March 14, 2023

At Centric Brands, we invest in partnerships that place diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of our recruitment practices and development programs.

We are excited to announce our continued partnership with the Black Talent in Design and Fashion Fund (BTDF) this year to help support Black students studying fashion and design. Through this partnership, Centric Brands provides scholarships, mentorships, and internships to support the mission of BTDF and its recipients, reinforcing our ongoing efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace.

We interviewed DaNae Harrison, a recipient of the BTDF scholarship, to learn more about this year’s BTDF program and her interest in the fashion industry. DaNae will be joining Centric Brands’ 2023 Summer Internship Program in the New York office. 

How did you approach this year’s Black Talent in Design and Fashion Fund prompt, Creativity x Impact: express how you merge your love for design, fashion, and footwear through impact and intentionality?

This year’s Black Talent in Design and Fashion Fund prompt aligns with my career goals: to incorporate positive social impact and intentionality in the fashion industry. Oftentimes, Black creatives are overqualified, yet underrepresented and overlooked across all areas. My design, a utilitarian jumpsuit with a multitude of pockets, reflects the myriad of roles Black women actively take on at once.  

What inspired you to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

Since my childhood, I have always been interested in fashion. Upon taking a sewing course by a young Black woman designer, I realized that sewing does not fit the stereotype of being an old or undesired trade; it is actually very cool and innovative. Since then, I have pursued a career in the fashion industry. 

How have your studies in political science impacted your designs and views of the fashion industry?

Studying political science with a concentration in urban studies has granted me the ability to effectively analyze research and utilize analysis to generate uncommon solutions. I provide an alternative approach to the sociopolitical aspect of fashion. 

If you could impact/create change in one area of the fashion industry, what would it be?

If I could change the fashion industry, I would influence the college to career pipeline for minority students. Despite Black creatives significantly influencing fashion culture, especially streetwear, Black designers are often self-taught and disproportionately lack the resources to successfully navigate the industry.