Five Black Designers to Keep An Eye On In 2021
As Black History Month approaches, and as the country celebrates historical figures and influential Black voices, there’s no better time to uplift and support Black designers. Below is a list of six incredibly Black fashion designers you should have on your radar who are blazing a trail of innovation leaning on their heritage and personal stories to help push fashion forward.
Christopher John Rogers
Since launching his namesake brand, this young designer’s voluminous silhouettes, sharp tailoring and unapologetic use of color have already earned him a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and a fan following in Vice President Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama, and Rihanna.
Since starting her brand Brother Vellies in 2013, Aurora James has always sought to help right the industry's wrongs— in 2020 she created the 15 Percent Pledge, asking retailers to devote 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.
Kerby Jean-Raymond describes his brand as “a timely social experiment” that aims to use its voice and platform to challenge social narratives and evoke dialogue. Notably, Jean-Raymond gathered PPE for hospital workers and provided $50,000 in grants for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Clemens’ approach to fashion is perhaps best summarized by the name of his S/S '19 collection: “Not For You, For Everyone.” A unisex brand established in 2005 by Telfar Clemens, its iconic shopping bag is hailed as an affordable status symbol in the fashion industry.
Thebe Magugu’s star is on the rise – known for his deconstructed suits in vibrant hues and elegant dresses with attention-grabbing prints, he became the first African talent to be awarded the LVMH Price in 2019 and has launched a new e-commerce site that serves as a portal for style lovers to experience South Africa at a moment when we can’t physically travel there.
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