As a black person who works in fashion as a Modest Stylist 2021 is the year that I want to buy black mored then ever. This year by buying from black creatives is so important. If you are like me, I like nice things, and these designers are creating new luxe.
A lack of inclusivity and diversity has long been an issue in the fashion industry, not only for Black models but also for designers themselves. We black people in fashion have all faced these challenges. These creators are working hard to change the conversation, and there are O.G.’s and a few just blowing up now.
Below are 22 Black fashion designers that you might already know (hint: Rihanna, duh), and others you should check out.
- Kerby Jean-Raymond Pyer Moss
Founded in 2013, the Haitian designer started with menswear before expanding into womenswear, and he’s only gotten more buzz. Stars like Lil Nas X, Issa Rae, Kamala Harris and Tracee Ellis Ross have worn his creations, and he was also named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2019.
2.Shanna Bent Maison Bent
Enlightened by heterogenous disciplines entailing literature, art, sustainable practises and history, Maison Bent celebrates a plurality of perspectives, sharing stories through finery for the “femme du mode”.
Alumni of Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, Shanna Bent refined her craft and inspiration during her time at Alexander McQueen, Agent Provocateur, and Roland Mouret. Before showcasing her graduate collection at LCF’s infamous Press Show, Shanna was a finalist for Whistle’s SS12 Sustainable capsule collection competition and a runner for designing uniforms for the 2012 Olympic games in London.
James was also the creator of the “15 Percent Pledge,” which launched this year to give more shelf space to Black businesses in retail stores in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Her sustainable accessories brand, Brother Vellies, features enviable boots and handbags.
4.Telfar Clemens Telfar
His popular purse designs with the signature logo have been dubbed the “Bushwick Birkin.” Telfar’s designs are unisex, and he’s championed gender-neutral clothing.
5. Romeo Hunte
Michelle Obama, Zendaya, Beyoncé, Saweetie, and Keke Palmer have all worn Hunte’s designs. His outerwear makes a statement, and he’s known for using the buffalo-check pattern in many of his clothes, like on his jeans here.
He’s a real celeb fave. Proof? Rihanna, Beyoncé, and so many more have worn his pieces. Go to LaQuan Smith for any of your glam and sexy outfit needs.
7.Rihanna Fenty, Savage X Fenty
Yes, you already know RiRi, and she has not one, but TWO lines. Savage X Fenty has affordable, and size-inclusive lingerie and Fenty is super upscale. With the latter’s launch, she was the first woman—and the first Black woman—to helm her original brand at LVMH.
8.Christopher John Rogers
His runway shows are consistently the talk of New York Fashion Week with their vitality and fantastic styling. At just 26 years old, the Louisiana designer has already dressed high-profile ladies like Michelle Obama and Cardi B.
9. Fe Noel
Beautiful robes, swimsuits, and ready-to-wear from designer Fe Noel will make your life a happier place. You’ll fall in love with the stunning, vacation-worthy prints, like the one on the robe she’s wearing here.
10. Dapper Dan
The Harlem designer has his atelier where he creates his made-to-order designs, which are practically synonymous with the hip-hop stars of the ’80s and ’90s. He’s known for reworking designer logos into his clothes and has collaborated with Gucci. He even has a memoir where he talks about his experience as a Black designer and how he made his now-famous store on 125th Street.
11.Dumebi Iyamah Andrea Iyamah
Specializing in swimwear, there’s quite literally something for everyone (seriously, even brides!) from designer Andrea Iyamah’s stunningly colourful collections.
12.Anifa Mvuemba Hanifa
Designer Anifa Mvuemba’s sophisticated designs (sold in sizes 0 to 20) are just the beginning of her innovations. She recently debuted her newest collection in a wholly digital, 3-D fashion show that will blow your mind.
13. Mowalola Ogunlesi
The Nigerian-British designer will be heading the Yeezy design team of Kanye’s new Gap collaboration. She also has her label featuring fun pieces worthy of a night out like long-sleeve bra tops and cutout dresses.
14.Grace Wales Bonner
Launched in 2014, her eponymous label started as a menswear brand and later ventured into womenswear. The clothing is inspired by European and African history, and the tailoring is PERFECTION.
15. Kenneth Ize
If mixed patterns and prints are your things, then you need to know about Kenneth Ize, whose colourful menswear-inspired pieces will make you feel so joyful just by looking at them.
16. Victor Glemaud
In case you can’t tell from his striped sweater, Glemaud is known for his fantastic knitwear. You’ll want to update every piece in your closet to this material thanks to his designs.
17. Heron Preston
Preston’s streetwear aesthetic has been a favourite among celebs like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Bieber. His graphic tees usually have the bird of the same name on them, but he also does accessories like bags, phone cases, shoes, and belts.
18.Virgil Abloh Off-White, Louis Vuitton menswear
As the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and his own label, Off-White, Virgil Abloh is a prominent fashion industry figure. He has recently been dragged a bit about an album cover design for the late Pop Smoke and his $50 BLM donation.
19.Liya Kebede Lemlem
Both a model and designer, Kebede founded Lemlem, a clothing brand made by artisans across Africa. She is Ethiopian, and through the label, she created a foundation that benefits African women “by connecting them to healthcare, education and pathways to jobs.”
Yes, he’s controversial—and probably not running for president anymore—but there’s no doubt that his Yeezy brand is influential in fashion. Thanks to his collab with Adidas, you’ve seen his sneakers everywhere, and he’s also partnering with Gap to make a more affordable line.
Jean is recognized as Italy’s first Black fashion designer (she is both Italian and Haitian), and her creations represent the intersection of those two cultures. She often uses bright colours, mixes patterns, and adds a tropical flair to her pieces.
22.Jerry Lorenzo Fear of God
Jerry Lorenzo is an American fashion and sneaker designer. He is the founder of the American luxury streetwear label Fear of God. He is also the son of former MLB player, coach, and manager Jerry Manuel.
The name Fear of God is literal. “I grew up with Christ as the centre of my household,” says Lorenzo. “It was intertwined with everything we did.” But Lorenzo’s faith was only recently galvanized. “I was not always a God-fearing man,” he admits. “I came to L.A. and tried to find my footing, and in doing so, started throwing parties. I used my middle name — Jerry Lorenzo — because I didn’t want to tarnish the Manuel name.”