Saks Fifth Avenue has announced its third year of the designer accelerator program, The New Wave at Saks, which includes footwear designer Armando Cabral.
Cabral, who opened the doors to his flagship store in New York’s Rockefeller Center last year, is focused on growth. In a recent interview with FN, the designer said he is launching two new categories this spring as he continues to work toward becoming a full lifestyle brand.
Other designers included in the program this year are Áwet, Bernard James, Elisamama, Interior, June 79, Renowned and Sorellina. 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 as well as within the fashion industry overall. Amplifying diverse voices is also a major goal, with at least half of program participants each year being BIPOC brands.
This year’s brands have been selected by Saks leadership to participate in a six-month long program that includes a retail bootcamp, 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.
For the third year in a row, Mastercard is the presenting sponsor of The New Wave at Saks. The company will host a dedicated roundtable session to provide participating brands an overview and access to its Digital Doors program, including exclusive resources and tools aimed to help small businesses further grow and digitally enhance their online presence.
Last year, three shoe brands were part of Saks’ accelerator program: Keeyahri, Nalebe, and Sunni Sunni.