I actually published this article back in July on my personal website. I wanted to bring it back during Black History Month to really draw attention to these brands and how AMAZING they are. At the end of the article is a link to the original article on my website with direct links to each brands’ website and a look at their social media. ENJOY!
As a fashion major I am extremely passionate about what I do, I dove deep to find some KILLER black owned fashion and beauty brands. Through my research, I realized there are SO many that I cannot believe I haven’t been supporting. A lot of them are also run by some AMAZING girl bosses and I would really be doing a disservice if I didn’t share them with my readers. Many of these brands and businesses I came across on social media, but others just through my own research. I got so excited when finding these, I just couldn’t stop writing them down, so there are a ton to scroll through! These brands vary from high-end and luxury fashion, to more casual and affordable brands, to Etsy shops, and even brands found at Target. Each will have a direct link to their website and Instagram, sooo without further ado, let’s get into it!
Sindiso Khumalo, one of the finalists in the 2019 LVMH Prize gets her inspiration for her sustainable designs from her South African heritage, mainly her mother who fought as an activist during her younger years. She founded her brand in 2014 in Cape Town where references other inspirational black figures in South African history that can be seen in her designs. Prairie dresses, straw sun hats and fun printed sets are in her most recent collection. She takes vintage inspired cuts and updates them with a more modern twist.
Brother Veillies, a luxury footwear label that was launched in 2013 by Aurora James where through her designs she aims to keep traditional African design practices and techniques alive. All of her designs are sustainably and ethically created by artisans who come from all over Africa. Former editor-in-chief of TeenVogue and best-selling author of More Than Enough, Elaine Welteroth, wore a pair for her stunning porch wedding in Brooklyn, NY in May. BTW, Elaine is my new idol.
Thebe Magugu, the first designer from Africa to win the LVMH Prize in 2019, debuted his line this past February at Paris Fashion Week. His work is inspired by not only the country where he grew up in, but where he plans to keep his entire production cycle and build his business. He wants to bring the rich and varied history of South Africa together in a contemporary way while also bringing together its three pillar values that include quality, novelty and culture.
Pyer Moss, launched by designer Kerby Jean-Raymond in 2013 uses storytelling, activism, debate, theatre and social commentary through his collections. On his website, Jean-Raymond describes his brand as “an art project or a timely social experiment.” He collaborates with other artists and brands to further his dialogue and the message he wants to send through his clothes.
Christopher John Rogers is one of the big new names on the fashion block! Before launching his spring collection on Net-a-Porter a few months ago, he won a CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Award late last year. His couture-like designs feature some of the brightest colors and some of the most voluminous and unique shapes that you should definitely have in your closet when you want to make a statement.
Cushnie, is a New York-based label known for its sleek, sculptural eveningwear and separates run by Carly Cushnie. Responsible for Sophie Turner’s pre-wedding night look, the brand is also known for its bridal wear. This label can definitely be described as a favorite on the red carpet but is also perfect for an elegant day-to-day look which can include one of their sharp blazers, chic jumpsuits, or midi dresses.
Tier NYC, a streetwear brand based in Brooklyn, NY, Nigeria Ealey, Esaie Jean-Simon and Victor James are the owners, artists and designers behind this stylish and comfortable brand. Celebrities like Winnie Harlow and Rick Ross have been seen in their colorful and affordable collections.
Ota-Q Apparel, is owned by Callie Ota-Q who moved from Japan to America for college. When she arrived, she noticed how difficult it was to find clothing that was cute and trendy to fit her size. She encourages those around her to wear what they want and express their true self through fashion.
Love, Cortnie, is a handbag and purse company started by Cortnie Elizabeth in 2011 in her grandmother’s kitchen. She has since then grown her business over the past years and expanded to wallets, keychains, clutches & fanny packs. All of her products are made with wild textures and funky colors! This brand is one of my favorites that I found because it is so unique in the designs. I have never seen any products like these before and I literally want to buy them all.
Ama Nwoke, has something for the modern woman who is interested in making a statement and not afraid of an adventure. The designs are boldly colored and tailored work pieces that include crop tops, miniskirts, and statement pieces to wear on a night out. Ama Nwoke clothes are meant to have a sense of femininity while also representing the boldness of the modern woman.
Heron Preston, a streetwear label for both men and women created by DJ Heron Preston whose work is inspired by sustainability (we love that) and technology. Before starting his own label in 2016, Preston also worked for Nike and Kanye West. He showcases his collections at Paris Fashion Week and also was a nominee for the 2019 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Emerging Designer of the Year. You can find his products directly on his website or at: Saks Fifth Avenue, SSENSE, Neiman Marcus, and Farfetch.
Telfar, was created by designer Telfar Clemens in 2005 in NYC. Recently, the brand was completely reinvented, and they launched a new bag which is being called “the new Birkin” by some people. The Telfar “shopping bag” is MUCH more affordable and almost completely sold out (which makes me very sad because it’s sick). Celebrities like Dua Lipa were seen wearing one of these new statement bags. Telfar is a unisex brand and is made for everyone. Besides shopping directly on the Telfar website, you can also find his products at: Cettire, Farfetch, SSENSE, and Italist.
Lemlem, is an artisan-driven brand that sells men’s, women’s, children’s and home goods, along with swimsuit and resort wear. Founded by supermodel Liya Kebede, she got her inspiration for the brand after she took a trip home to Ethiopia and met a group of weavers who no longer had a market for their handmade goods. The core collection is handmade in Africa from natural cotton that is sourced in Ethiopia. Besides the sustainability aspect, what I love most about this brand is that women are at the heart of the company. You can shop the Lemlem brand on their official website or at: Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, Farfetch, Mytheresa, Net-a-Porter, and Revolve.
LaQuan Smith, started in 2013 by designer LaQuan Smith who was only 21 at the time. Born in Queens, NY, he learned his skills and passion for sewing from his grandmother at a young age. Now, some of his designs have been worn by a few of the most famous fashion icons such as, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Beyoncé. His brand is currently headquartered out of Long Island City, NY where he manufacturers and ships products globally. He also created a budget friendly fashion line that can be found online at ASOS. Shoppers are able to find his products online at the LaQuan Smith official website, FWRD, and ASOS.
Stella Jean was born and raised in Rome by her Italian father and Haitian mother. She makes it her goal to combine both her heritages through fashion. Stella explains that clothes can speak louder than words and can ignite a “cultural fabric.” As I read her “About Stella” on her website, I loved the message she was sending because it was all about how fashion is the intersection between her two cultures, and she would have it no other way. It is where she can truly express herself and bring who she is together for the world to see. You can shop the Stella Jean brand online at Farfetch, Shopbop, and The Outnet.
Aquarian Thoughts is an artisan jewelry brand that is created with materials such as rosecut gemstones. Shoutout to my best friend because she found this shop on Etsy! I purchased the “Snake Ring” in brass, and I am OBSESSED with it. I have been looking for something like this, and the fact that it was handmade was even more of a selling point for me. Her designs are boho inspired, unique and feminine, she has something for everyone, and I would 12/10 recommend her products to anyone.
The Pink Locket, established in 2008 by Kamilah Campbell is a handmade jewelry business that got its start on Etsy, but has now been featured all over the place! Kamilah was born in Jamaica and raised in the US, so she definitely has a very rich cultural background and that is very much expressed in her products. My friend also found this shop, and I’m completely obsessed with her jewelry/trinket dishes because they have such cute sayings on them.
R-ki-tekt, is another brand that my friend found on Etsy and passed on to me. The owner, Kel Cadet, is inspired by the modern boho look that has lots of colors, textures, and patterns. Kel created her brand for those who have a passion and appreciation for the fine details and that is very much reflected in her work.
Wicks NOLA Candle Co. is another shop that can be found on Etsy and is black female-owned by Tiffany Michele Brown. These candles are inspired by New Orleans and vegan centered (absolutely LOVE that). Besides selling handcrafted candles, they also offer room sprays, wax melts, linen sprays, car diffusers (definitely need to get myself one of these), hand sanitizers, and reed diffusers! When lighting the inhaling the scents, you can be transported to the heart of New Orleans.
Let’s get into some sustainable fashion and beauty brands that I found which I am extremely excited to share! Recently, I have become really passionate about sustainability in fashion and what we as consumers can do to help relieve the carbon footprint the fashion industry leaves on the world.
MaW Supply, also known as Man and Woman was founded in 2012 as a reclaimed vintage apparel and accessories company by Norman and Rachelle Clark. They sell one of one piece on their Etsy shop.
Sami Miro Vintage, makes one-of-a-kind vintage clothing that is ethically sourced or reconstructed and is based out of LA. The roots of their brand are in raw-with-a- touch-of-vintage-denim, and that is clearly seen in their products. Celebs like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, The Weeknd and more have all been seen wearing pieces from this brand.
Lait de Coco is one of my favorite brands that I have found during my research. Another sustainable company that up-cycles vintage clothing and accessories. They take a vintage piece and modernize it, so it fits into today’s trends and the wants of the consumers. Through the inspiration of Europe and a touch of the topicals, the brand is a mixture of many different styles. The brand also works to make women feel uplifted and sophisticated in their garments while being confident in their own bodies by giving women a sense of power.
Klur, is a black-owned sustainable beauty company founded by Lesley Thornton. Before Klur was born, Lesley focused on helping others achieve skin and wellness through her own personalized treatments and products that were created with simplicity and usability. What I love most about this brand is that she is independent, self-funded, woman owned and operated, and of course, sustainable. Her brand has been featured in POOSH (s/o my girl Kourtney Kardashian), Vogue, Essence, Glamour, and MANY more.
OUI the People, is a body care brand that specializes in razors for sensitive skin and other products to help you maintain the perfect skin. They are a sustainable brand that packages their products in glass, recycled materials, and refillable containers (absolutely love that). OUI the People has products for dry skin, sensitive skin, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs, but they are made with natural ingredients that work with your body (which is SO important)!! While their products are on the pricier side, I personally believe it’s important to invest in good quality skincare that has GOOD ingredients rather than something full of chemicals that won’t necessarily work with your skin.
Spiced Sugah, is yet another AMAZING woman-owned, black beauty brand. I just bought the 3-step hair pack and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive in the mail because I cannot wait to test it out and share my results!! Spiced Sugah started out as just making products for friends and family, but finally expanded into making wellness products for everyday life. From products ranging from body butter, hair treatments, essential oil blends, and body scrubs they have something for everyone.
jELN, founded and owned by Crystal Rowe is an all-natural skin-care line focused on positivity and natural beauty based in Toronto, Canada. During Crystal’s childhood she developed a passion for natural herbs/medicine and a gentler healing process. Each of her products are individually handmade to order using raw ingredients that customers are able to pronounce.
Blade + Bloom, is a small batch apothecary skincare brand based out of Chicago. All of her products are made with completely natural, plant-based ingredients that are packaged in recycled materials and shipped out to customers. From handmade soaps to hand-poured soy candles (my favorite type of candle) she uses scent memories to inspire each of her candles and tells the story of them on the candle label. Like rt if u cried that’s amazing.
So, that wraps up the black-owned sustainable fashion and beauty brands that I found. Below are black-owned brands that are sold at Target!!
The Honey Pot is the first ever plant-based feminine care system on the planet, and like US GIRLS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS. I have nothing but incredible things to say about this brand and if you’re not supporting it, what are you doing?!?!
The Lip Bar is a cruelty-free, vegan makeup brand that deserves more recognition than it is given. With a ton of products that all have a large color range and look good on multiple skin tones, we need to be clearing their shelves.
Everyhue Beauty was founded by Gizelle Bryant so black women would no longer feel left out of the beauty community. Her products include necessary vitamins for skin, and she started with a Luminous Tinted Moisturizer that is specially geared towards women of color!
Coloured Raine is a cruelty-free makeup brand made here in the US founded by Loraine R. Dowdy. Her mission through her brand is to spread awareness of the diversity in the beauty industry and make sure to embrace ALL aspects of color.
Black Girl Sunscreen is a vegan and cruelty-free brand that makes sunscreen for women of color from all-natural ingredients. This sunscreen dries clear, so it does not leave any white residue on the skin and is perfect for everyday use!
TPH by Taraji is a hair-care collection that is a scalp-first approach. Products that work for many different types of hair and work to maintain a healthy scalp, because without a healthy scalp how can you grow healthy hair?
Aaaaand that’s a wrap! I feel so excited to share all of these brands with you guys because they deserve all of the attention in the world because they are AMAZING. I know there are a million more out there and I cannot wait to continue to discover them and share them with everyone! Hopefully this article can inspire you to search for some black-owned businesses that fit your personal style or needs.
As one of my favorite people on this planet likes to say: “treat people with kindness. all the love, xx -H.” (it’s harry styles, duh) #BLM.
Check out my original article here!