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Category: Style Spotlight

BHM Fashion Leaders - Emil Wilbekin

Brahmin is committed to utilizing our platforms to uplift, amplify, and celebrate Black voices. Meet Emil, our B.E.R.G. partner.

Brahmin is on a mission to become an example of a business that not only promotes diversity and equity but incorporates it into everything we do. The Brahmin Employee Resource Group, a Brahmin-associate led workgroup, creates initiatives that enhance Brahmin's culture at all levels. This team has led initiatives to educate our teams on a variety of topics over the last year. We’ve been fortunate to meet and learn from industry leaders and want to highlight some of them during Black History Month.

Meet Emil Wilbekin

Emil is a true friend to Brahmin. He has been a guest speaker at Brahmin, but also provides incredible support in the quest for diversity, equity and inclusion at Brahmin. Emil is the Founder of Native Son, a movement, community, and platform created to inspire and empower Black gay and queer men and has brought this organization to light for our community. His perspective is one we admire and respect.

The biggest takeaways our team has learned from conversations with Emil are:

  1. Live your truth. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to let your true self shine.
  2. Advocate & support diverse communities/people to ensure there is visibility & respect for their experiences. 
  3. Do your part to ensure diverse individuals/communities feel worthy & valued despite our differences.

We have held these statements close to our hearts as we continue to learn and define Brahmin’s culture and impact within the communities we serve.

More About Emil:

Emil Wilbekin is a Creative and Strategic Media, Marketing and Branding Professional and On-Air TV personality living in New York City. He is also the President and Chief Creative Office of World of Wilbekin (WOW!) a multimedia content brand – digital, print, social media, video, live events.

Wilbekin has appeared On-Air discussing pop culture, fashion, style, entertainment and current affairs on The Insider, VH-1, MTV, CNN, Arise 360, Channel 4 News New York, The Today Show, BET, Revolt, and PBS.

He is the former Editor-at-Large at ESSENCE Magazine. In this role, he was responsible for executing covers, overseeing the brand’s talent relations, and developing 360º activations across the brand—connecting print, digital and live events.

Previously, Emil served as Managing Editor of Essence.com, where he was responsible for the development of original daily programming for the site. He also led the Essence.com editorial team and worked on the development of the site’s unique offerings, which include videos, an online community, social media, tools and applications.

Prior to joining ESSENCE, Wilbekin had been the Editor-in-Chief, GIANT and Giantmag.com. Wilbekin also served as a consultant on Microsoft’s official Lebron James website. In addition, Wilbekin was previously a reporter for AOL Black Voices, Contributing Editor to Paper Magazine and Bleu Magazine, and the VP of Brand Development for Marc Ecko where he also served as Style Guru for Complex.

Wilbekin began his career as one of the founding editors of Vibe magazine, where he also served as the Style Editor, Fashion Director and Editor-in-Chief. Under Wilbekin’s leadership, Vibe won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He also served as the VP of Brand Development for Vibe Ventures, where he oversaw Vibe.com, mobile, books, and Vibe TV, and executive produced the first Vibe Awards.

Community service and mentorship is very important to Emil. He is a member of the Stonewall Community Foundation Board and has served on the Boards of DIFFA (The Design Industry Fights AIDS, LifeBeat, The Black AIDS Institute, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Wilbekin has been honored for his leadership by Harlem’s Fashion Row, GLAAD, Hetrick-Martin Institute, HRC (The Human Rights Campaign), Stonewall Community Foundation, The Anti Violence Project, and the Black Alumni of Pratt.  

Wilbekin holds a B.S. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University.