Victor Glemaud: 2022 ACE Award Winner

The Breakthrough ACE Award recognizes those who have entered the accessories, footwear, optical, or jewelry categories in a dramatic and memorable way.

Victor Glemaud was born in Haiti and grew up in Queens, New York where he developed a love of fashion at an early age. As a college student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, he worked part-time at Dean & DeLuca in Soho to help pay the bills. One fateful day, the designer Patrick Robinson passed through his line — and Glemaud, loathe to let the opportunity pass, asked for a position as an intern. While it would be great to say he was hired on the spot, it did, in fact, take six months of weekly phone calls inquiring about job opportunities before he was hired to work one of Robinson’s fashion shows. Once he had his foot in the door, Glemaud was able to parlay that short gig into a full-time job as Robinson’s design assistant.

In 2000, the talented young designer went in search of a new experience, landing a coveted position as a publicist at KCD where he handled the accounts of fashion icons Versace and Marc Jacobs.


After a move to Paris, he found himself back in the design studio with Robinson, who at the time was leading the design team at Paco Rabanne. Glemaud came on board as studio director for the house. In 2006, he launched an eponymous menswear collection, but five years later he put things on hold to reassess his plans.

His career path — which also included a stint at Tommy Hilfiger and a series of freelance design jobs in both the U.S. and Europe over the next few years — was akin to a master class in the world of high-end fashion. “It’s an industry based on commerce, requiring lawyers, accountants, freight forwarders and warehouses,” he told Essence magazine in 2020. “These components are essential in building success and selling clothes.”

In 2016, Glemaud launched his first women’s collection — an affordably-priced offering of knitwear that tapped into his island roots for inspiration. The four colorful, unisex styles — not common for the time — were available exclusively at The Line. A year later, his talent was recognized by his acceptance into the prestigious 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund program. “While the process was incredibly challenging, it was an unforgettable experience,” he says. “It pushed me to think much more about the business side of the brand.”

For the award ceremony, Glemaud dressed model and TV presenter Ashley Graham in a LWD and brought her along as his date for the evening. The dress — a dazzling white custom bodycon knit — was the inspiration for the “curve” expanded size range of his collection.


Glemaud’s brand quickly expanded into wholesale and e-commerce, and he added cut and sew garments to round out the collection. Every garment is constructed with careful attention to detail, from the finishing, signature cut-outs, to color-blocking and prints. Each piece is intended to celebrate and embrace the brand’s colorful ethos and offer an inclusive fit and form for all.

In 2018, Lisa Metcalfe, a respected fashion industry strategist, partnered with Glemaud to manage business operations and grow the brand while allowing him to focus on the creative side of the business. As a team, the brand’s collaborations and line extensions flourished, including a successful capsule collection for Target, a 2020/2021 partnership with FitBit, and the launch with luxury brand Pologeorgis. Always expanding his design ethos, Glemaud designed costumes for the American Ballet Theater’s 2021 production of La Foila Variations and most recently launched a home collection with the storied home house, Schumacher.

Black and white

This spring at Vision Expo East, Glemaud launched his first optical collection with Tura. Meticulously designed specifically to meet the fit needs of people of color, 40% of the population, the exclusive, Forever Fit accommodates a rounder face shape with nasal flare to avoid sinus pressure, deep nose pads to prevent slippage, and careful temple placement. The team worked with black and brown fit models and spent nearly two years perfecting each of the 12 optical and six sunglass styles. The modern collection pays exceptional attention to detail by marrying Tura’s stellar quality with Glemaud’s savvy sense of color and style. The 38 color options were all selected to complement rich skin tones. The result is a glamorous and flattering mix of silhouettes, each with a little something extra, such as crystal detailing or unique inlays. The debut frames range from $225-$300.

Recognizing the need to build a support eco-system for black and brown designers, two years ago Glemaud founded IN THE BLK, a non-profit whose focus is to inspire, support and create opportunities that assist in the growth and awareness for black-owned fashion brands. The group which includes over 40 members (both established and emerging designers and creatives) works to provide mentoring, access to financial, legal, and other business resources critical to building an equitable environment for the future of fashion.

Today, Glemaud’s clothes can be found on celebrities. including Iman, Selena Gomez, Megan Markle, the Duchess of Windsor, Ashley Graham, Issa Rae, and Hailey Bieber. He’s frequently featured in the press and his clothes can be found in fine retail establishments across the globe. Following the success at Target, Glemaud is currently working on another collection focused on the mass market, to debut with another major retailer in September 2022.