As we’ve been following the ongoing, devastating consequences of systematic racism globally, we’ve been looking to be continually conscious on how we can dismantle this system of oppression through raising the profile of Black-Owned Businesses & Designers. Too often in the Fashion Industry, Black talent is neglected despite significant contributions to this realm.
To be an anti-racist ally for change, with our collective support and buying power, we can vote with our dollars and prompt economic & cultural transformation. We’re putting a spotlight on outstanding Black-Owned Businesses you can support now & forever. *Images are linked*
Founded in 2013, Brother Vellies is a footwear & accessories brand which was established by Toronto-born Creative Director and Founder Aurora James whose premise was to celebrate cultural heritage through traditional African craftsmanship & techniques, with an emphasis on feminine eclecticism. James founded the 15 Percent Pledge based on a call-to-action for brands to increase their shelf-space of Black-Owned Businesses to 15%.
Embedding an ultra-feminine sensibility into the decidedly sensual aesthetic of her namesake brand CUSHNIE, Creative Director & CEO Carly Cushnie artfully formulates sex appeal within her womenswear collections, emphasizing on form & structure. Cushnie’s Spring ’19 NYFW Runway Show marked the emancipation of her first solo collection and defined the brand as assuredly luxurious & sophisticated. Expect fluid silhouettes, sumptuous silk charmeuse, & re-imagined necklines.
Merging West African textile traditions with modern silhouettes, globally-renowned Lisa Folawiyo melds perenially-chic femininity with alluring craftsmanship. With Ankara dress-wear as inspiration, through fanciful embellishment & texture, Lisa Folawiyo transforms the tradition of African aesthetics as decadently anew & as decidedly hers with her namesake label. Adorning Solange, Lupita Nyong’o, & Lucy Liu; discover beautifying motifs within her collections.
Christopher John Rogers
The architect of THAT bulbous strawberry-shaped cropped top, Christopher John Rogers is a force to be reckoned through his unapologetic use of vibrant colourways, harmonious showcases of lustrous silk, & experimental silhouettes. Exemplifying self-assured celebratory femininity, the Louisiana-born designer was the top recipient of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in 2019. Expect voluminous shapes & all-encompassing captivating details.
Alluring. Architectural. Decadent. For lovers. Balancing sensual femininity with empowering strength, TyLynn Nguyen achieved a perfecting sartorial formula to a beautifying collection of the most luscious and luxurious undergarments. Her self-titled collection consists of intimate mesh panties, refined underwire-less & laced triangle cup bras that move with you with maximum comfort.
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Sindiso Khumalo is a prolific textile designer who merges sustainable fabrications with African storytelling in her alluring designs. A distinct narrative that embraces her Zulu & Ndebele heritage, Sindiso Khumalo’s namesake brand evokes a visual language of empowering identity through ornate patterning & silhouettes married with the promise of ethical craftsmanship.
Embracing eclectic, unapologetic femininity punctuated with detailed colourways and contrast, EDAS is a sustainable accessories brand regarded for their ornate jewelry & supple leather goods. EDAS’ collection, “edas x Mexico” fuses founder’s Sade Mims creative talents with the artisanship of makers in Leon, Guanajuato to form a line that unveils a beautified, authentically-crafted narrative of Mexico. Discover their Charro One Shoulder Wrap Top, Luna Earrings, & Charcoal Delantal Top.
Dreamt by Stylist and Fashion Editor Brittany Kozerski, JADE Swim is a minimalist yet sensual swimwear line laden with innovative silhouettes and styles. Regarded for its shape-enhancing cuts, JADE honours its alluring namesake from nature. Bright & Earthy tones reign within their sporty collections. Your next Summer uniform begins with their editorial-approved “Evolve” One-Pieces.
Kai Avent-deLeon established Sincerely, Tommy in Brooklyn, New York where unbearably chic high-end emerging designers are stock-listed. Located in the neighbourhood of Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy, Sincerely, Tommy maintains an eclectic aesthetic while diversifying to community-orientated ventures with the launch of S,T Coffee, S,T Well, & S,T Eat & Stay. Avent-deLeon launched her thoughtfully-priced line, Sincerely, Tommy, capturing the essence of fresh femininity discerning shoppers crave.
Contemporary with nods to cultural storytelling, established in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thebe Magugu is a Fashion Brand that emphasizes on women’s ready-to-wear. From stitch to finish, Magugu’s designs are conceptualized and manufactured within the African continent. Woven within the fabric of his collections, Magugu’s approach to sartorial design embraces his African roots, which perfected through reimagined tailoring.
Unapologetic sexiness with an embrace to sartorial 90s fashion defines the editorial aesthetic of Briana Wilson’s line, Matte Brand. Defining a decade into modernity, Matte’s latest collection, “Matte 1992”, epitomizes unabashed femininity. The cult-loved brand is at the forefront of representation which includes women of colour, shapes, & body types. Find forever essentials such as their body-hugging leisurewear.
Anchored in its literal translation to “flourish” & “bloom”, lemlem is ever-reminiscent of a brand whose moral-driven mandate is woven within the fabric of their DNA & the embodiment of its Amharic-lended namesake.
lemlem founder Liya Kebede sought to preserve traditional weaving techniques, & safeguard the market for locally produced goods & employment opportunities from her native Ethiopia. Made entirely in Africa, beautified, decorated patterning and gentle colour palettes awash the Ethiopian brand’s elevated aesthetic.
Derived from a namesake that symbolized a powerful union, Third Crown designers husband-and-wife couple Kofi and Kristin Essel conceptualized an aesthetic that celebrated their Ghanian & Jamacian roots. With a synchronous discerning allure for architectural structure and geometric design, Harlem-based Third Crown reimagines show-stopping jewelry as elegantly understated. Storytelling through gestures of love.
Standing for strength and beauty inspired by the artist herself, TOVE is a London-based brand conceptualized by co-founders Camille Perry & Holly Wright following demonstrated industry experience. TOVE is defined by its minimalist, yet decidedly feminine aura, which is exemplified by its languid silhouettes and considered fabrications.
From an unconventional start as a Mechanical Engineer, Caribbean-raised Aisling Camps found herself as a graduate at FIT & must-know Fashion Designer with the fruition of her namesake label. The Brooklyn-based designer’s signature essentials include her enchanting fringe-mapped basics, & drop stitched cable knit sweaters finished with lace-like interwoven sofilo yarn. Thoughtfully-curated, globally-minded pieces are made dreamlike & wearable.
From Christopher John Rogers to Jacquemus, the ultimate edit of emerging & established designers is nestled at Sherri McMullen’s namesake concept store, McMullen. The Bay Area-founded, all-inclusive brand features African and African-American designers based in the apparel and home décor industries. Transcending trends; elevated, eclectic, and sophisticated brands with an editor’s sartorial insight are yours to discover at McMullen.
Otherworldly and transcendent, Grace Wales Bonner’s Menswear & Womenswear collections are a tactile exploration of identity, race, and culture. Wales Bonner’s gender-fluid designs evoke a merging of European and Afro-Atlantic traditions, emphasizing intellectual conceptions of literature, critical theory, and art. Soulful and contemporary, signatures are distinguished through sharp tailoring.
For more information on how your can donate & support worthy causes, please visit 15 Percent Pledge & Black in Fashion Council