GU GOALS: Black Industry Insiders Develop Exclusive Shop For Nordstrom

Here’s how retailers are celebrating Black History Month.

To celebrate Black History Month and beyond, Nordstrom has partnered with leading industry mavens to push brands that amplify Black representation.

On February 11, the retailer launched Concept 012: Black_Space, a devoted shop handpicked by a selected group of Black creatives. “It has been an exciting journey to see our five curators, with different backgrounds from Los Angeles to Paris, introduce their creative thinking and storytelling,” Sam Lobban, SVP of Designer and New Concepts at Nordstrom tells ESSENCE. “At Nordstrom, we have long believed that we’re made better by the diversity within our communities, and our team has always tried to surround ourselves with a diverse group of creative.”

Curators include: Designer Beth Birkett, Creative Director Harris Elliot, Stylist Matthew Henson, Stylist Marcus Paul and Fashion Editor Azza Yousif. Nordstrom also tapped a Black-owned creative agency, Coral Studios, spearheaded by Ismaila Traoré to consult on the project. “My mother appreciated department stores, so to be able to have anyone who looks like me see the products at a grand stage like this feel inspired and well-represented,” says Traoré. “Black is beautiful” isn’t just a saying it’s a way of life.”

As a unit, Nordstrom and the selected industry participants have committed to pushing brands that speak to Black customers to the forefront. Cementing that celebrating fashion and beauty derived from communities of color only help the equality spectrum across retail. “Nordstrom, we have long believed that we’re made better by the diversity within our communities,” Lobban exclaimed. “Within the next four years at Nordstrom we aim to deliver $500 million in retail sales from brands owned or designed by diverse creatives.” By 2025 Nordstrom has committed millions in retail sales from brands owned by, operated by or designed by Black or Latinx curators.

Launching February 11, Concept 012: Black_Space is open through the end of April exclusively at 12 Nordstrom stores and on

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