Rwandan Shoe Brand Uzuri K&Y Grabs Finalist Spot in 2021 Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge

Rwandan shoe brand Uzuri K&Y is among the six finalists for the third edition of the “Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge.” According to the PVH-owned fashion brand, this program “strives to continue amplifying and supporting black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs who are working to advance their communities, while fostering a more inclusive future of fashion.”

Uzuri K&Y, which offers eco-friendly footwear that uses recycled car tires from sub-Saharan Africa while employing local youth, joins brands Clothes to Good, Haelixa, Mafi Mafi, Lalaland, and Soko as finalists.

The six finalists will pitch their business plans and ideas to a jury panel consisting of business and sustainability leaders at the final virtual global event on Jan. 12-13, 2022. Jurors include Tommy Hilfiger global CEO Martijn Hagman; adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, technology and media at INSEAD business school Esther Verburg; and managing director of Fashion for Good Katrin Ley.

Arooj Aftab, the founder of #DonewithDiversity, will host the final event where the jury will award €200,000, approximately $225,000 per current exchange rate, to be split between two chosen winners in order to support their ventures. The winners will also receive a year-long mentorship with both Tommy Hilfiger and INSEAD experts, as well as a place in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP). An additional €15,000, approximately $17,000 per current exchange rate, will be awarded to the finalist who Tommy Hilfiger associates select as their ‘Audience Favorite’ vote.

“The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge embodies our long-standing mission to harness the power of fashion to foster inclusivity, representation and change,” said Tommy Hilfiger in a statement. “Our industry will only move forward with new, fresh ideas that challenge how we think, build and create. As a brand, it’s vital we use our platform to give entrepreneurs like our finalists a voice and opportunity to create real and long-lasting impact.”

“As key players in the fashion industry, it is our responsibility to support, empower and encourage inclusivity. The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge is a testament of our commitment to make a meaningful and lasting contribution towards a better fashion industry,” added Hagman in a statement. “It is in our nature to drive change, even in the most challenging of times. We are proud to continue amplifying the ideas of entrepreneurs that are creating the fashion landscape we want, and need, to see.”

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