Live Rocket to spotlight Designers Hub talent live – WWD
MORE TO THE STORY: Attracting attention during New York Fashion Week is never an easy task, but a few lesser-known designers are getting a major boost from Live Rocket.
The New York-based live commerce platform is supporting Bethann Harrison’s The Designers Hub by highlighting some of this month’s NYFW shows. Scheduled to coincide with the celebration of Black History Month, the alliance will help elevate three businesses.
Hardison, a former model and fashion activist, led the Designers Hub with support from the Council of Fashion Designers of America to help Black designers and Black-owned fashion brands and businesses advance their opportunities. Participants receive top-level guidance from industry professionals and opportunities to strengthen their businesses.
Launched last November by former HSN chief executive Mark Bozek, Live Rocket operates studios on Fulton Street in Manhattan’s Seaport neighborhood as well as a website and app. The inaugural lineup on February 16 will feature shows from Aisha McShaw, K. Milele and Oak & Acorn.
The event will include more than just viewing new designs – each of the designers will present a 20-minute live show showcasing their collections and offering an assortment of their designs for purchase via a live stream on the Live Rocket site as well only at Live Rocket Studio downtown.
Bozek said helping discover new and diverse talent is of the utmost importance to Live Rocket and fits perfectly in its DNA. All sales from next month’s event will benefit the designers, with Live Rocket taking none of the profit.
Since launching last fall, the platform has been working with the CFDA to provide opportunities for designers and brands that don’t yet have the platform, experience, or funding to create live-selling opportunities to grow their activities, Bozek said.
Nurturing The Designers Hub’s creativity will help Live Rocket grow its growing line of products in fashion, accessories, beauty, food, fitness and wellness. Going forward, seasoned design and technology specialists will share their expertise through special appearances and mentorship. The goal is to make the collaboration with The Designers Hub a long-term relationship, Bozek said. He and Hardison go back a long way – they met in the 80s when Bozek was at WilliWear by Willi Smith.
The view now, buy now format is an advantage for emerging creators. Hardsion, who is also a board member of Live Rocket, said, “The hub designers are so talented and these shows allow them to share their very unique stories and drive sales simultaneously.”
Talks are underway with potential sponsors to support The Designers Hub and other series in various capacities, according to Bozek. “It’s not enough to launch a digital website, book an influencer and [open an] occasional pop-up. Customer acquisition costs are skyrocketing and [it is] harder than ever to attract enough eyeballs and subsequent customers to grow consistently,” Bozek said. “Social media messaging and storytelling are as essential for brands these days as the designs themselves.”
CFDA CEO Steven Kolb praised Hardison for the support and guidance she provides to Designers Hub. “We believe in Aisha McShaw, K. Milele and Oak & Acorn, and are grateful to Live Rocket for giving them the opportunity to expand their reach,” he said.
Going forward, The Designers Hub broadcasts on Live Rocket will be a recurring, scheduled livestream event to introduce more people to its growing base of attendees.