Following the cultural insensitivities displayed by luxury fashion brands, many Black entrepreneurs are launching platforms and creating spaces to spread awareness and celebrate Black designers and their businesses. Through her platform Black Haute—a digital fashion marketplace created to highlight Black fashion brands—entrepreneur Nia Noceta wants to empower consumers to make buying Black their practice, rather than their form of protest.
Noceta—a native of Los Angeles, California—has been in the fashion industry for years. The former model-turned-entrepreneur has launched companies focused on digital marketing and public relations that have fostered and supported the growth of fashion brands. A decade ago, she started a platform called Shades of Business that promoted businesses created by entrepreneurs of color. Within the last two years she decided that a platform specifically focused on Black entrepreneurship in fashion was needed. After seeing how Black music artists would support and endorse luxury brands in their lyrics and videos but the respect wasn’t reciprocal and with the recent racial controversies amongst these brands, Noceta was determined to take action.
“Seeing all of the different controversies going on with luxury fashion houses revealed that there was a lack of awareness about Black culture and Black history and what our sensitivities might be,” she told NewsOne. “It sparked a desire to spread love for Black-owned brands.”
In 2017 she began laying the foundation for Black Haute and officially launched in September 2019. The site was created to build a bridge between consumers and Black-owned brands and designers. Black Haute currently features 20 brands that she has sourced through social media and recommendations.
Black buying power is worth $1.2 trillion, however, a dollar circulates for only 6 hours within the Black community. Noceta hopes that her platform will empower the Black community to tap into their buying power and support more businesses owned by people of color. “Through Black Haute we not only want to promote Black designers, but we also want to encourage people to circulate dollars within the community. Black buying power is massive,” she said.
As far as what’s on the horizon for Noceta and Black Haute, she wants to continue growing the platform and highlighting more designers. She says she will forever be a proponent of buying Black. “It’s gratifying to hear when small business owners who are featured on the platform are reaching beyond their local community and market and going national with their sales,” said Noceta. “It’s crucial to shop Black first and buy Black often. Whenever it’s possible begin your search for whatever you’re looking for with Black brands and then buy Black as often as you can.”