Fashion Bomb Daily CEO and Founder Claire Siobhan Sulmers is creating a pathway for emerging designers of color to showcase their talent during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Fashion Bomb Daily, a direct-to-consumer fashion company that leverages content and community to power a multicultural shopping experience, is unveiling the first-ever Bomb Fashion Show, sponsored by Shea Moisture during NYFW.
Featuring two designer ensemble runway shows, The Bomb Fashion Show is an all-day immersive event that allows the public access to the once exclusive NYFW lineup of events. The Bomb Fashion Show will highlight emerging designers, celebrity designers, and designers sold on Fashion Bomb Shop.
In an exclusive interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Sulmers discusses The Fashion Bomb Daily platform, The Bomb Fashion Show, representation in the industry, and offers advice for men and women of color with a dream to show at NYFW.
Over the last 15 years, you have grown Fashion Bomb Daily into a cultural destination, written a book, and built successful platforms. What do you attribute to your success?
Never accept no for an answer. We’ve seen that it is not easy for a person of color to break into the fashion industry, be acknowledged, and be recognized. From a young age, I’ve felt driven toward the idea of creating a platform and space where everyone can feel welcomed, seen, heard, and valued. What drives me is knowing there is a need for people of color in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds to feel accepted and welcomed into the fashion industry.
You’ve accomplished a lot. Did you have any setbacks along the way? How were you able to overcome them?
One of my favorite phrases is, “I couldn’t find a seat at the table, so I created my own.” If I couldn’t get in the door at a national magazine, I would create my online magazine. If I couldn’t attend the top NYFW shows, I would make one. It is the internal understanding that you don’t necessarily need the green light or validation from the outside. When the world told me no, I told myself yes. The Bomb Fashion Show is a prime example of that.
How important is the Black audience for major brands that want to reach a diverse audience?
Brands such as LVMH are making a very intentional move to incorporate the Black culture into their businesses. The brands that get it see the way forward. The way forward is to embrace the culture. There is a lot of room in the industry for us. For us, it is about being for the culture but by the culture. Something important for Fashion Bomb Daily is being the door or step into the fashion industry for people of color.
Why is it important to increase diversity during NYFW?
Representation is important because it drives revenue. The idea that only one type of person or shape and size is outdated and antiquated. Wanting to be represented is not something that should be overlooked. Things have improved, but (correct me if I’m wrong) the statistics show that less than 10% of designers showing at NYFW are Black. We are trying to open it up to make it more accessible.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers who want to be on the NYFW Stage?
Stay encouraged and continue to go for your dreams. It may sound cliched, but when I started in fashion, there were no invitations for NYFW. I worked my way into the fashion industry over the last 15 years, built up the brand, and eventually worked my way into the industry. It has not been easy, but if you have a dream go for it. Continue to do the work, adhere to a standard of excellence, be consistent and persistent, and don’t let anybody tell you no. If you have to start small, that’s OK, but continue to build upon each success day after day, and you can do it.