Women spend billions of dollars every year on hand bags. Many of the top designers’ bags are sold for thousands of dollars each. Some of the “elite” designers, such as Gucci, are multi-billion dollar companies. So where do Black handbag companies fit in? Glad you asked! Check out our list of amazing Black owned handbag companies. Help support these talented designers by sharing this article with your friends and maybe buying a bag or two.
A A K S was founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi with the goal of introducing the world to her favorite weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana while also creating and igniting sustainable jobs within Africa. Handcrafted in Ghana, A A K S creates bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts characterized by bright exuberant colors.
I gracefully lent my name to the brand in 2008 but before that, I was just a girl growing up with my family in Nigeria. In my youth, I developed a love for fashion watching mummy dress up in magnificent fabrics and granny in her tribal jewelry. After graduating in law it dawned on me that this wasn’t my passion. Years later I went to the London College of Communication in 2000 to study typographic design. I moved to Kenya in 2005 and started making jewelry for personal use, experimenting with horn and brass.
My stunning items caused a stir wherever I went and people kept nudging me to turn this hobby into a business. I finally gave in and started producing various collections of jewelry and fashion accessories, drawing inspiration from the rich African culture. Looking at different pieces, you can easily tell that my stay in Europe also influences my style of jewelry.
Designer and stylist Agnes Baddoo observes her surroundings by investigating our ever-changing environment and the interactions of people through fashion. Inspired by simple forms with function and an interest in genuine craft and techniques, Agnes Baddoo creates leather goods that are well made and classic in both Los Angeles, California and New York City, New York.
Alexandria Alli started her passion for fashion at age ten, when she persuaded her mother to let her assist her at her fashion design studio everyday after school. At that young age, Alexandria learned a lot about design and running a fashion business. At the age of thirteen, her family moved from Nigeria to Atlanta, Georgia and she started her modeling career. She modeled for major companies throughout the South. As her modeling career advanced, she fell in love with the beauty and glamour of the industry, she fell in love with the classic charm, and she fell in love with the well crafted luxurious items, specifically handbags that she got to wear as a model. But she soon realized that most women including herself could not afford the luxurious accessories and clothing that she modeled in magazines and on the runway.
WE ARE GREGORY SYLVIA. Founded by husband and wife team, Gregory and Terri Sylvia Pope, Gregory Sylvia is a luxury brand of fine handbags, leather goods, and accessories for the design-focused consumer. Gregory Sylvia’s product lines create a sense of timeless appeal. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Gregory Sylvia is a fast growing brand in the luxury leather goods market. The company has also added other accessories including jewelry as well as a beauty line of lipstick and lipgloss.
Hesey designs is a Nigerian fashion brand which specializes in the design and production of handcrafted bags, shoes, fashion accessories, corporate gift items with African, continental and a variety of materials.
Hesey Designs works with marginalized youths and women to develop chic African inspired fashionable items thereby creating jobs and supporting families. In the last two years, the brand has quickly grown to include an initiative that empowers unemployed young girls with vocational skills in handmade fashion accessories to join our workforce or start their own small businesses.
Taking its name after Iris Tsamoh, Wilglory’s mother and Sarah Yaa Anima Amoyaw, Wilglory’s closest childhood friend, Anima Iris is a modern brand that pulls inspiration and strength from the matriarchs of its past. Like the palm oil reds of Cameroon’s traditional Bamileke cloth, or the notable geometric shapes of Ghana’s kente, Africa’s bold history is reflected in the molds of our pieces.
It all started during the Summer of 2011. I had always wanted to learn how to sew, but never made the time to actually learn. That August I was in between jobs, and well, finally had the time. My grandmother is super handy around the house. Upholstering furniture, drapery, clothing, you name it, she could do it. So it was very important to me that I learn from her.
I was playing around on the sewing machine with some scrap fabric she had when I brought up the idea of making a clutch. Originally, I loved oversized bags. At the time, clutches weren’t a major accessory. I could think of the kind of clutch I would want to own, but could never actually find one in stores. I wanted a clutch that was unique, large in size and lined with something fun. Statement making to be exact. Well my grandmother was more than happy to teach me. She even took me to a local fabric store where I picked out some fabrics, printed linings and matching zippers. It took me over 3 hours to make my very first clutch. It was definitely a learning process, but I enjoyed it.
Asata Maisé (she/her) considers herself an unconventional modern day couturier. Since her teenage years, Asata has been committed to expressing her personal experiences, values, philosophy, and inspirations through the mediums of fashion and style. Currently based in her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, Asata has traveled the world, immersing herself in diverse cultures for the sake of her craft over the last decade. The designer is passionately committed to evolving alongside her work and intends to contribute to the future of fashion.
Taribba do Nascimento is a St. Lucian designer, loving mother, nagging wife and lover of all things creative. She fell in love with the art of leathercraft while living in Ethiopia. She has since trained in Florence, Italy where she refined her skills while attempting to taste every flavour of gelato the city had to offer.
Established in 2017 by co-founders Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece, ASHYA (pronounced “agh-shya”) is a New York–based design label featuring unisex travel accessories. ASHYA is dedicated to creating well-crafted purposeful designs that unify luxury and utilitarian principles.
Founded by self taught designer/artisan Valerie Blaise, in Brooklyn New York. VAVVOUNE (pronounced vav•une) is a leather accessories brand recognized by way of cultured design. Introducing passionately made, wearable leather accessories , while hinting spunk in effortless ways of impression. Moods, moments of nostalgia, and functionality introduces inspiration. Making it a huge part of the creative operation and overall aesthetic. As inspiration guides creativity.
All designs are born and elaborated in our small in house studio in Brooklyn NY. When designs are ready to be constructed, we work one on one with a mindful team of craftsmen & women in NYC’s Garment District. Whenever we come across workable scraps of leather unavailable to use for VAVVOUNE , they get donated to a list of art programs across the country.
Minku, founded in 2011, specializes in leather bags, luggage, and notebooks for men and women. Minku founder Kunmi Otitoju was on a computer science research and consultancy journey when she rediscovered her love for making things by hand.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech (2007) and graduated summa cum laude with a Computer Science Bachelors degree from Howard University in 2005. A teaching assistant while at Virginia Tech, she also worked as an information architect/user experience designer upon graduation. Prior to these, she attended high school at Queen’s College, Lagos. There, she won the fine art prize every year.
Launched in spring 2016 by Sarah Diouf, Tongoro is a 100% made in Africa label designed and produced in Dakar, Senegal.
Our brand focuses on understanding the fashion that our customers want offering playful and unique apparel.
By sourcing our materials on the continent and working with local tailors, our long-term goal is to create a new dynamic for Africa-based manufacturing, and foster the economic and social development of artisanal workers in western Africa.
Tongoro has gained international brilliance since its launch with the likes of Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Alicia Keys, Iman , Burna Boy (…) and has been listed amongst fast company’s 50 most innovative companies for 2020.
We work with local sustainably sourced leathers, farmed exotic skins and rough cut precious stones set in brass.
All our pieces are created at our workspace in Lagos, Nigeria, by a team that benefits from traditional techniques passed down through generations by a community of local artisans.
At Zashadu we love to explore the tension between quiet elegance and unabashed glamour.
We avoid the use of superfluous fittings and fixtures in order to give precedence to the leathers.
Roop was started by our very own namesake, Natasha “Roop” Fernandes Anjo, after she decided to share her love for all things vintage and handmade. Roop is a UK boutique that is based in Manchester where Natasha handmakes all handbags and accessories using quality, and luxury fabrics. When you make a Roop purchase, you’re receiving a one-of-kind gem that keeps things fun and exciting!
Our line is a subtle study in contrast. Scandinavian design principles come to life through the skill and passion of Italian artisanal craftsmen, and quietly juxtapose with the earthy allure of the Ivory Coast landscape that inspires us. We built our business like any strong relationship, developing trust and intimacy over time with the family-owned factories that craft our products. Those ties bring an added personal touch to our handcrafted shoes, bags, cashmere, and garments, made from the finest, sustainably sourced materials.
ZAAF was founded in 2014 with the goal of creating economic empowerment to African artisans and a new perspective and standard of global luxury. Our vision is to create unique products people love and want to buy as this is the most sustainable of approaching economic development.