SINCE 1988

McDonald’s Launches Program to Propel Black Fashion Designers


McDonald’s has launched Black and Positively Golden Change of Fashion, a program aimed at supporting Black fashion designers through mentorship, resources, and financial support with an objective of propelling their careers.

The impetus behind the program is to bridge the gap that exists in the fashion industry. Though Black designers have conceived trends from zoot suits in the 1930s to hip hop track suits in the 1980s, their representation in the U.S. is just 7.3%, according to the company. McDonald’s says it launched the program to advocate for industry-wide change.

In doing so, it will pair five emerging Black designers with five Black industry experts to complete a year-long mentorship culminating with the launch of a capsule collection. McDonald’s and its owner/operators will also grant funds to each designer, totaling $200,000 overall, and provide mentorship sessions, access to masterclasses, and more. Change of Fashion designers are also featured in a national TV commercial alongside their mentors, who include author and television host Elaine Welteroth, Matte Collection CEO Justina McKee, retail executive Shawn Howell, Laquan Smith COO Jacqueline Cooper, and Founder of luxury concept retail stores, McMullen, and Founder & CEO, Sherri McMullen.

“For decades, McDonald’s has leveraged its size and scale to invest in and support the diverse communities we serve,” Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and customer experience officer, said in a statement. “The Change of Fashion program builds on that legacy, pushing new boundaries in an effort to inspire real change, not only for our five designers, but for the fashion industry at large.”

The five designers, chosen by a selection committee, include Durrell Dupard, New Orleans-based founder of Freddie Estelle; Shareef Mosby, Richmond, Va.-based CEO of VICTIM15; Larissa Muehleder, NYC-based founder of Muehleder; Heart Roberts, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based founder of HEARTHROB; and Nia Thomas, NYC-based founder of Nia Thomas.

In 2019, McDonald’s launched Black and Positively Golden, a campaign designed to uplift the Black community through education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship initiatives. In 2022, the company launched the B&PG Change Leaders program as part of its B&PG Futures 22 platform.


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