instagram/fenoel

Beyond signing petitions, raising awareness and showing support of the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the fundamental changes we still have to make is to cease treating the achievements of non-white people as surprising and outside the norm. Most, if not all, of the fashion we wear daily is created by white designers or white-owned business, hence most of our fashion identity is shaped by white culture. Considering the ethnic diversity of the 195 countries in the world, we have to overcome the evident underrepresentation of black designers who are drowned by our white Europe/America-centred world view.


READ MORE

Mountain View

Read More: British Vogue pays homage to our key workers in their July cover story

I have compiled a list of five brands that are owned by black women, which should become part of the market dominated by other high-end brands such as BCBG, Reformation and Acne. Arguably, compiling a list based on the owners’ skin colour is a form of segregation in itself, yet please be mindful and see this list as an attempt to encourage inclusion, rather than propagate exclusion. Being part of a Black-Owned Business list today, our support should have the effect of propelling these designers into the fashion mainstream of tomorrow.

Hanifa

“Mài Maxi Dress, inspired by the Congo River, where the Atlantic Ocean kisses the land.” Instagram/hanifaofficial

This is a brand that is making fashion history, completely reinventing what we understand as digital fashion in its first pandemic-born Digital Fashion Show of its collection “Pink Label Congo”. Combining the digital with real textiles and quality, Anifa Mvuemba is making fashion available for sizes 0 to 20, describing the brand as “a contemporary Ready-to-Wear apparel line for Women Without Limits.” A revolutionary brand that is only bound to explode due to their elegant designs and remarkable ideology.

Castamira Swim

The Los Angles based brand transforms the one-piece swimwear into a versatile piece. instagram/castamira.swim

The swimwear brand refers to its designs as “influenced by the 70’s and 90’s aesthetic” as they play with the classic One-Piece Maillot cut in various designs and colours. Created by former Wilhemina Model, Chantel Davis, the Jamaican-born owner created her brand to supply a high-quality product that is capable of hugging the curves and providing comfort.

Fe Noel

““Daughter of the Soil” - Fe Noel Resort 2020 Lookbook. Inspired by the Caribbean Island Grenada”Instagram/fenoel

“Eat well, travel often, and dress to inspire” is the philosophy of the label Fe Noel, which stuns with bold colours and prints, influenced by the Grenadian background of the designer Felisha Noel. Having collaborated with Nike and Lebron James, this brand has left its mark already. Also, if you cannot afford the pieces, following their instagram here for some stunning pictures is worth it already.

Love Cortnie

instagram/lovecortnie

Born out of an Etsy shop, designer Cortnie started her business the moment she played with her grandmother’s sewing machine and created three bags. Now her shop has everything from clutches to backpacks, with bold patterns and designs* being crafted by hand for each order. (*uses calf hair and leather, no vegan options available)

Nubian Skin

Providing underwear for dark skin-tones, Nubian Skin has filled the market that should not have been empty in the first place.Instagram/nubianskin

The idea of the universal ‘nude’ has long been rejected, yet little underwear brands have actually made the effort of expanding their range of nude. Nubian Skin has made it its objective to provide skin-tone lingerie for women of colour - “Empowering Women. Embracing our Colour”. Based in London, founder Ade Hassan is making the nude lingerie available everywhere in the world to show women of colour that their demands are not abnormal but should be just as easily met as those of white women.

Other recommended sites for useful information on shopping:

Naturally, we do not all have the money or means to buy clothing from each of these brands. Yet, even following and supporting them on social media can help to propel the designers into the popular mainstream, in order to make their name known and allow them to be financially supported by those who can. The next time you feel like treating yourself, remember these brands.

Sponsored links

Partner links