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Luminous Leaders

The changemakers and entrepreneurs leading and lighting the way in their spaces

PR Professional & Co-Founder of the Black in Fashion Council

Sandrine Charles

“Work hard and uplift” seems to be the motto fueling Sandrine Charles, the force of positivity sweeping the PR world. Her self-titled agency was created to ensure Black talent is retained at every level and Black excellence is given the attention it deserves. She also co-founded the Black in Fashion Council to hold fashion brands accountable for their own employees. Sandrine is cultivating the next generation of Black talent ready to change the world.

Founder & CEO of UOMA Beauty

Sharon Chuter

Sharon Chuter believes in the power of individuality. That’s why she created UOMA Beauty. The cosmetics line is taking inclusivity to a whole new level to help everyone amplify the beauty that is only their own. More than a wide range of foundation shades (51 to be exact), she’s creating products that are also inclusive of skin type, gender and economic class. Not just that, she’s making sure that everyone in her company, from the stockroom to the models, has a say.

Cosmetic Chemist, Beauty Industry Expert, Educator & Entrepreneur

Erica Douglas

When Erica couldn’t find the right beauty products for her, she decided to create her own. Better known as Sister Scientist, Erica is a cosmetic chemist who created mSeed, a manufacturing company crafting beauty solutions for a more diverse audience. After years of being the only female in the lab, she’s made it a priority to hire women and women of color. She’s also using her platform to inspire young women and minorities to get into STEM.

Founder & Director of Girls Will Be Boys

Char Ellesse

“Nothing changes if nothing changes!” That’s the ethos at the heart of Girls Will Be Boys, an online platform created by Char Ellesse. With incredible narratives, stories of self-acceptance, and beautiful visuals, she’s breaking gender norms wide open in the hope to liberate minorities from labels so they can truly express their own identities. The platform is also a stage for non-binary folks, trans people and women of color to share their own stories. With her bold and bald look, Char constantly encourages marginalized people to shave their heads at least once in their lives.

Model, Advocate and Founder of Bethann Management

Bethann Hardison

Bethann Hardison is a living legacy. The model, advocate, creative director, and founder of Bethann Management has shaped fashion history and beyond. She broke ground as a Black model in the ‘70s and opened up the all-white world of high-fashion for people of color in the ‘90s. The longtime champion for diversity refuses to let anyone turn a deaf ear to inclusion. And at age 78, is still not letting anyone slow her down.

Founder, Activist, Journalist, Artist & Fashionista

Aurora James

Aurora James is fighting for her company and other Black-owned businesses with ‘The Fifteen Percent Pledge’. The founder of accessories brand Brother Vellies is challenging the industry’s giants to bring real action to their commitments to diversity by devoting 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses, a huge step forward for Black Beauty brands and Black brands everywhere.

Social Media Consultant, MPA Professor and Founder of Black in Corporate

Candace Marie

Candace Marie has been shaping luxury fashion for over a decade. She is one of the industry’s most influential social media strategists. And she’s taking her years of experience in corporate luxury fashion and sharing it to help other Black creatives succeed. She started Black in Corporate, a platform and mentorship program that helps people of color combat systemic racism within the corporate world. She’s also an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design, teaching its first ever social media graduate course.

Brand Consultants, Founders, 2BG Consulting

Danielle Prescod & Chrissy Rutherford

Separately, Chrissy and Danielle were powerhouses in the fashion world. And together, the duo is unstoppable. They’ve combined their years of expertise and lifetimes of experiences to create 2BG Consulting. Standing for Two Black Girls, the agency works with brands and influencers to help them create positive, meaningful change when it comes to diverse representation in both beauty and fashion. With anti-racist workshops, custom seminars, workshops, and more, they’re truly creating the change they want to see in the world. Even more, 30% of their funds go to organizations that support marginalized groups and communities.

Activist & Founder of Beauty 2 The Streetz

Shirley Raines

Shirley Raines is bringing beauty to Skid Row. Her non-profit, Beauty 2 The Streetz, started as a way to provide houseless people on L.A.’s Skid Row with haircuts, makeovers, showers and food. And since the pandemic, has expanded to providing essential care. This superwoman is single-handedly empowering people with the power of makeup and truly showing us all what it means to be beautiful inside and out. “Not all queens live in castles. Some live in tents and sleep in cars but they are still queens and deserve to feel beautiful.”

Esthetician, Beautyologist & Content Creator

Nayamka Roberts-Smith

The internet’s favorite esthetician, Nayamka Roberts-Smith, saw a big gap in the beauty industry. And with social media, she’s filling it. She’s making a market that once was catered to upper-class white women more accessible for all, especially Black women and women of color. From tips to hacks to translating scientific skincare knowledge into something we all can understand, she’s making beauty more inclusive, one post at a time.

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