May 19, 2022

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Forget Mediocre Fashion

Best Emerging Black-Owned Fashion Brands to Shop

Though we should be supporting Black-owned brands every month of the year, February is a great opportunity to explore the plethora of Black fashion designers making everything from timeless pieces to Instagram feed-worthy dresses. If you’re on the hunt for the newest Black fashion brands, look no further as our list features a handful of designers leading the latest wave of trends.

Our top picks include Gabrielle Union-approved Ndigo Studio, which creates truly unique and bold garments, and is known for its vibrantly colored and highly textured dresses and two-piece sets. Meanwhile, CISE’s upcoming collection transforms classic handbags into powerful accessories, embossed with the impactful phrase “Protect Black Women.”

Continue scrolling to discover some of our favorite emerging Black-owned clothing and accessory labels.

Co-owned by mother-daughter duo Cynthia and Najla Burt, Dur Doux presents affordable luxury pieces from brightly colored tulle dresses to lively printed sets inspired by iconic female artists, like Frida Kahlo. Drawing their creativity from film, art and travels around the world, Dur Doux is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Black culture’s priceless impact on fashion. The duo share that the recent death of André Leon Talley has further motivated them, telling us over email, “His persona as a Black male designer is deeply embedded in the minds and hearts of the fashion world, especially Black members of the industry. His name and image evoke grandeur, luxury, couture, black excellence in fashion. Dur Doux is strongly motivated to replicate the attributes of this great man.”

Worn by the likes of Lizzo and Tinashe, CISE creates clothing and accessories “that gives a voice to those in society who are typically ignored.” Alongside expertly crafted athleisure wear in the form of ultra-soft pullovers and quarter-zip pants, CISE demonstrates its unapologetic approach with suede and vegan leather handbags embossed with the proud phrases “Protect Black People” as well as “Protect Black Women.”

Megan Renee is a sustainable contemporary brand founded by Megan Smith, after Smith realized her talents were being wasted while working as a designer for several private label brands. Seeing the excessive amount of waste fast fashion companies produced, “the pain and lack of contentment” drove the founder to channel her passions into her own company. Using deadstock fabric to create her first collection, Smith says her label “prides itself on holding little to no inventory.” Approved by Naomi Campbell after an appearance on Amazon Prime’s Making the Cut, the brand’s signature and original bold prints have been worn by celebrities like Issa Rae and Michelle Williams.

Harlem-based fashion house, Keäma creates luxury ready-to-wear pieces from the lens of the African diaspora. Drawing inspiration from a love of the history of costume design to personal travels and faith, founder Keäma Garrett created her namesake brand in 2011, designing joyful voluminous pieces lovingly crafted from frothy, candy-colored tulle. Garrett’s designs will transform any closet into a genuine feast for the eyes with its jewel-toned hues.

Founded in 2015 by Letesha Renee, Eugene Taylor is carving its own path in genderless designs. Inspired by her powerful lineage, specifically Renee’s grandmother, Eugene Taylor creates clothing through an inclusive lens while bringing together a global fashion community. The innovative fashion label’s latest collection, “I Am Diana,” looks to the iconic singer Diana Ross as its muse. As the brand shares over email, “She paved the way for women artist creators and thinkers, giving little Black girls hope to dream big. She has taught us how to dress, how to act, how to stand tall and how to be seen in a room without being the loudest one. This collection was made with each of those qualities in mind.”

Created by Waina Chancy and Viviane Valerius, Ndigo Studio’s rainbow hued and lusciously textured dresses and sets have been worn by Gabrielle Union vacationing on the beaches of Hawaii, confirming the uber-saturated garments exude sheer star power. Hailing from Haiting, the co-founders stress how important it is to showcase their heritage through vibrant colors. Featured as a wedding dress on HBO Max’s series And Just Like That…, the Black women-owned label’s designs have also been worn by actor Garcelle Bauvais as well as actor Megan Good, clearly establishing itself as a Hollywood favorite.