Saks Emerging Designer Accelerator Program Returns for Third Year

The cohort features rising talent in the fashion and footwear industries who will each receive coaching, support, and a $10,000 grant.

The New Wave at Saks program is returning for a third year with a fresh new cohort of eager fashion designers who will get support from the legendary retailer to grow their brands.

Footwear designer Armando Cabral is among the standout group, and other designers included this year: Áwet, Bernard James, Elisamama, Interior, June 79, Renowned, and Sorellina.

This year’s brands have been selected by Saks leadership to participate in a six-month-long program that includes a retail boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, entrepreneurial workshops, and industry roundtables. In addition, each brand will be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant to support their business operations and growth and dedicated marketing support from Saks, including content exposure on the Saks website.

“This program is one of the many ways that Saks nurtures and develops emerging talent. Our merchant team is obsessed with finding new brands and helping them grow at Saks,” Anna Tolosa Irving, SVP/GMM of Women’s Designer RTW at Saks told the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “The structure and resources built into the New Wave program empowers these high-potential designers to grow not only at Saks but across the greater fashion industry.”

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Created in 2021, The New Wave at Saks strives to support the next generation of design and retail talent and develop high-potential independent brands by accelerating their growth at Saks and within the fashion industry overall. Amplifying diverse voices is also a goal, with at least half of the program participants each year being BIPOC brands.

Mastercard is the presenting sponsor of The New Wave at Saks. The company hosts an annual roundtable session to provide participating brands with an overview and access to its Digital Doors program, including exclusive resources and tools to help small businesses further grow and digitally enhance their online presence.

“Saks is committed to championing emerging designers by providing them with a platform to share their unique point of view as well as resources to help them succeed,” said Anna Irving, senior vice president and general merchandising manager for women’s designer ready-to-wear at Saks, per Luxury News.

She added,“Through the continuation of The New Wave program, Saks is advancing our goal of increasing representation in our assortment as well as providing our customers with exciting fashion.”

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