The importance of supporting black businesses should be clear to everybody, especially while the spotlight is shining so brightly on racial inequality due to recent injustices. The fashion industry has a tainted history with inclusivity, being guilty of appropriation, segregation and tokenism amongst much more. This legacy is being changed by the actions of some of those in the industry, which includes the names on this list.
These are some of the talented black designers that you can help support.
An important voice for black culture in fashion, Grace Wales Bonner produces clothing that is rooted in her experiences as a mixed-race woman in the UK. Her politically conscious designs are far from going unrecognised, having won the British Fashion Council and Vogue Designer Fashion Fund award.
Using patchworking, distressing and deconstruction, this handcrafted fashion label takes a DIY approach that produces garments filled with character. Based in Los Angeles, this brand has managed to produce a recognisable aesthetic that shares tropes with workwear, punks and streetwear.
With designs that are as conceptually developed as they are aesthetically powerful, A-Cold-Wall has established itself as a pioneer in fashion. Starting a new chapter in its five-year history by showing in Milan last season, the brand is reaching a new degree of maturity.
It has also recently announced a fund for black businesses, for those who would benefit from the labels support.
Heralding from Amsterdam, Daily Paper has made a quick ascent in fashion. With signature bold colours and elevated casual silhouettes helping the label to forge its own path. Created by three childhood friends, the brand is informed by African culture when producing its collections.
Having landed herself on the Fashion East schedule during fashion week, Mowalola was quick to make an impact as her garments told narratives that were political, androgynous and overtly sensual. Having Skepta, Drake and Kanye amongst her ever-expanding list of fans, make sure you are not late to the Mowalola appreciation party.
A consistently outspoken figure on black issues, Kerby Jean Raymond, the founder and designer of Pyer Moss, has ensured to use his platform to not only bring attention to these issues but as a voice for change. A triad of shows titled “American, Also” which explored the life and history of African Americans are bound to go down in fashion history, having concluded with a show at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn last year.
A focus on community is one of the qualities which has made Martine Rose a formidable presence in the London fashion scene. Using pastiche and irony alongside innovative shapes and cuts, she has produced a look that has gone beyond having a cult following to worldwide recognition.
Launching her label in 2017, Londoner Bianca Saunders uses traditional menswear garments as the canvas for her inventive cutting which accentuates the movement in clothes. Having started to establish herself in the industry, the designer was named as one of Forbes’ annual 30 Under in the category for Arts and Culture.
German-born designer Eastwood Danso started his label whilst studying for his A-Levels. He quickly made an impression and gained the mentorship of Samuel Ross, founder of A-Cold-Wall, who gave the designer all of his NEWGEN bursary. Producing garments that reflect on cultural issues, the designer brings a relatively minimal eye to focus on the details in garments.