Chicago’s first Black fashion travel guide book makes its debut during COVID-19

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Melody Boykin

“The Little Black Boutique Guide Book” created by Melody Boykin, founder of Black Fashion Week, will be released Friday, February 5th 2021 via an online launch to promote the awareness of Black-owned fashion boutiques around the Windy City and abroad. If ever there was a Black-owned travel guide needed in Chicago now is it. With the passing of one of Chicago’s Black boutique owners, Mr. Clifford Smith, owner of Fort Smith Boutique during Covid-19, a  fashion resource guide is needed now more than ever to support Black business owners and remember their contributions to the Black fashion industry for generations to come.

Similar to the BFW events, this book serves as a way of increasing the economic empowerment of Black-owned businesses by supporting the current “Buy Black” movement that has widely spread across the U.S. in the midst of the global pandemic and Black Lives Matter social justice movement. This fashion directory is the first of its kind in the nation and is considered the modern-day version of the “Little Green Book” that was published during the 1940s to help African Americans travel through Jim Crow America. This book is vital to providing consumers, especially African Americans, with the information needed to help sustain Black businesses in difficult times such as these.

In addition to featuring Black-owned fashion boutiques, the book features nearby Black-owned restaurants, cultural institutions, art galleries, book stores, beauty supply, and spa businesses; all very important in making a shopping trip worthwhile and uniting Black fashion communities. Bonus features within the book include special discounts across most of the featured boutiques listed to help consumers tour stores outside of their own communities. There are also body image charts for women fostering positive self-images, a fashion glossary, a citywide map for navigating through Chicago neighborhoods, and side trips to popular Black-owned stores across the nation.

Melody Boykin is a born fashionista, with a degree in Fashion, Marketing and Black American Studies. Boykin specializes in blending her education and career experience to inform, connect, and promote the awareness of Black businesses within the fashion industry. Melody is the founder of the Black Fashion Week | USA brand (www.blackfashionweekusa.com) and nonprofit organization The Purple Carpet Project which has been featured on several TV, radio, and in print media including Good Day Chicago, Fox 32 and ABC7 Chicago. Boykin is a recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Women in Fashion award, presented by the Honorable Judge Dorothy Brown of the Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court.

The Official Book Launch event will take place Friday, February 5, 2021 with a virtual online celebration via Black Fashion Week USA FB Live and via Zoom Meeting ID 896 960 1941 Passcode LBBG2021 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. featuring a  presentation and short Q & A with the Author. Fellow Chicagoans can purchase their books via Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and a host of book retailers. Books can be pre-ordered for a signed copy now @ www.blackfashionweekusa.com. Potential event sponsors can connect with the author at info@blackfashionweekusa.com to have their brands be a part of the online book launch event.

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