UPS helps HBCU alumni fashion brands head to New York Fashion Week with $150K in grants

Black creatives weave their stories through the threads of fashion
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Ready, set, strut: In our third season at New York Fashion Week, we’re continuing to showcase and drive diversity in the fashion industry. This year, we’ve provided $150,000 in small business funding for three fashion brands from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to unveil new collections on the runway.

“UPS is committed to fueling diverse-owned small businesses with the funding and resources they need to be successful,” said Kevin Warren, EVP and Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer at UPS. “This program is designed to strengthen the pipeline of Black creatives coming out of HBCUs and give them a platform to grow their businesses.”

We’re ready for the big show! Are you? 👀 Get a sneak peek now.


Meet the HBCU designers taking over the runway for the first time:

Designer/Founder: Undra Celeste

Brand: Undra Celeste New York – Modern workwear that empowers multicultural women to show up for work exuding confidence and feeling like their authentic selves.

HBCU: Howard University


Designers/Founders: Shaq and Nola

Brand: The Brand Label – One-of-a-kind garments first inspired by the founders’ dorm room collaborations in 2005.

HBCU: Virginia State University



Designer/Founder: Chelsea Grays

Brand: CHELSEA GRAYS – Luxury fashion designed to raise awareness of social issues.

HBCU: North Carolina Central University

Moving culture forward: HBCUs are an institution for cultivating Black culture. They build communities, foster creativity, and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Our year-round support for HBCUs includes The UPS Community Scholars Program, a scholarship and mentoring program with Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College.

Did you know? We’re proud to share that our employee base includes alumni and current students from more than 91 HBCUs across the country. Yes, nine-one!

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