WWD: VFiles Foundation Reveals Lineup for First VFiles Lab Show

Faberium, a platform and NFT marketplace by VFiles Lab finalists Bolor Amgalan and Boris Brésil. Courtesy Photo

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The VFiles Foundation, the 100 percent nonprofit that was formerly a retailer, is holding its first VFiles Lab Show on April 9. It will be livestreamed on its streaming platform, Veeps.

The biannual VFiles Lab picks up the baton from VFiles Runway, VFiles’ previous platform to showcase and mentor emerging talent. The foundation’s flagship program provides seed grants, mentorship and soft skills training, and selected Lab Members will each receive a $10,000 grant and participate in a 10-week incubation program. Tickets for the VFiles Lab Show are available now for $5 on Veeps and grants access to the livestream for 24 hours after the show date. All contributions will be donated to the VFiles Foundation, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to future Lab grant recipients.

The April show will feature seven winners — Bolor Amgalan and Boris Brésil, Cakes Da Killa, Jaylin Kim and Nikolai Artemev, Joshua Mudgett, Julian Soto, Rashaad Strong, and Saeedah Haque — who have designed collections and also created platforms and short films.

Amgalan and Brésil created Faberium, a digitization platform and curated marketplace for artisanal NFTs; musician Cakes Da Killa wrote and starred in “Visibility Sucks,” a short film directed by Miles Warren and Luca Silveira about an artist’s struggle to maintain identity in a pandemic; Kim and Artemev created “thought wear” brand Profet; Mudgett developed Chimera, an artificial intelligence program that custom designs garments in 2D and 3D flat patterns; Soto created sonic/ visual journey Shake; Strong developed e-commerce marketplace Acres focused on developing communities with a b-to-b profit-sharing model to help emerging brands, and Haque founded namesake utilitywear label Saeedah Haque. VIEW GALLERY

“As we build the foundation, we have defined our thesis to this: to own the culture you create, you must own the economics,” said VFiles founder Julie Anne Quay. “The key lever for sustainable wealth creation, especially for underrepresented communities, is business and IP ownership, and we’ve refined our program scope as such.”

Quay launched the VFiles Foundation in 2020 in response to youth’s call to action for social justice. She opened VFiles in 2012 on Mercer Street in New York City’s SoHo and it became a new hub for the downtown fashion, music and art communities. The store is currently being renovated and is expected to reopen next month with all 100 percent of all sales going to Lab winners.

VFiles Runway platform also grew to become a large event with celebrity appearances and performances such as rapper 21 Savage and Rico Nasty and YG in September 2019 that was held in collaboration with Depop.