Where Black History Month and Fashion Week Meet.
8 Black Designers We Love & You Should, Too.
Founded in 2013 by James Flemons, PHLEMUNS is an African American sustainable brand. Citing 90’s music stars Missy Elliot and Andre 3000 as inspo, it’s no coincidence that he’s dressing modern icons such as Solange & Kendrick Lamar. With the perfect blend of old & new, deconstruction & fluidity, the androgynous aesthetic is a calm flex for any creative.
Loza Maléombho is a womenswear contemporary designer. Founded in 2009 in New York City but has since relocated to Côte d’Ivoire, the brand’s aesthetic is a perfect fusion of Maléombho Ivorian traditional culture with modern fashion. Stepping away from the classic African textiles, Maléombho uses innovative textiles to bridge the gap between cultural and futuristic. Featured in an array of music videos such as WizKid’s “Come Closer” & Beyoncé’s “Formation,” Maléombho embodies the sentiment: “Stay Positive. Stay Black. Stay Beautiful.”
Inspired by culture, sustainability, couture, women, & the various notions of beauty, Amaka Osakwe founded Maki Oh in 2010. Reminiscent of traditional Nigerian apparel, each Maki Oh piece has a hidden meaning; whether its a conversation within oneself or with the wearer and observer, the woman who wears Maki Oh is always thinking deeper than the physical. Worn by a plethora of powerful women such as Mrs. Michelle Obama, Solange, & Thandie Newton, the Maki Oh woman is a multifaceted independent creative.
Established in 2013, Recho Omondi makes her own rules: casting all women of color, creating within her own creative space regardless of the fashion season, & working on her own schedule. Grabbing the attention of Issa Rae & Melina Matsoukas, Omondi has honed in the imaginative storytelling portion of fashion that is often discussed but entirely missed. Creating her own narrative on what it means to be a literal “African American,” Omondi creates season-less, timeless, & honest conversational pieces that each tell a story on its own.
Named after their father, Lizzy & Darlene Okpo founded the womenswear brand after a visit to Nigeria. Inspired by the firm work ethic & unique style, they decided to launch a brand despite limited experience, resources, & age against them. With the undeniable balance of color, precise tailoring, & unusual textile combinations, the William Okpo garment is a staple in any closet!
Lace by Tanaya
Beyond just a jewelry brand, Lace by Tanaya, merges traditional jewelry items with classic lingerie styles whilst adding sensuality, glam, and innovation. Designer, Tanaya Henry, truly embodies what it is to be your own brand and be your own boss as she is at the forefront of her business and the face of her brand. Lace by Tanaya has caught the likings of celebrities like Karrueche Tran, Erykah Badu, and Beyoncé with its signature lace cuffs and crystal bralettes.
Azéde Jean Pierre
Currently based in New York, Azéde Jean Pierre is a Haitian born independent women’s designer known for the way she celebrates femininity through her clothing. Her aesthetic embodies art and edge with a goal of functionality and sustainability. As a Black immigrant, Azéde embraces her perspective and cultural background in her art, creating a fashionable platform for the modern creative.
Established in 2009, Bubu Ogisi believes that art reflects life. Utilizing her multicultural experiences and exploration of African culture as her muses, Ogisi creates modern statement pieces that push the standardized norms in fashion. Whether curating a collection based upon the Omoko dance of the Itsekiri people or the celebrated history of Ghana, Ogisi has found a way to infuse African traditions with an audacious minimal flair.