President at Purple PR, Andrew Lister.
  • Roundtable dialogue with NBA All-Star, entrepreneur, investor and Saks board member James Harden on entrepreneurship and magnificence.
  • Small enterprise workshops and consulting led by program companions together with Launch Collective, NuORDER by Lightspeed and SKYPAD.
  • Deskside conferences with Vogue editors and entry to skilled growth by the CFDA.
  • Alternative to obtain a $10,000 grant to help enterprise operations and progress.


For the second yr in a row, Mastercard is the presenting sponsor of The New Wave program. Mastercard will present taking part designers with Digital Doorways® Toolkits, together with unique instruments and assets to assist small companies digitally remodel, in addition to one-on-one mentorship on digital enablement. This partnership builds on Mastercard’s sustained dedication to construct a extra inclusive digital financial system and to assist shut the racial wealth and alternative hole for Black communities.

This yr, United Airways can also be participating in The New Wave program. United hosted a contest for this yr’s contributors to design the refreshed Saks Fifth Avenue day blanket that may seem on board United flights in United premium cabins from April 1, 2023 by December 31, 2023. Following assessment by management groups at Saks and United, Claude Kameni was chosen because the winner of the design competitors. Along with her design being featured on board United flights, Claude will obtain a $10,000 journey grant and a $10,000 financial grant for design companies from United. 


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Claude Kameni is a recent dressmaker who sees her namesake label as a bridge between her tradition and the worldwide style trade. The colourful prints, daring patterns and distinctive designs discovered inside Claude’s work are impressed by her West African heritage in Yaoundé, Cameroon. As a toddler, she was extraordinarily artistic with a pointy eye for silhouettes and colours. Following her relocation to the US on the age of 8, she was capable of take her first style class in highschool which sparked her design journey. Since then, Claude has studied patterns extensively to the place she will manipulate them to create extraordinarily eye-catching clothes, which have caught the eye of celebrities comparable to Janet Jackson and Viola Davis. A grasp in African design, Claude Kameni additionally works on taking conventional inflexible African print cloth and remodeling it into an array of breathable items meant for any and each physique.


Feathers, fake fur, pops of coloration, curious shapes, architectural ideas and progressive designs. KEEYAHRI is a shoe label centered on build up the arrogance of the shoe wearer alongside each step of the way in which. Founder and Creative Director Keya Martin swapped out her company profession for a extra rewarding one in style with emphasis on luxurious footwear for the assured lady. Her journey has pushed her to embrace the shoemaking course of whereas rewriting and redefining the principles of shoe design. After establishing a reputation for herself inside the US, KEEYAHRI’s up to date designs are actually crusing throughout the Atlantic.


Ludovic de Saint Sernin represents a return to magnificence, seen through the lens of sensuality and sexuality, with an exacting strategy to design. Ludovic is a French designer who graduated in Vogue Design from ESAA Duperré and labored in various French style homes earlier than launching his personal label in 2018. Ludovic de Saint Sernin is for guys and women, with many items designed with out one gender in thoughts. Ludovic has proven his assortment on each the boys’s and girls’s official Vogue Week calendar in Paris. The label is understood for its underwear, forming a brand new product class of luxurious underwear for males, with the eyelet transient being the model’s signature merchandise. Nearly all of Ludovic’s garments and equipment are made in France and sustainable practices are all the time carefully adopted, consciously shortening the availability chain and sustaining a detailed relationship with all ateliers.


Nalebe was based by Amina Means with the objective of offering sustainable and comfy sneakers. Made In Italy, the worldwide way of life shoe model was based after Amina Means sprained her ankle and determined to create sneakers that weren’t solely birthed on basic design with artisanal craftsmanship, but in addition centered on creating consolation whereas infusing trendy particulars. Amina’s model personifies her love for sustainability by which she chooses to provide inside a zero-waste manufacturing cycle and makes use of recyclable packaging. Her romantic sensibility, inventive indulgence, and beautiful improvements have turn into essential for celebrities, style influencers and girls making their mark on the world.


SUNNI SUNNI is a conceptual footwear model fashioned in July 2020 by the self-taught footwear designer Sunni Dixon. The label is clever and cultured with stimulating creative ideas which can be subtle and easy, but road good. Born and raised in Washington, DC previously often called Chocolate Metropolis, a lot of Sunni’s inspiration is rooted in black tradition. Consciousness runs deep in every part produced and SUNNI SUNNI plans to take advantage of moral decisions when designing its footwear and creating its tales.


Undra Celeste as a designer is the fashionable multicultural girls’s designer. Undra designs garments that evoke confidence and an unapologetic presence. The model is the proper combine {of professional} and assertion dressing. Undra’s objective is to empower multicultural girls to point out as much as work feeling like their genuine selves, exuding confidence by offering trendy, enjoyable and daring workwear.


In 2019, Creative Director Ev Bravado and his artistic associate Tela D’Amore introduced their first full-scale assortment in Paris for Who Decides Battle. Well known for newfound signature denim silhouettes, Who Decides Battle hones in on fastidiously crafted items, professional garment distressing, recycling, transforming and multi-phase hand-dyeing, all with incomparable and meticulous consideration to appliqué detailing. These key elements are what proceed to set this artistic group aside. As Who Decides Battle continues to develop exponentially, its in-house group retains the identical grounded outlook and mission assertion of instilling religion, tradition and a hand-crafted contact into every garment created. 


Zeynep Arçay spent most of her profession as an government within the tech trade earlier than switching gears to observe her ardour for design and launch her namesake label in 2016. Greatest recognized for unconventional leather-based fabrications and progressive craftsmanship, the model’s subtle attire and tailoring strike the proper steadiness between trendy and basic.


Saks Fifth Avenue is the main identify in luxurious procuring. Since 1924, the model has maintained a repute for delivering an expertly curated assortment of style and extremely customized service. The Saks Fifth Avenue expertise provides seamless all-channel procuring by an elevated digital platform and in-person companies supplied by a rare community of 40 Saks Fifth Avenue shops throughout North America.

Store on and the Saks app, or go to to discover a Saks Fifth Avenue retailer location close to you.

Comply with @saks on Instagram, TikTok, Fb and Twitter, @thesaksman on Instagram and Saks Fifth Avenue on LinkedIn.

Contact: Emma Reese, [email protected]


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