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.
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.
4. Andrea Iyamah
5. Chelsea Paris
6. Christopher John Rogers
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
10. Sergio Hudson
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.
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
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.
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?
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?
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.
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
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.
32. Ree Projects
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