Sisters Kim and Keyondra Lockett are on a mission to make the fashion industry more inclusive and represent a diverse range of Black beauty, and now their clothing line is being featured in Target stores, according to a release shared with Blavity.
The sisters said the idea for their company came from a lack of available graphic tees and apparel that reflected their image and culture.
Target took notice of the clothing line and contacted the sisters to have their brand distributed in their stores nationwide as part of their Black history campaign called Black Beyond Measure.
The retailer actively sought partnerships with Black-owned brands that highlight Black culture to display in their stores. However, when the Locketts received a message from the retailer, they initially thought it was spam.
"We really didn't think it was Target hitting us up because actually what they did emailed both the business email and my sister's email. When they emailed us, I [wasn't] sure if this is them or not. But my sister put the notification or email rather in our group text for our business, and our business coach at the time went on LinkedIn, researched everything and found out it was actually Target," Keyondra told KSLA News 12.
The Lockett sisters wanted a fashion line that honored Black women of all skin tones.
In 2018, they launched Jolie Noire, French for pretty Black, to bring attention to the issue of colorism affects the Black community, and to normalize and celebrate diversity.
They began with a signature typography sweater, but later released their staple "Girl With Hat" design, which immediately became a top seller.
The Jolie Noire line includes athleisure wear, and in Feb. 2021, the Locketts unveiled their Thème Noir unisex collection for both men and women, followed by their unisex Unity and Florals collections.
While most companies crumbled during the pandemic, the Lockett sisters continued to thrive with their print-on-demand business model that brought in a tremendous amount of traffic and revenue to their site. Customers related to Jolie Noire's consistency, representation, messaging and quality of clothing.
Jolie Noire is changing the negative perceptions of the color black.
The sisters have always loved fashion and set out as innovators to provide women and men a channel to express themselves through apparel positively.
"We are primed to think dark colors (specifically black) are negative and light colors are positive. In an effort to level the playing field, we're working to shape the minds of onlookers and change the meaning, emotions, and values associated with black. Color is something that doesn't come pre labeled, we label it," they said in a statement on their website.
The Jolie Noire brand will be available in Target stores nationwide throughout February.