BDNN presents Marketing and Branding for Fashion Designers


Black Design News Network (BDNN) presents Marketing and Branding for Fashion Designers at Brooklyn Fashion Week BKstyle!™

Date: Sunday October 24

Time: 11am – 1pm

Where: Studio 964, 964 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY (between Franklin and Classon Avenue)

Cost: $30 for 2 hour seminar,  Please pay here

The goal of this workshop is to provide and suggest out-of the-box marketing, communication and branding ideas to Brooklyn fashion designers and others who are marketing and selling their products. The workshop will also discuss what it takes to do the “leg work” to communicate, market and brand your products and self in a tough economy.


TRUE, Artist/Designer, NY: marketing and branding
Michele Washington, Graphic Designer, NY: marketing and branding
Kissa Thompson, Fashion Designer, NY: fashion design, marketing her brand, buttafly unlimited
Javaka Steptoe, Illustrator, NY: illustration and marketing his book
Manreet Deol, Product Designer, India (via Skype): marketing products

Moderated by Atim Annette Oton, designer/co-founder, BDNN: the right products, social media and packaging your work


Bios of speakers:

TRUE is an artist / designer / resident of Brooklyn. He is an alum of Sarah Lawrence College and The Cooper Union Art School (where he got his BFA in 1996), and has been described by International Design Magazine as among the world’s “leading design innovators [whose work] offers a glimpse into the future of design.”

He has taught and / or spoken on art, new media, & design at institutions such as The Cooper Union, The New School / Parsons School of Design, The Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, and Sarah Lawrence College, and has exhibited work in museums in the US and abroad. Visit his website at

Michele Y. Washington is interested in researching the impact of cross-cultural design and users of products, and how designers can best utilize research to more effectively address ethnic communities, as well as the role architecture, urbanism, visual and material culture, and fashion plays in our every day lives. Michele maintains a design consultancy the office of michele washington where she focuses her research on community-based non-profit groups and cultural institutions.  Previously she worked as a designer and art director, for  such publications as The Chicago Tribune; The New York Times; Business Monthly, Essence, and Self. She also teaches in the Graduate Exhibition Design Program at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has served on the board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), New York chapter, and currently serves on the advisory board of XCD Cross-Cultural Community, and the AIGA Design Journey. Currently she is pursuing a second Master’s at the School of Visual Arts, in Design Criticism.  Michele writes and administers Cultural Boundaries, a blog,

Kissa Thompson is a Brooklyn based designer who runs Buttafly Unlimited and creates an eclectic blend of urban fashion accessories, including a stunning crochet ‘Diva Collection’, as well as line of inspirational t-shirts.

She is the Founder of ButtaFly Unlimited/Creator of “I Love My Hair” Tees. Kissa Thompson can credit her grandmother for the success of her company.

Visit her website at

Javaka Steptoe, an eclectic young artist, designer, and illustrator, is building a national reputation as an outstanding contributor to the genre of children’s literature. His debut work, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, earned him the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, a nomination for Outstanding Children’s Literature Work at the 1998 NAACP Image Awards, a finalist ranking for the Bluebonnet Award for Excellence in Children’s Books, and countless other honors. His current book is Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow. A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix is published by Clarion Books. Steptoe earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Visit his website at

Manreet Deol is an Indian product designer who was educated in India and at Parsons School of Design in the US. Last year, she returned to work in India and has been working on developing new ideas and products based on Indian culture and crafts.

She writes a blog,


Nigerian-born, U.S. and British educated architectural designer, Atim Annette Oton is a cultural writer/editor/publisher of Calabar Magazine, entrepreneur of Calabar Imports and co-Founder of Black Design News Network. In 2006, she stepped down from her role as the Associate Chair of Product Design at Parsons School of Design to concentrate on a bi-monthly lifestyle publication about black Brooklyn home décor, fashion, culture, and lifestyle, Calabar Magazine and to open ZimaZee, a store in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied architecture at the City College of New York in Harlem under the influential black architect Max Bond (who she later worked for) and has a Masters degree from the Architectural Association Graduate School in London, England. She returned to New York in 1994 to work with the architecture firm, Davis, Brody, Bond Architects and various other firms in New York. In 2000, she was part of the design team that won the African Burial Ground Interpretive Center. She also worked as an executive producer and design consultant on the Underground Railroad Experience, a cultural education website from 2000 – 2004; and won an Independent Grant from the NYSCA on her work, the Black Hair Salon in 2002. In 2002 and 2004, she participated as a designer for the 3rd and 4th Annual Bridge Street Development Corporation’s Bed Stuyvesant Design Showhouses. She has been a consultant to the Bronx Council on the Arts for its Artisan Institute, an innovative idea focused on micro-enterprise for craftspeople in the Bronx.  Oton served as the editor-in-chief and executive vice president for Blacklines Magazine, a quarterly magazine publishing features on black designers in architecture, interior design, construction, development and the arts from 2000-2002 and co-organized Blacklines’ Conference and Design Showcase and exhibitions. Her design work has been published in Architecture Record, Design Build magazine, Design, Oculus and Blacklines magazine and exhibited at the Architectural Association, London, and in New York at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Institute for the Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC), the Bronx Museum of Art and the City College of New York.  She has been profiled in and for articles on Blacklines Magazine. She has been featured for Calabar Imports on CNN, MSNBC, The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. BCAT’s NeighborhoodBeat and CUNY TV. She is a Board Member of Community Board 8 in Brooklyn, a Vice President and co-Chair of Economic Development Committee, a member of the City College of New York’s Architecture Alumni Group, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and was a member of the National Association of Minorities in Communications (NAMIC).


About the Author

Black Design News Network (BDNN) is a news bureau, an online publication, digital library and 'workspace' hub for designers. African Diaspora, BDNN focuses on creating awareness of black design, distributing news and information about Architecture, Interior Design, Product Industrial Design, Fashion/Textile Design, Communication and Graphic Design. BDNN is the 411 of the Black Design Diaspora.