Retail as a Portal: Designing New Marketplaces for Systemic Change

by Holt Renfrew & Kimberly M. Jenkins


The Fashion and Race Database Conversation Series is launching with a three-part panel series entitled, ‘Retail as a Portal,’ that explores how retail can empower us to produce and consume with positive, social impact and ignite systemic change. This series is hosted by professor and Founder of The Fashion and Race Database, Kimberly Jenkins, and she will be joined by figures in the fashion constellation who are leading through visionary thinking and doing.

Kimberly Jenkins is Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies at Ryerson University, lecturing previously at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute. Kim became best known for designing a course and exhibition called Fashion and Race, and has shared her insights globally in industry forums and institutions. Her expertise on fashion history and infusing ‘race’ into fashion theory education has led to consulting work for Gucci, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the Centraal Museum along with other corporate brands and organizations. Kim is the founder of The Fashion and Race Database (, an online platform filled with tools that expand the narrative of fashion history and challenge mis-representation within the fashion system.

Byron and Dexter Peart are twin brothers and the co-founders of Want Les Essentiels, a cult high-end accessories label focused on making stylish and comfortable luggage and travel bags for frequent travellers. In 2017, they launched GOODEE. GOODEE is a leading curated marketplace offering essential homewares and lifestyle products for better living. GOODEE leads the way in curating a marketplace that brings together the values of good design, good people, and good purpose.

Leigh Joseph (ancestral name Styawat), is an ethnobotanist, researcher and entrepreneur from the Squamish First Nation. She contributes to cultural knowledge renewal in connection to traditional plant foods and medicines. As founder of Sḵwálwen Botanicals, Leigh brings together Indigenous science and self-care rituals, crafting skincare experiences grounded in the natural world. Sḵwálwen (skwall-win) translates roughly to “heart” or “essence of being” in the Squamish language. This name honours the inspiration behind the business: building connections to the land through working with plants in a way that feeds one’s heart and spirit. Sḵwálwen has been featured in Elle Canada, Flare, enRoute, HuffPost and Chatelaine. Learn more at

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