If You Haven't Heard About These 35 Black-Owned Brands, You're Missing Out

Photo:

@glemaud

Kanye West is known for making big statements, and some may be a little controversial, but the latest from the rapper really resonated with me. "February is now Black Future Month," he said. His idea originated from an Afrofuturistic essay written in 2013 titled "How Long 'Til Black Future Month." West's statement implies his belief that the future is here and we are ready to work toward it. Since he is a fashion designer, I presume he believes the future has arrived for Black fashion designers as well. There is still a lot of work to be done, but as an optimistic Black fashion editor, his words were music to my ears. The future is here, and this month is all about celebration. So why don't we have some fun shopping up-and-coming Black-owned fashion brands?

There's is so much to love about indie fashion brands created by Black creatives, and you must check them out. However, I'm here today to tell you about those Black-owned brands that have already landed at our favorite major retailers, making them so easy to add to your cart during your next routine order. There is such a beautiful range—from feminine dresses to edgy silhouettes—from the below designers I've chosen, so I insist you take a quick scroll and find something special for yourself. 

1. Busayo

When you hear about a brand from a friend, you know it's good. That's how I heard about Busayo Olupona, and I was instantly hooked. The Brooklyn-based designer works directly with artisans in Nigeria who handcraft every piece with tender love and care.

2. Jade Swim

Fashion editors are the most trusted source for finding high-quality pieces. I mean, we've tried everything. One thing former fashion editor and stylist Brittany Kozerski had never tried was a minimalist swimwear brand that had the quality level she was looking for—so she made one herself.

3. Edas

Beautifully designed leather goods that are both high quality and budget-friendly are hard to come across. Well, look no further because Edas is just that. Its take on the structured shoulder bag is what made me first fall in love with the brand.

4. Andrea Iyamah

I have never seen a dress that's made me want to book a trip as badly as this one does. It's giving destination-wedding guest, and I'm here for it. Pretty much each and every one of her pieces has elicited the same response from me.

5. Chelsea Paris

Nothing looks better than the African-inspired, artisan-handcrafted footwear by Chelsea Paris. Each season, the brand donates a portion of its proceeds to an organization making the world a better place, and I'm in love with that.

6. Christopher John Rogers

We all know and love Christopher John Rogers by now for his bright and fun fashion moments that happened to win him a CFDA prize last year. He's not done yet, and I guarantee this button-down shirt will be an It buy this year.

7. Danzy

If you're anything like me, you're also obsessed with tennis skirts, and this might be the greatest one I've ever seen. The designer's attempt to give every piece in his collection a vintage feel has been quite the success. 

8. Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies founder Aurora James has become quite the familiar face in the fashion industry. If not for her winning designs, she also has impressed us with her activism and ability to dress politicians for the Met Gala. These Mary Janes, however, are the icing on the cake. I'm officially in love with the brand. 

9. Riot Swim

I kid you not—I have yet to find a more flattering swimwear brand. Riot Swim's Echo One Piece ($96) lived on my Instagram feed rent-free last year, and now that I've seen this asymmetrical style, I need both. Also, the fabrics are so soft.

10. Sergio Hudson

Anything Rihanna signs off on is gold, and that's exactly what gave this designer their first big break. Sergio Hudson is the designer who brings the rock-and-roll fashion of the 1980s into the current space so effortlessly. 

11. Victor Glemaud

I'll never forget my experience watching Victor Glemaud's first fashion show in New York City. He brought us all to Penn Station, a place he passed through every day on his way to school. After his beautiful designs went down the runway, he came out in tears, and the level of humility won me over. Oh, and the soft-as skin fabric on all his knits is equally as beautiful. 

12. Curvy Couture

Lingerie has become the home our bodies live in. It's the one thing we rarely take off, and having a fit that works for our shape is so important. Curvy Couture is making it so no woman ever has to struggle to find the right bra size again. You're sure to fit right into the brand's pieces.

13. Tove

The brand that went viral on Instagram is still on a roll, creating timeless pieces that have a right-now feel to them. When femininity and minimalism become one, most fashion editors lose their minds—myself included. Finding out the brand is sustainable really sealed the deal for me.

14. Brandon Blackwood

This designer also had a viral moment with his bags that loudly stated "end systemic racism." They became a must-have among the fashion set, including Kim Kardashian. His subdued designs are also worth raving about.

15. Good American

We all know Good American as Khloe Kardashian's baby, but her co-founder is just as cool. Emma Grede is a businesswoman who conceptualized the brand and also co-founded Skims. The brand has gone above and beyond to serve women of all sizes, showing each piece on its site on a variety of body types. The denim is quality at a great price point, so there's nothing to complain about. 

16. Mateo

Matthew Harris just may be one of the sweetest fashion designers I've ever had the pleasure of working with since I became a fashion editor, and his pieces are even better. He sources powerful stones and puts an iconic spin on the classics. What more could you ask for?

17. K.ngsley

Fashion for everyone is so much fun. That's why Kingsley Gbadegesin started this unisex brand. Its cutout pieces are what made me first fall in love with the designs, but I'm currently loving this sweater for the time being.

18. Khiry

Khiry is a force to be reckoned with. Each piece has a very special meaning, and the designer loves to use photography, painting, music, and sculpture to fuel his work. This piece, in particular, is inspired by the horns of the cattle herded by the nomadic Dinka people of Sudan. How cool is that?

19. Farai London

Every time Kylie Jenner wears a new designer, I'm the first to hear about it. The whimsical prints and shapes that these dresses embody caught her eye and mine as well. Launching during the middle of the pandemic didn't hold designer Mary-Ann Msengi back at all. The brand has truly taken off.

20. LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith is a name you just can't go a day without hearing if you work in the fashion industry. His designs are just that iconic. He is a true New Yorker, so he knows how to dress and has graciously helped the rest of us keep up by creating clothing that every cool girl has in her closet.

21. Wales Bonner

If you love menswear-inspired pieces (by now, I think we all do), then you're in the right place. Wales Bonner started out with menswear only and then soon translated that soulful tailoring to a woman's sizing range as well. And weren't we lucky?

22. Soko

I think Soko has the coolest business model I've ever seen. Instead of relying on factory production, it calls upon artisans in Kenya and helps connect them with the global market. Every piece the brand makes is truly special.

23. Anima Iris

A brand that Beyoncé is a fan of is quick to win me over. The designer lets each bag be influenced by matriarchs from Africa's inspiring history. Each piece is carefully handcrafted by artisans in Senegal who have centuries of ancestral craftsmanship backing their creations.

24. Sami Miro Vintage

It-girl status is instantly achieved by wearing any design from Sami Miro Vintage. The brand takes upcycling to a whole other level. The brand was founded with the intention of doing better for our planet, so each item is made from locally sourced deadstock and vintage fabrics. So any piece of clothing can have a chance at a second life.

25. Sika

With bold ruffles, statement-making puff sleeves, and glorious skirts, you'll feel like a princess in anything by this brand. The best-selling author and fashion designer met at the crossroads of fashion and made an impact—the rest was history.

26. Vavvoune

With just one look at the leather on this bag, I can just tell it's soft. Founded by a self-taught designer, Valérie Blaise, the brand succeeds in making stylish, on-trend bags that also feel timeless.

27. ByChari

Jewelry is meant to feel personal, and ByChari makes that happen. Founder Chari Cuthbert knows that these are the pieces that live through every defining moment with us, so she makes them well. Each piece tells a story and redefines minimal style.

28. Ahluwalia

This is the new brand that all of my co-workers are buzzing about. The designer has both Indian and Nigerian heritage and allows a combination of the two cultures to be woven into her designs. With some of the pieces being one-of-a-kind, this brand feels very special.

29. Fe Noel

This brand was designed for the woman who loves to work hard and then hop on a flight. Vibrant colors and beautiful prints are joined by whimsical designs that are made for both work and play. 

30. Lemlem

Supermodel turned fashion designer Liya Kebede conceptualized the brand during a trip to Ethiopia. When she learned that traditional weavers were losing their jobs due to a decrease in demand, she started Lemlem to help them continue their craft and preserve the art form of woven clothing. 

31. Ashya

Your average passport holder just got way more exciting. Ashya set out to transform travel accessories for the fashion set. The brand's well-crafted designs also serve the purpose of making your life easier.

32. Ree Projects

Quality is a the forefront of each of this brand's designs. Desiree Kleinen is putting the decades of experience she has under her belt to good use with her collection of luxury bags that are so chic.

33. Maximilian

Another brand I discovered by way of Rihanna, Maximilian is certainly making an impact with exciting designs that are unlike anything I've seen. As it was one of the first brands I noticed creating the cutout miniskirts that are now everywhere, Maximilian Davis is a designer worth paying attention to.

34. Petit Kouraj

Setting out to deliver something new to the wide variety of carbon-copy bags on the market, Nasrin Jean-Baptiste was on to something. She took a trip to Haiti that inspired her to create a line of handbags that carried the same flair and excitement that the country holds. All of her pieces are handmade in Haiti.

35. Re Ona

If you're a minimalist, your entire wardrobe awaits you among this brand's collection. It offers seasonless and timeless designs that feel both sexy and elevated. BRB, I'm starting my entire capsule wardrobe using this one brand.

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