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South Carolina Gamecocks Athlete Raven Johnson Secures NIL Deal With Hair Technology Company Parfait

Women-led hair startup Parfait continues to champion Black women.

As AFROTECH™ previously mentioned, Parfait is reportedly the first to integrate facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide buyers with customizable wig products. It previously raised $5 million in April 2022, backed by a funding round led by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures. 

“It’s widely understood that facial recognition systems perform less well for women and people of color,” said Parfait Co-Founder Isoken Igbinedion, a former Target and Amazon executive. “Training models used in facial recognition technology are largely unbalanced, often relying on training datasets that are similar in makeup, and do not represent the visual composition of faces worldwide. This often results in poor performance for users who do not fit into that dataset, often represented by white faces and male features.” 

She continued, “Parfait seeks to be the first to make major progress in improving product and service outcomes for marginalized communities, starting by building technology designed to serve women and people of color.“

While Parfait not only serves a niche market with its products it is also actively engaging with this audience in the basketball world. According to Andscape, The University of South Carolina Gamecocks player Raven Johnson has signed to a name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with the company, making it her first beauty ambassadorship.

“I’m so grateful that beauty brands are partnering with women athletes,” Johnson told Andscape. “I’m so excited, not just partnering with a beauty brand like Parfait but a brand that Black women own. That means a lot to me.”

Under the deal, Johnson will be afforded the opportunity to learn from Parfait’s products as she uses them, and the company will commit its time to creating products that fit Johnson’s lifestyle.

“We fundamentally believe brands have a responsibility to amplify these female voices in spaces where these inequities live and exist the most,” Igbinedion said, per Andscape. “That’s why this partnership agreement is so special to us. It marks a historic first in the hair industry to help us set a new standard for how female athletes should be treated and how they can maintain and express their personal style without compromise.”