In a post-COVID-19 lockdown world, emerging designers finally have space to shine again. Companies, like Macy’s, are giving them the space to do so with programs like The Workshop. The program gives brands an opportunity to gain visibility and receive mentorship from Macy’s professionals. This includes selling on Macys.com and through their live selling platform.
One recent participant who is seeing much traction after participating in The Workshop is Terese Brown of Terese Sydonna. Brown had participated in another Macy’s incubator program while The Workshop was fairly new, and she was determined to get into The Workshop. She had a will and a way and made it happen to participate in the recent iteration of the program, which ran from May 2 to May 28.
Brown’s line Terese Sydonna might be new to many, but it’s been her work child for a while. During COVID-19, she, like many retailers and designers, put the brand on pause in the face of low and stagnant sales. She didn’t let this deter her from continuing with her dreams of growing her business, though.
“I saw coming out of COVID-19 as a chance to reposition the brand,” Brown said to FashionUnited. “When I relaunched, I had it on my vision board I would participate in The Workshop. I came back with my brand the second time around and made it more innovative. A big difference now is I have more clarity. The pandemic gave me all the clarity I needed. I am celebrating professional women, and I’m focused on finding retailers who will support small independent retailers. Macy’s is one of the retailers, and I was fortunate to be part of the workshop.”
With designs inspired by Jamaican and Japanese culture, Brown says her line is more authentic this time around. “I’m sharing more of my story and showing women they too can be authentic wherever they are in their journey,” Brown said to FashionUnited. “You have to find what makes your magic. Women now tell me wearing my clothes brought something new out of them and helped their journeys of self-discovery.”
Brown says her brand fights fashion’s inauthenticity. “2020 exposed how racist, cutthroat, and nepotistic fashion can be,” she said FashionUnited. “I experienced some of that and have dealt with being the only Black woman in the room. Having gone through all those experiences, I see how many women go through this today. Having gone through all my experiences, I can truly be authentic through who I am. I’ve seen the personal transformation in me as a designer coming through my collections. I celebrate women who embrace this journey as well.”
Despite her passion, Brown says after relaunching she’s less emotional about her line. She takes things less personally now, and she is very focused.
She received a great response from her Macy’s collection, which she described as overwhelming. Even once her month at Macy’s was up, it garnered her a new audience of customers who discovered the brand at the department store and were still yearning for her designs. Brown is fighting inauthenticity one garment at a time with Terese Sydonna.