Sunday marks Juneteenth and though some brands are still navigating how to recognize the newly minted federal holiday, others are finding meaningful ways to support it.
Juneteenth, which falls — and is named for — June 19, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved persons in the U.S.
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The holiday, which has been celebrated by Black families for generations, is now more widely recognized. As such, more of corporate America, including beauty and fashion brands, are marking it in manifold ways.
Because of what the holiday recognizes, it can be delicate to navigate without unwelcome commodification (Walmart Inc. recently pulled its Juneteenth ice cream after broad backlash from the consumer public). However, for those intent to approach it thoughtfully, it can prove a valuable time to implement efforts to fuel the continued fight against racial oppression.
Here, WWD highlights the brands that are making strides to honor Juneteenth.
Brown Girl Jane
Brown Girl Jane
This year, vegan wellness brand Brown Girl Jane will have a site-wide sale of 19 percent off all of its products, and will donate the proceeds to Until Freedom, an organization that focuses on criminal justice reform.
Brown Girl Jane products include CBD supplements, fragrance and tinctures to help reduce stress and enhance mood.
Nia Jones, cofounder and chief impact officer of the wellness brand said, “As a company focused on the wellness of Black and Brown women, Juneteenth Day is an acknowledgment of progress and a reminder that we have so much work to do. We hope our tribe will join us in support of Until Freedom in their fight against poverty, inequality and police violence.”
Áwet New York
Áwet New York
Luxury loungewear brand Áwet New York, founded and operated by Eritrean former refugee designer Áwet Woldegebriel, will release an exclusive sweatsuit capsule collection on Juneteenth.
The limited-edition hoodie and sweatpants set is called “Forward Lines,” and is comprised of a French terry blend featuring multicolored interwoven lines multi-medium artist Caroline Harris who manages Knowhere Art Gallery in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The design represents the race relation discussions Woldegebriel facilitated at Martha’s Vineyard in 2020, and pays visual homage to George Floyd and the continued fight to dismantle systemic racism.
Additionally, the brand will donate 30 percent of the proceeds from the limited-edition drop to the NAACP and National Urban League, organizations that support underserved communities in the fight for economic, educational and civil rights.
Sephora is taking its Juneteenth commemoration to Times Square.
On June 19, the multinational beauty retailer said it “will feature an illustration that communicates the day,” done by African American artist Kristie Marshall across its social media platforms. And in honor of Dr. Opal Lee, “the grandmother of Juneteenth” as the company noted, Sephora will feature Lee on a billboard above the Times Square Sephora.
“Sephora continues to support and amplify Black voices all year long and is excited to highlight and celebrate the variety of holidays that hold meaning throughout the year,” the company said.
Addis VIV, an emerging Black-owned home decor brand dedicated to “creating sacred spaces,” is partnering with Trinidadian artist Miles Regis to release a limited-edition candle in support of protecting Black and Brown men from racial injustice.
The candle, which was released on June 15, features a silhouette of a father and son looking at each other, and black wax with two wicks to represent the skin of the father-son duo. Bete Agonafer, Addis VIV’s founder, says the idea for the candle came after witnessing racial injustices in 2020, and its launch will follow with a digital campaign on June 19.
The digital campaign is meant to commemorate Juneteenth and Father’s Day, both of which fall on the same day this year, and will include political commentator Angela Rye. In addition, the brand will donate 50 percent of net proceeds from its first collaboration to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to wrongfully accused prisoners, prisoners who don’t have economic access to legal representation, and prisoners who might have been denied a fair trial.
Camille Rose Naturals
Photo courtesy of Camille Rose
To celebrate Juneteenth, Black-owned natural hair care brand Camille Rose Naturals will host a Beauté Noir Fest in Atlanta. The three-day event will honor Black creatives and Black-owned businesses.
Attendees will enjoy an honoree dinner and a VIP brunch on June 16 and 17, followed by a festival with performances, including a fashion show and a chance to buy from Black-owned vendors.
The beauty brand’s founder, Janell Stephens, said the vision of the fest is “Afropunk meets BeautyCon,” and pledges Camille Rose Naturals will donate a portion of proceeds from the event to Moving in the Spirit, a creative youth development program in Atlanta.
The Los-Angeles based luxury Black-owned clothing and accessories brand BruceGlen will host an invite-only Trap & Soul brunch in Brooklyn, New York on Juneteenth. The private event will feature a gospel performance, a lineup of Black-owned vendors and brunch.
The Brooklyn-bred identical twins behind the brand are Bruce and Glen Proctor, ordained ministers turned fashion designers. The brand uses sustainable manufacturing processes and is known for its mixed-pattern apparel and metallic hardware bags.
Black Girl Sunscreen
Courtesy of the Brand
The fast-selling Black-owned sunscreen brand endorsed by Beyoncé and occupying shelves at Sephora, Target and Ulta will be observing the holiday as a company, allowing employees to reflect and celebrate in their own way.
The brand offers affordable sunscreen (priced between $9.99 and $18.99) that absorbs into more pigmented complexions with nontoxic ingredients like avocado, cacao and Vitamin C.
Jessi Jumanji & The Labz
Jessi Jumanji, a digital artist whose work has appeared in the Emmy award-winning show “Insecure,” and The Labz, a platform that aids in curating interactive web experiences, are diving into the metaverse to release a virtual NFT gallery on June 19.
The exclusive launch, called “Afro-Omniscience,” is composed of historically significant artifacts and images Jumanji carefully selected from The Met Museum’s digital archive of public domain art. The project is also done in collaboration with model, writer and activist Ebonee Davis, and Nigerian fashion photographer Obidigbo Nzeribe, whose portfolio includes Venus Williams and Daniel Kaluuya.
The virtual gallery will feature photos of Davis and other models Tiara Kelly, Balla Toure and Ashwell Boyd digitally decorated in armor and jewelry, portraying Jumanji’s vision of them as “mythological deities tasked with protecting and preserving African culture.” The NFT gallery aims to restore the years of African erasure of history and influence from the global conversation, in addition to increasing the visibility of Black creatives in the NFT field.
Davis and Nzeribe will receive a portion of the proceeds from the launch for their creative contributions, and another percentage will go to Daughter, a nonprofit organization founded by Davis that sponsors trips to Africa for scholars of the African Diaspora.
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