The Business of Fashion is hosting the first edition of the BoF 500 Symposium during Paris Fashion Week, in partnership with JHSF, and exclusively for BoF Professional members.
Jane Chika Oranika is a rapper who rose to fame when her video A Letter to Kanye Omari West went viral in 2018, criticising West for his public support of Donald Trump and endorsement of political commentator Candace Owens. She released her debut single No Squares in April 2019, which garnered support from the likes of Erykah Badu, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Naomi Campbell and saw her booked for the Jimmy Kimmel show. Chika has used her platform to advocate for greater inclusivity within the male-dominated rap and hip-hop music scene. In 2019, she featured in Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins campaign.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner is a trailblazer as one of the only young black women in fashion media. Peoples Wagner rose to acclaim in August 2018 with her barnstorming piece Everywhere and Nowhere: What It's Really Like to Be Black and Work in Fashion, a collation of testimonies from over 100 black professionals and public figures across the fashion industry. Peoples Wagner joined Teen Vogue as editor-in-chief in October 2018 from her previous role as fashion editor of The Cut since 2015, and has bolstered its existing vision of astutely covering politics, social issues and inclusive sexual health advice alongside popular culture, fashion and beauty.
Daniel Day, known as Dapper Dan, is a Harlem couturier known as the "king of knock-offs." He made his name in the late '80s and '90s as the tailor who provided rap culture with its signature gangster-inspired style, reworking traditional luxury-house products to outfit a slew of emerging hip-hop stars, athletes and gamblers including the likes of LL Cool J, James Jackson and Floyd Mayweather. He returned to prominence in 2018 after a cultural appropriation scandal led Gucci to finance the rebirth of his business and include him in its diversity council.
Phillip Picardi is the former chief content officer at Teen Vogue and Them, a Condé Nast-owned LGBTQ publication he launched in 2017. He is credited with increasing traffic to Teen Vogue's online platform by 250 percent in his two years as digital editor. In August 2018, it was announced he is departing Condé Nast to join Out as editor-in-chief. After completing a degree at New York University in 2012, Picardi began his career with stints at Racked and Teen Vogue, where he eventually became digital beauty editor. In 2014, he joined Refinery29 as senior beauty editor, but seven months into the job returned to Teen Vogue as digital editorial director.
Born a congenital amputee, Los Angeles-based Stephanie Thomas has redefined the contours of fashion styling, putting together accessible looks as a disability fashion stylist and advocate. Thomas is also the founder of Cur8able, a disability fashion and lifestyle blog-turned-company in 2015, pulling together disability-friendly clothing, disseminating advice and offering discount lists. Thomas holds degrees in business marketing, a master’s degree in communications and a second master’s degree in fashion journalism. Her journalistic career includes stints in television at CNN, CBS and ABC.
Sinéad Burke is a three-and-a-half-foot Dublin-based teacher, PhD student and activist. Through a powerful talk at BoF VOICES 2017, as well as appearances at the World Economic Forum in Davos, she made the case for why it no longer makes financial sense for fashion brands to exclude consumers with disability. Burke has also developed a partnership with Burberry, which has made custom pieces adapted to Burke’s height and redesigned a section in their London headquarters to include railings and lower chairs and tables. She is now a contributing editor at the title and in 2019 was the first little person to attend the Met Gala, where she wore a custom-made Gucci dress.
Derek Blasberg is an American writer and TV personality. He is currently the head of fashion & beauty partnerships at YouTube, a contributor at Vanity Fair and a staff member at the Gagosian Gallery. Before becoming Vanity Fair’s Our Man on the Street, he was the long-time editor-at-large of US Harper’s Bazaar. In 2016, it was announced Blasberg would be the host of the resurrected CNN Style show on CNN International, covering creative expression from a multi-faceted point, including he art, architecture, design and fashion industries. He left this role in June 2018 to join YouTube as head of fashion and beauty partnerships.
Jillian Mercado is a wheelchair-bound Latinx model who has appeared in campaigns for Nordstrom and Target and on the cover of Teen Vogue. She is signed with IMG and acts as an advocate for greater representation in the industry. Mercado’s first modelling gig was in a campaign for denim brand Diesel in 2014. The following year, she was signed with IMG Models and has since appeared in campaigns for Nordstrom, Target and Olay, which saw Mercado’s image feature on a billboard in Times Square. She also modelled merchandise for Beyoncé's Formation world tour and has featured in editorials for Glamour, Cosmopolitan and CR Fashion Book.
Since coming out as transgender in September 2017, Teddy Quinlivan has become an outspoken advocate for the transgender community and the struggles of models in the industry, particularly during the #MeToo movement. She has used her status to lobby for more inclusion in fashion, while working with the world's most renowned designers. Her modelling career took off after being discovered by Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière in 2015, when she made her debut as an exclusive for the Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2016 show. Since then, she has walked in shows for Saint Laurent, Dior, Gucci, Prada and Chanel, and appeared in editorials for American Vogue, Vogue Japan, Love magazine and Teen Vogue.