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Sephora Kicks Off First Impact Summit for BIPOC-Founded Brands

The event is the latest of the retailer’s initiatives to support founders of colour.
The interior of a Sephora store.
Sephora now stocks 11 brands from its Accelerate program. (Richard Cadan/Sephora)

Sephora is bringing BIPOC founders together for its first Impact Summit.

On Feb. 26 and 27, the beauty retailer is hosting a new event for its BIPOC beauty community. Open to BIPOC founders of brands stocked at Sephora, current and former members of the Sephora Accelerate incubation program, members of the Sephora Squad influencer collective, merchant sponsors, advisors and executives, the Impact Summit is meant to delve deeper into Sephora’s diversity, equity and inclusion work. 15 Percent Pledge founder and fashion designer Aurora James will give the keynote address.

Since joining James’ 15 Percent Pledge in 2020, Sephora has now reached 15 percent Black-owned brands in the hair care category and doubled its number of Black-owned brands in other categories last year, said Priya Venkatesh, global chief merchandising officer at Sephora.

”We extended the invite to all of our BIPOC brands to attend – big, small and medium. It’s just a great place for the founders to meet, connect, learn, and when that happens, you can’t ever predict what comes out of it,” said  Venkatesh.

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In addition to James, other speakers include Danessa Myricks, founder of her namesake line, Tower 28 founder Amy Liu, Kulfi Beauty founder Priyanka Ganjoo and Alisa Carmichael, partner at VMG.

Members of this year’s eight-brand Accelerate cohort include Maed Beauty founder Denise Vasi and Sienna Naturals co-founders Hannah Diop and Issa Rae, the star of HBO’s Insecure. Sephora now stocks 11 brands from previous years of the Accelerate program, including Topicals, which has “grow very impressively,” said Venkatesh.


Learn more:

The Fifteen Percent Pledge Gala Moves to Los Angeles and Debuts Sephora Beauty Grant

The nonprofit founded by Aurora James is expanding its largest fundraising event as it aims to double down in a challenging climate for diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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