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15 Black Fashion Designers To Support Instead of Gucci and Prada

It’s hard to believe that in 2019, under one percent of designers found in department stores and major e-commerce sites are people of color, but that’s the harsh truth. Check out this list of talented Black designers, support and let up know who we missed!




Ouigi Theodore

OUIGI THEODORE, is the founder of the Brooklyn Circus clothing boutique. His unique style is a mix of old and new designs with an appreciation for vintage brands. Ouigi’s style has been called fop, preppy, Anglophile and even dandy. His style has won him praise and adulation from his loyal fans in Brooklyn to those in Europe and Japan. With the Brooklyn Circus, Mr. Theodore said he wants to “refine the image of urban America. My dream is to see guys hanging on the corner in suits.”

Being an energetic guy, he realized he wasn’t suited for a desk job and with $8,000 he was able to scrape together, he was able to open his first shop in Brooklyn in 2006. In addition to his Brooklyn shop, he’s opened another flagship store in San Francisco, a store inside a store at Sir & Madame in Chicago, a pop-up store in Stockholm and sells to 25 specialty shops in Japan.

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Darlene and Lizzy Okpo

There’s a new sister duo on the scene in the fashion design industry. Similar to the sibling duos behind Rodarte and The Row, sisters Darlene Okpo,28, and Lizzy Okpo, 24, used family influences and their love for 90’s hip hop as the inspiration for their fashion label William Okpo, whose flagship store opened in the South Street Seaport in NYC. The Okpo ladies named their clothing brand after their father, who’s well dressed style in the 70’s greatly influenced their love for fashion design.

After working for Opening Ceremony clothing boutique in NYC, owners Humberto Leon and Carol Lim started to carry the Okpo’s line of ready-to-wear fashion and accessories with it’s clean, voluminous silhouettes in bright, nineties-hip-hop-minded colors. The sisters bold, colorful designs caught the eye of Solange Knowles and together they collaborated on a Puma Disc sneaker. The owners of Opening Ceremony eventually encouraged the Okpo sisters to open their own store.

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Maxwell Osborne

Maxwell Osborne along with his business partner Dao Yi-Chow are the owners of the fashion brand Public School NYC. The brand has won accolades from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and also received praise from fashion photography guru Anna Wintour. Originally started as a menswear brand, these guys launched a women’s wear line in February 2014 which was greeted with much adulation. The sky is no longer the limit as Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow are now the creative designers for women’s wear line DKNY.

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Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1984 and began her career as a designer for Perry Ellis. Ms. Reese started her own women’s ready-to-wear line in 1996 and followed that up with a second line of her own called Plenty in 1998. Her collections have been dubbed as bohemian, eclectic and adventurous with a high focus on ultra femininity.  Tracy Reese has an extensive collection of ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, and home fashions such as linens that can be found at her own  website, at Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s to name a few. In 2007 Tracy was inducted as a board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

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Ituen Basi

Ituen Basi is a Nigerian designer who started her own fashion line in 2009. Due to her immense talent, she has won prestigious awards such as “Most Innovative Designer” and “Emerging Designer of the Year, Africa.” Ms. Basi received her BA of Theatre Arts degree from the University of Life in Nigeria and then honed her skills even further by studying at the renown London College of Fashion. Her unique take on fashion allows Ituen to create functional but wearable art pieces. The Ituen Basi brand has been described as “a celebration of individuality and feminism, a stylish combination of timeless elegance with a contemporary twist.” (Photo via Samir Hussein/Getty)


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Dexter and Byron Peart

Dexter and Byron Peart are renown for making functional, luxury leather bags, backpacks and canvas totes, priced well below their competitor’s offerings. Some of their bags are named after international airports like Orly and O’Hare. The brothers opened their first store Want Les Essentiels de La Vie in Montreal, Canada. In 2014, the Pearts opened a second store in Greenwich Village in NYC and introduced a women’s accessories collection along with a men’s shoe collection done in the same fine leathers as their bags. In early 2016 they will be opening a store in Tokyo, Japan. The Peart twins’ products are in the same league as venerable luxury brands like Prada and Balenciaga.

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Andrea Iyamah

Andrea Iyamah is a fashion line owned by Nigerian fashion designer Dumebi Iyamah. Her clothing line is influenced by her African heritage with it’s vibrant colors and ethnic details. With a love for fashion and the arts, she honed her tailoring skills and educated herself about the fashion industry which allowed her to start her own brand at the age of 17.

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Although Andrea Iyamah is known for it’s swimwear collection, the brand also specializes in ready-to-wear and custom made special event dresses. Located in Ontario, Canada, the brand caters to females looking to make a statement at an event or turning heads in an edgy bathing suit on a steamy vacation.

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Armando Cabral

Armando Cabral is a model turned entrepreneur who has taken his experience in the fashion industry and turned it into a line of luxury Italian-made men’s shoes which he named after himself. He’s a very familiar face, having graced the pages of J. Crew, GQ and numerous other magazines.

Publications like GQ and the The New York Times have lauded Cabral’s footwear which retail for between $275-$500. After launching his footwear business in 2008, Cabral has since launched a women’s collection and opened his first store in Kuwait

(Photo via Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty)

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Jerome Lamaar

Jérôme LaMaar at age 28 has been in the fashion industry for almost half of his life. He got his start at age 15 (yes 15!) as an intern for Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat women’s collection. Mr. LaMaar has launched his own label called “5:31 Jérôme.” Due to the immense knowledge he gained working for Ms. Simmons, LaMaar passed up the chance to attend Brown University and instead attended the Fashion Institute of Technology. When asked where his design inspiration comes from, Mr. LaMaar says “I lived in two worlds; the streets of the Bronx and the luxury of experiencing life in Paris and Tokyo as a consultant.”

(Photo via Vivien Killilea/Getty)

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Stella Jean

The stunning Stella Jean is one of Milan’s rising stars. In 2011, she won Vogue Italia’s talent competition, “Who’s on Next,” and now counts designer Armani and Vogue UKeditor Suzy Menkes as fans. Her designs are a true reflection of her and embody ladylike silhouettes. Her prints pay tribute to her mother’s homeland of Haiti, as well as West Africa. (Photo via Gareth Cattermole/Getty)

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Duro Olowu

Nigerian-born designer Duro Olowu began his L fashion line in 2004 in London. It caught the eye of Vogueeditor Sally Singer and Julie Gilhart of Barney’s New York. He’s become famous for his use of bold colors, African prints and ‘70s tailoring. He and his wife, Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, make one impressive power couple. (photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

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Jessie Adore

Jessie Adore is the current Creative Director for Harlem Fashion Row. She started as a fashion blogger before designing her first phantom handbag in 2013. After receiving critical acclaim and a slew of orders, she decided to start her handbag collection, Adore New York, in 2014. The luxury bags are made of finely crafted leather imported from Italy and manufactured in New York City. (Photo via Adore New York)



June Ambrose

June Ambrose is the mastermind stylist and costume designer behind your favorite nineties music videos for artists like Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Jay-Z, just to name a few. Ambrose began her company, Mode Squad, when no one was in the business of dressing celebrities. A couple decades later, she has written a book, launched a women’s ready-to-wear collection (June by June Ambrose), and continues to style celebrities. (Photo via Chelsea Lauren/Getty)

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Carly Cushnie

While completing her degree at Parsons School of Design, Carly Cushnie perfected her skill as a designer at Donna Karan, Oscar De La Renta and Proenza Schouler. She paired up with Michelle Ochs and launched Cushnie Et Ochs, a women’s ready-to-wear label that has since been donned by celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Rihanna and Michelle Obama. (Photo via Jemal Countess/Getty)

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Neville Wisdom

Neville Wisdom is the Head Designer and Owner of the Neville Wisdom clothing label based in New Haven, Connecticut. Neville began designing and creating clothing at the age of fifteen, and learned many aspects of the trade from watching a local tailor in his small rural town in Jamaica. Neville is mostly self taught, having picked up his love for creating clothing from a combination of necessity and originality––straying from the norm even as a child.

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Michael Johnson

I began making ties for myself and with the encouragement of others, it has blossomed into me being able to offer my bow ties to you. I make everything by hand. I am truly not a tailor or one that is into Haberdashery. I am merely a guy who enjoys bow ties and makes extras to sell. My sewing isn’t always perfect, but the ties always look good. 🙂

More info…

Who are your favorite fashion designers of the moment? Let us now in the comments below!



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Carolyn May 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Whitney Mero – ONION

Yahyah El May 1, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Check out our handcrafted jewelry

Stace May 1, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Gentry Garb
Store opening on Melrose this summer.

Shaq Ray February 11, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Does anybody know who is the owner of Gentry Garb? Tried looking into them more before buying and can’t find much

RAILFLY May 1, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Please check us out My name is Lafayette Bryant i’m part owner of RAILFLY

Michelle Welsh May 2, 2016 at 12:46 am Reply
kim May 2, 2016 at 5:05 am


And the retail location Harlem Haberdashery
Please check them out

C.W May 2, 2016 at 7:25 am

Crissy Couture — IG @shopcrissycouture @Sew_richhearted

Michael Johnson May 2, 2016 at 7:45 am

Need bow ties? Check out Pinch & Pull Neckwear:

Titus white May 2, 2016 at 9:35 am

Cashland apperal. Baltimore Md.

Maria May 2, 2016 at 10:58 am

Check out – another Black owned fashion brand.

Occhio black Clothing May 2, 2016 at 11:33 am

Can you guys check us out street wear based out of Savannah Ga currently growing in Atlanta

Esther Morgan May 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Paper Chasing Gorillas located Columbus Ohio Ceo Shoo 2 times .

Aaron May 2, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Public school designers used to be at Sean John can’t leave that out

Christopher D. Burns May 2, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Christopher Dixon of Christopher Coy and my are often overlooked.
ARCH Footwear
Christopher Coy

Sheena Robinson May 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Mr. Dixon, your shoes are amazing! You don’t need to be included in this list; you need your own personal feature! Please tell me how I can own the Jade and Lyla shoe! I want many things, but I NEED these! If you need any help increasing brand awareness and building affinity, I’d be happy to help.

K Jordan May 2, 2016 at 11:51 pm
Two young men from Baltimore city that is locked in on luxury basics/streetwear

Keiona Cook May 3, 2016 at 12:31 am

I would love to be featured. I teach youth the Art of Sewing. I use sewing as a tool to teach youth that have ADHD and other behavior problems.

I also make Couture garments for women and little girls. My goal in this life is to share life skills with as many youth as I can. Thanks for your time and consideration

Jennine May 3, 2016 at 2:54 am

Would like to add two brands (it was a great list… But these have been rising stars in the luxury market for a few years)


Amorette May 3, 2016 at 4:41 am

Check me out Amorettemichellew @amorettedesigns

Tamieka May 3, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Great list!!

So good to know!

Here is another to add:

Allison May 3, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Here’s an amazing black designer!

SANDTBOUTIQUE May 3, 2016 at 11:50 pm


Mary May 4, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Ramomar NY

Kalubi May 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Kalubi, the brain child of fashion designer and digital artist, Evelyn Kalubi, is the flagship store and online showroom to present innovative and unique art pieces including décor and fashion to the world. The vision of all things in the Kalubi line aims to present the customer with a touch of African sensibilities combined with modern charm. Think Afro-futuristic Modernism with a touch of fun and irreverence.
Check us out on

Vids Addison May 5, 2016 at 7:25 am

Please check out This sister Joi Addison is great!

David May 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Also check out David President with D PRESIDENT ATTIRE. http://WWW.DPRESIDENTATTIRE.COM

Rocklin Jackson May 7, 2016 at 5:43 am was left out

Lateefah S. May 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

These companies too — and

10 Black Owned Fashion Lines You Should Check Out - Digital Visionary Incubator May 23, 2016 at 8:33 am

[…] 10-black-clothing-designers […]

Jeanie Seide October 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm

You forgot another. Whence & Whither by Mike Brun.

buhado October 21, 2016 at 2:59 am

please i need a dope streetwear manufacturing company for my brand….
any info pls hit up [email protected] thanks………

Denise November 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm

There’s so many others to share… like the latest Men’s Neck Wear husband and wife team of “The Ties That Bind.”

Tracy Walker (@Vmkrswrld) December 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Black Owned – All Natural Hair Skin & Body Care

Tracy Walker (@Vmkrswrld) December 8, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Good Mama’s Cleansing Clay is proud to educate, provide and bring all natural Healing Clay & Herbs to your community.

Jose December 17, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Also have to mention Breyana Lasha
Designer handbags, clutches, wallets , etc.

Mychal Mitchell January 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Let me shoot a fashion film for you.

Mychal Mitchell January 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Let me shoot a fashion film for you

Ariella Yhuda Israel January 16, 2017 at 11:12 am

BNG Hogan’s Gifts etc. Would like to present to your com unity African clothing, jewelry, home decorations, natural personal care products, and more.
Affliate code:2403

Riyonte' January 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm

I would like to be featured, I am 18, I’ve been crocheting since I was 12, but I’ve been designing and had an interest in clothing since I was born ?.

Feel free to check out some of my work.

Instagram @Uhhhhh.Ree

Honey January 28, 2017 at 5:58 pm

If yall like urban jewelry styles that you can wear to high level functions check out I’m addicted to their jewelry.

Toby Prayer April 5, 2017 at 7:45 am

My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Ben November 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm

One of our favorite brands is Personal Advisory at

Michael Smith January 17, 2018 at 2:12 am

Get Secured & Make $800-$2000 A Week


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