The fashion industry has seen an influx of Black designers bringing the Black experience to high quality fashions, accessories and handbags. Their work is just as fanciful. Their concepts are just as complex. Previously Laquan Smith revived prep school chic with signature insignia that made us fall into his New York state of mind, April Walker marched us into Golden Gloves culture with sharp streetwear, and Edwing D’Angelo filled us with the drama of Renaissance era drawing rooms. There are no shortage of voices crafting quality garments, luxe accessories and luscious baubles to express their unique sense of style.
The slow changes being implemented in the fashion have increased industry wide conversations about how best to support their efforts but as Michaela Coel reminded us from the winners circle at the Emmy Awards, visibility is not the measure of success. The incubator programs and the social media shoutout are cool but what Black designers really need to thrive are our coins.
See 10 Black designers you should be shopping today below.
1. Adreain Guillory
Volume has finally returned to our closets this season! Adreain Guillory is one of the emerging designers leading the charge back to vintage glam. to give us the rich kerchief skirts, dreamy color palettes, crisp necklines and nipped waists we deserve!
Guillory can bring true romance to anything from a muted mini dress to a pullover hoodie. His designs may make us think of the past but his talent lets us know he’s one to watch in the future.
2. Malyia McNaughton
McNaughton is one of the few Black designers fighting to make their mark in the fine jewelry industry. Her journey began with the search for an elegant belly chain and now she has progressed to regal diamonds.
The company, Made By Malyia, has a variety of offerings including dainty chains that can be looped repeatedly, bright pendants with inlaid stones and oversized celestial inspired earrings with clean shapes.
There is also something at every price point from the first date anniversary to the push present.
3. Des Pierrot
Bold fabric choices, smart zipper placements, wide collars and fun patches from Des Pierrot scream yeehaw agenda for the carefree Black boy!
Much of what mainstream American attributes to club or raver culture has undeniable Black roots and Pierrot’s delightfully frivolous clothing reclaims that energy with a serious spark. Layered on top of one another the pieces have a strong perspective but each item from the designer is definitely special enough to stand on its own.
5. Jovana Benoit
Benoit uses inspiration from “French, Caribbean, and Asian cultures,”to serve up mod mini dresses that make us want to bop to the Supremes while singing into our doobie brush and power suits that make us feel like we can totally take over the world. She began running the company with her husband after gaining inspiration in Paris.
The razor sharp cut shoulders, pretty jewel tones, and luxurious fabrics are totally worth the investment. Tap her for the next special moment in your life.
6. Samantha Smikle
The designer behind Nroda creates unique shades that have big boss energy. The brand’s signature bee is its connective tissue. The regal symbol appears on their cool aviators, trendy goggles, and oversized frame options. It also adorns their fashionable notebooks and is available as a stand alone piece of jewelry. Their gemstone collection is a must for your next girls trip and their glasses chain can easily be converted to that mask you should still be wearing.
7. Dana Williams
Williams’ line Koko Harley is full of subtle little flounces that turn a wardrobe staple into a statement maker including swing skirts, billowing sleeves, and perfect pleats.
Her inspired scarf mask combinations turn what was once something you resented carrying in your purse into the smartest part of your outfit.
And as a bonus, her designs have pockets, instead of those shallow pseudo openings that make use want to set our own pants on fire.
8. Zapora Williams
Williams founded and opted to become Creative Director of Zaime to create a fashion brand that embodied her “lifestyle and values.”
The company prides itself on attempting to manufacture its garments in the most responsible way possible. Those interested in reevaluating their relationship with fast fashion (or just ditching their yoga pants) can begin their journey into mindfulness by diving into their tailored denim, vegan leathers, and liquid cocktail dresses and electric bodysuits.
9. Lola Banjo
Banjo set out to create a unique consumer brand that provided customers a well-thought out luxury experience. The well researched result was Silver & Riley, a direct-to-consumer travel and accessories company with a decadent line up of handbags and duffles. Available in rich shades of oxblood, olive, marigold, and cobalt., the exterior clasps, feet, and inner compartments are well placed and durable.
10. Jasmine Elder
Elder named her fashion label after her close friend and fashion mentor Jibri Mann. It focuses on all things glam and includes textured coats, constructed pants, handcrafted jewelry, and truly gorgeous gowns.
The runway is not the only place Black plus-size bodies are absent in the fashion industry. There is a shortage of plus-size women making the clothing designed for and marketed to women with curves. Elder’s perspective is a refreshing one that is much needed in the industry.
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