When you think about the impact of Black designers on the fashion industry, it’s completely mind-blowing! Household names like Fenty by Rhianna, Yeezy by the prolific - albeit controversial - Kanye West, Sean John by Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Ivy Park by Beyoncé, and Baby Phat by Kimoa Lee Simons have paved the way for our culture, setting trends worn by billions.
Undeniably, the Black community has had a monumental influence on fashion that we all benefit from.
What’s even more alarming is the fact that only 7.3% of designers are Black in the US. That is an incredibly low proportion of talent for the impact Black designers make in our world. And we can’t to gloat about their brilliance and hopefully introduce you to a new favourite designer who's work you can begin adding to your wardrobe.
This triumphant trio that is Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei, and Abderrahmane Trabsini calls Amsterdam home and has created a deliciously elevated streetwear brand. The pricing is affordable, the style is fresh, and the colors are subdued but noteworthy.
What is particularly nice is their balance of products, from accessories to even some urban formal pieces, this isn't just sweatsuits and cool t-shirts!
Hailing from Haiti, Kerby Jean-Raymond creates beauty through his clothing while boldly taking a stand on the issues of the age. Through his work, Kerby has showcased
Badass street vibes? Check.
Loud colors and head-turning lines? Check.
But take it from us, the pieces DO NOT stick around long on drop date. Be ready. Sign-up for updates and cop the next Pyer Moss collection. You won’t have regrets.
Iconic shopping bags made more iconic… somehow this is what Telfar Clemens has accomplished since the inception of his brand in 2005.
The New York Times beautifully describes Clemens here:
"A queer Liberian-American designer became the success story of the pandemic. Now he wants to smash the old fashion system to bits."
A champion for gender-neutral clothing, you’ll find the pricing approachable but the looks of luxury! Warning, you may be sad when you head to the website… as their bags are often sold out, even though they make them in every color of the rainbow. So do your sleuthing and track some items down or be ready when the next drop comes.
LA-born self-described ‘outcast’, James Flemons, has evolved his brand from a denim line to a beautiful collection of niche ready-to-wear head turners. It’s hard not to get lost in the world that Flemons creates inside his designs.
You’ll be captivated by his drapey, boxy and sometimes soft moments, not to mention the brazen patterns and asymmetry. Known as a pioneering young designer in the LA fashion resurgence,
Honor The Gift
Street-vibes, bold yet simple.
While most will know Russell Westbrook as a NBA player, he is also just a kid from the Inner City of Los Angeles. His brand is founded on self-belief and dedication to never stop working towards your greatness, no matter the hardship.
This is a great line to look at if you want to acknowledge the barriers that can face the Black community, while celebrating the overcoming of hardship and adversity.
Loud and proud.
At first glance, you’ll see Blackwood’s brand as fresh, current and a fabulous addition to any outfit. But under the surface is a big heart for justice, especially considering the issues of the day. Notably is Blackwood’s ESR Collection which stands for “End Systemic Racism,” with profits going directly to his Foundation.
“Empowering Black / POC youth + Women-lead organizations through education, philanthropy, and activism to counteract systemic racism and gender inequality. Enriching a new generation of leaders.”
We’re here for it and encourage you to check out this brand, supporting that important mission.
Public School & anOnlyChild
Created from the brilliant minds of Maxwell Osborne and David-Yi Chow, this brand has become a darling amongst critics. Growing up in New York and both having roles early in their careers at Sean John from rapper P Diddy, their vibe is rough yet refined, anti-prep with many pieces having sharp tailoring.
Back in 2013, they rose to prominence after winning the legendary CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition, winning $300,000 for their label. Fun fact: These fellas were part of 1 of 2 years of the Fashion Fund that was filmed in a documentary style, and we highly recommend you check it out on Apple TV, it’s captivating to see these designers at work, on the clock, their brilliance shining bright!
During the pandemic, Osborne knew he needed some new zest in his life… so he ventured out to start his very own solo label, anOnlyChild. Taking a completely fresh approach, this new brand departs from the monochromatic vibes of Public School and dives into the world of electrifying colors and silks. While outside of what he’s known for, this is a comfort zone for Osborne as he nods to his Jamaican heritage and we’re happy he’s finally sharing it with the world.
Unique patterns, shapes, and hems all flow into the staples pieces of this brand. As both a designer and a dancer, having studied at UK’s Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins’s Performance Design program, Nash’s designs will either move with you or cause you to move.
Athleisure. Luxury. Comfort. Edge.
All of the above and more can be found in this North East London boy’s masterpieces.
Author - Tynan Allan