How Well(Un)Known co-founder Chris Taylor is representing brands on the rise

Years after meeting at Norfolk State University, Chris Taylor and Aneesha DuBois realized a vision to highlight fashion brands that weren’t getting the shine that they deserved. Now the company forward-thinking company Well(Un)Known is putting these brands on the map, while also supporting Black designers and the type of cultural education only HBCUs are known for.

Taylor spoke with rolling out about Well(Un)Known, and the importance of Black designers.

Tell us about Well(Un)Known.

Well(Un)Known is an e-commerce founded by myself and Aneesha DuBois back in 2019.

Aneesha had a blog back in 2013 when she was wearing emerging designers and was doing fashion PR, so she had access to a lot of emerging brands and new designers. In her blog, she would just get dressed, and take pictures, and she named the blog Well(Un)Known.

We met at Norfolk State’s homecoming in 2016 and we started talking. In 2018 she ended up splitting ways with her employer, came to me, and said she had an idea … we just collaborated on it. We took the ideas from her blog, and this turned [them] into real life. What we do now is we just focus on emerging designers who we feel are next and who’s coming up next. We curate our whole store strictly based on what we feel.

What are some of the brands you have in your store?

We originally started with eight brands back in 2019, and now we’re up to 20 brands. Some of the brands we have right now is BTFL, which is based in Los Angeles. We have Honor The Gift which is Russell Westbrook’s brand. We have Val Kristopher, which is a brand based in the Philippines. We have Valas, which actually was the first brand we ever had.

They originally started with bags when we first launched and in 2020 they switched over to apparel, so we got them as well. We have House of Paa which is based in New York, Personal Effects which is based in London, and we also have K Krizia, which is a women’s brand based in China.

Why are Black designers so important?

I think Black people set the coolness, and I think a lot of people have been eating off of our style for a long time. We’ve been making a lot of other brands hot, and I think we’re trendsetters. That’s the purpose of our brand, to be trendsetters and capitalize on our coolness instead of everybody running to Nordstrom or Saks Fifth, or these other brands that are owned by people that are not even based in the United States and don’t have their finger on the culture.

You might as well get it from us. We know what’s next, we support our own, we support everybody, and it trickles down directly to us.

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