New Era Collaboration Makes Buffalo Fashion Designer ‘Global’
In collaboration with global hat maker New Era Cap Co., Billie Essco’s brand is on display, and the Buffalo native plans to make the most of it.
Fashion designers want to use their time in the spotlight not just to promote their platform, but to get their community’s attention.
Rapper and creative director Esko uses the term “local global” to describe her aspirations. While becoming an influencer in the fashion industry, he still wants to represent the community he grew up in.
“I’ve always been a local Buffalo advocate, but at the same time, I’ve had a very global attitude and presence, from music to clothing,” says Buffalo-based contemporary design brand Cafe Supreme. CEO Esco said.
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“I feel well known all over the world, but at the same time I want to be rooted in my hometown,” added Esko. The design has been featured at Paris Fashion Week. “This collaboration with New Era feels like exploring that by partnering with a locally-based company with a globally recognized company.”
New Era has launched a line of trendy fashion hats and clothing as part of a collaboration with Esco Cafe. The line premiered at New Era retailers in Buffalo on June 30th.
The colorful collection includes a variety of hat styles, including snapbacks, fitted caps, beanies and more, with the ‘trucker hat’ making its way into the New Era lexicon. Esko said some hats have classic green and gray brims, which follow traditional hat culture.
The fashion and textile technology program graduate at Buffalo State University at the time said she was proud to bring a line of stylish hoodies to the Buffalo-based hat maker.
Essco is already impacting local communities and beyond. He pioneered the local #buffalokids scene, building momentum with the opening of the Buffalo His Kids store in Walden’s Galleria.
Esko, also known as Uptown Chase in the hip-hop world, has several albums. He has performed at festivals in Buffalo, including a concert in Canalside with Ludacris, and has toured in various cities across the United States.
“Now that the attention is on and our voices are louder, I will continue to speak to our communities as much as we do by connecting them with innovation, creation and culture,” he said. . “That’s the biggest thing. We have a lot of plans for expanding the café, so this will help us expand on the mission we’ve already been working on.”
In the fall, the two sides began discussing cooperation, which was formalized by the end of the year. They iterated on the design and then put together a marketing campaign to support the line before planning their most recent product launch event.
“The collection as a whole has something for everyone and that’s what we’re most proud of,” he said.
This all came at ideal times for Essco, as they were strategically trying to find ways to draw more attention to their designs and products.
The cafe specializes in art and cuisine as well as fashion and was launched with sister company Czen. Essco, who founded Cafe + Czen, already has his designs and products worn by celebrities and professional athletes such as his Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine.
“We’ve done a lot to make sure this line not only reaches home bases, but a lot farther than a normal base,” he said. “We wanted this work to reach as many people as possible. It’s been a long process, but it’s been a good process and well worth it.”
Minority-owned business initiatives grow
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Minority Business Initiative features a much larger second cohort than last year’s pilot cohort of five participants.
16 companies are expected to participate in the 2023 program. These include BSMART Coaching, Calhoun Custom Creations, Denin Jackson Interiors, E-scent-ials Body Care, Executive Sweats, Golden Cup Coffee, GROW Services, Hair Empire, Herne Law, The Mahogany Events, SprintMarketer.com, That Brown Bag , Thyme included. -N-Honey, Whitcare, who is your landlord?
The program provides minority-owned businesses with access to partnership resources and networks to help build their businesses. And this cohort includes a wider range of business sizes and types.
Attendees will participate in a variety of networking and educational events, meet other senior-level managers, share experiences, and be exposed to peer-to-peer professional leadership development opportunities to solve business challenges.
“It was clear that the pilot MBI program made a big difference to last year’s participants, and we wanted to continue that important commitment with this year’s participants,” said BNP’s Community Engagement and Equity Kenya Hobbs, Director of Sexuality Initiatives, said:
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