Pink Rolls Out HBCU Apparel - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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When Victoria’s Secret Pink visited Florida A&M University (FAMU) last fall to announce that the historically black university would be included in Pink’s roll out of its collegiate collection–the largest retail distribution that has ever been given to an HBCU collegiate apparel–the students responded by buying out every single item at the makeshift Pink pop-up campus store.

So it’s no wonder that Richard Dent, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Pink brand is expecting huge returns when Howard University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, and Southern Louisiana University joins FAMU in the second phase of Pink’s collegiate collection, which already includes 33 other schools that were launched in June 2008.

“Students at Howard and FAMU went crazy for it after the initial press release and campus tour. It was one of the best sales from a campus pop-up store ever,” says Dent, noting that Pink preproduction samples with FAMU logos could be viewed on models but were not available for purchase. “The students wiped out the merchandise within a few hours. We had to go get merchandise from another store. We don’t know how much we could have sold because we ran out of product. I think that our experience so far will validate what people have been saying for many years–that African Americans are a strong and viable commercial entity that has been very underserved by major corporations.”

The Pink brand is geared toward young, college-aged women and includes t-shirts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, underwear, and other apparel. Its Historically Black Colleges and Universities apparel is now available at Victoria’s Secret stores near four of the universities and will be available online Dec. 23. (Hampton apparel will appear in stores mid-January because they submitted approval late, according to Dent.) Pink is in discussions to partner with the Tom Joyner Foundation and Black America Web to do a joint promotion for the HBCU line of clothing under the Pink brand.

Additionally, a portion of the royalties from the sale of the merchandise will go back to each school. The percentage varies from school to school depending upon royalty agreements.

Pink is attempting to form relationships with the schools by offering paid marketing internships and scholarships. .

“Through the rollout of this program it allows us to be in a position to give back to HBCUs,” says Dent, a graduate of Florida A&M University’s business school and a member of the school’s board of trustees. He hopes the scholarships and internships will allow the company to give beyond what they are able to sell commercially,”  “That is the thing that gets me excited about [the launch]. It allows me to satisfy the commercial objective of my day job but also allows me to satisfy the passion

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.