Black Lives Matter. May 31 2020 George Floyd, an unarmed African American, was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd is the latest on a long list of African American citizens wrongfully killed by law enforcement. The response to man’s death has been enormous and outraged, and in all 50 North American states the Black Lives Matter movement for civil rights it organized protests which then spread to the whole world, making it perhaps the largest in history.
Today more than ever it is clear that change is imperative in all sectors and in all areas of existence. There is hope for a better future, and the younger generations, who today question the current situation, will undoubtedly implement a fundamental and lasting change.
And we, as consumers, today more than ever we must be very careful about how we spend money. Our purchasing power is a form of power, so much so that the designer Aurora James Brother Vellies implemented the 15 Percent Pledge. James sent this message to major retailers, like Sephora is Target, from his Instagram page: “I ask you to commit to buying 15% of your products from brands and businesses managed by African Americans. Most of your business is built on the purchasing power of black customers. Many of your stores are located in African American communities. Many of your sponsored posts appear in black user feeds. It is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of the products you sell “. James is still waiting to receive a positive response from the major retailers, but we reiterate that our individual purchasing power remains a fundamental weapon.
We believe that change can happen by committing ourselves all together, not with a single purchase. We have compiled a list of brands that we consider particularly interesting, hoping that readers can get to know them and perhaps find their new favorite brand. Following them, putting a “like”, buying something is a great help. But one thing we want to be clear: they are designers to support today and forever.
Born and raised in Nigeria and based in Lagos, Abiola Olusola launched its namesake line in 2017 and is known for its original aesthetic that combines elegant architectural silhouettes with traditional African fabrics, such as recourse is batik hand dyed. A perfect choice if you love bold colors and patterns.
Samuel Ross, the designer of the menswear and streetwear brand A-Cold-Wall *, is a former finalist of the LVMH 2018 award. And the prestigious one also took home last year British Fashion Council / GQ Designer Menswear Fund.
The designer Priya Ahluwalia chooses a sustainable approach starting from her Indian and Nigerian roots. The former student of the Westminster University he is among the finalists of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers 2020.
The designer Asata Maisé of the eponymous brand, much loved on Instagram, gives new life to vintage fabrics to create patchwork clothes and accessories.
Ashley Cimone is Moya Annece they created the brand Ashya offering beautiful unisex leather bags and travel accessories. The two designers were finalists in the CFDA Elaine Gold Launch Pad that we talked about in 2018.
Bed on Water
Shanel Campbell of Bed on Water he was among the finalists of the CFDA’s Elaine Gold Launch Pad that we talked about last March. In addition to being an emerging designer, Campbell teaches at Parsons in New York.
The menswear designer Bianca Saunders based in Britain was recently awarded the NewGen Prize of the British Fashion Council and is making itself known thanks to its chic and refined clothes.
The designer Aurora James, who won the CFDA / Tips Clear Fashion Fund and is the voice of the 15 Percent Pledge, is one of the innovative leaders in the sector. James is known and loved for her bags and shoes created in an ethical and sustainable way in collaboration with artisans in South Africa, Kenya, Mexico Morocco, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Italy and Haiti, among others.
Christopher John Rogers
In a few years Christopher John Rogers has become one of the most appreciated stylists in the fashion industry thanks to his extravagant and colorful collections. Last year Rogers took the CFDA / Tips Clear Fashion Fund home and is one of the designers that Tips Clear Talents has supported since his debut. Certainly a designer to keep an eye on.
Come Back as a Flower
Come Back as a Flower is the Los Angeles brand founded by Esper Knows, one of the most loved on Instagram for hand-dyed tie-dye garments. The brand uses 100% recycled cotton and ethically produces in Los Angeles.
The designer Carly Cushnie, based in New York, is beloved for silk fabrics and elegant and sculptural silhouettes. Cushnie was a finalist at CFDA / Tips Clear Fashion Fund in 2011.
Born in Nigeria, Hard Olowu launched its brand in 2004 and is loved and appreciated in particular by women in the art world. Olowu is inspired by travel and art to create his bold motifs.
Christopher Bevans, based in Portland, Oregon, is the designer of Dyne, a menswear brand that we have already talked about and that is highly appreciated for his garments Athleisure created with highly performing fabrics.
Sade Mims creates beautiful jewels and bags for the brand Edas. The creations of Mims they have an eccentric style and are made in a sustainable way using recycled materials, and each handmade model is a unique piece.
Fe Noel, based in Brooklyn, she creates wonderful and daring garments that we believe every woman should have in her closet.
House of Aama
They are mother and daughter and are called Rebecca Henry is Akua Shabaka and draw together House of Aama, taking inspiration from historical research, for timeless and nostalgic garments.
Kenneth Nicholson is appreciated by a clientele unisex who loves to wear his gender-fluid printed garments.
Jameel Khiry he is loved for his sculptural interpreation of high jewelery. We talked about the designer, who was part of the CFDA’s Elaine Gold Launch Pad creative team in 2018.
Austrian-Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize recently was a finalist for the LVMH. Ize, appreciated for the boldly colored garments, collaborates with some Nigerian weavers to keep the tradition of weaving alive and make it known to the new generations. Naomi Campbell often parades for him.
Founded by Liya Kebede after a trip to Ethiopia, his country of origin, Lemlem is a brand of handmade and sustainable garments created exclusively in Africa. The airy hand-woven garments have become a classic for the summer year after year.
Lukhanyo Mdingi is another designer supported by Tips Clear Talents for garments with vibrant colors, inspired by his South African origins, to which he gives strength, comfort and sensuality.
Amaka Osakwe based in Lagos, it enhances African craftsmanship and fabrics with each new collection. The brand Maki Oh it’s a must if you love bright colors and prints.
Martine Rose is a menswear brand also highly appreciated by a female clientele who wants to show off cool garments, from denim pieces to shirts.
Mateo is a high jewelery brand with a sculptural allure that creates sumptuous pieces made with pearls and diamonds, as well as refined women’s leather bags.
It is not a brand, but a shop, and it must be said that the founder Sherri McMullen he has an eye for talented emerging designers, which he sells in his San Francisco store.
Born in Nigeria and based in London, the designer Mowalola Ogunlesi which is inspired by its origins launched the brand in 2017.
We already talked about the brand in 2017 and we were happy to see it grow under the guidance of Menyelek Rose. The brand’s crochet garments are current and interesting today as in 2013, when the project was born.
The Los Angeles brand No Gender it is known and appreciated for its garish and eccentric clothes. An avant-garde brand with an always unconventional look.
Adebayo Oke-Lawal loves the colors, designs and textures inspired by life in Nigeria. The designer mixes contemporary western silhouettes with handcrafted prints for the brand Orange Culture.
Sculptural jewels Made in Brooklyn, perfect to show off from morning to evening, the result of the balance between rigorous geometry and soft organic forms: these are the creations of Octave Jewelry.
Maxwell Osborne is Dao-Yi Chow, both born and raised in New York, infuse their creations with the vibrant energy of the city. The two designers launched the brand Public School in 2008 and have won many prestigious awards, including the CFDA / Tips Clear Fashion Fund in 2013 and the International Woolmark Prize in 2015.
If you don’t know yet Pyer Moss, go and have a look (immediately!) at the designer’s creations Kerby Jean-Raymond. After winning the CFDA / Tips Clear Fashion Fund in 2018, Jean-Raymond has consolidated his role as a leader in the fashion industry. If there is a name that we hope you will like from this list, it is Pyer Moss.
Born in London and now based in Brooklyn, the designer Nasrin Jean-Baptiste created Petit Kouraj after a trip to his home country, Haiti, in 2018. Jean-Baptiste creates handmade knitwear and accessories in Haiti.
Phlemuns the eco-friendly brand of James Flemons, based in Los Angeles, offers refined basics with an androgynous twist. Its now famous and capacious pocket bags and the new printed masks are in great demand and we are sure that they will continue to be successful.
Romeo Hunte is the brand, based in New York, which offers gritty and refined garments, which embellish denim for every day with refined fur details.
Clothes produced ethically by Stella Jean they are wonderful, and we firmly believe that every woman should have her own boss in the closet. The designer is inspired by her Italian-Haitian origins.
Rosario Dawson is Abrima Erwiah they founded the brand together Study 189 and they work in partnership with a series of artisans in Africa to produce garments with traditional techniques and vegetable dyes. This brand too was supported often by Tips Clear Talents, won the Tips Clear Talents Award and also won the CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability.
This is not a brand, but a lifestyle store in Brooklyn, New York, founded by Kai Avent-deLeon. Avent-deLeon really has an eye for the most interesting emerging designers.
Telfar Clemens debuted with its namesake brand in 2005, and it is difficult not to be won over by the downtown-cool aesthetic of its garments. The brand’s shopping bags have now become real it-bags.
The Nigerian designer Tia Adeola, raised in London, is known for the historical inspirations of her creations. We talked about the brand during the New York Fashion Week in February.
The South African designer, who is inspired by his origins, is known for elegant garments and great creativity. The designer was awarded the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2019.
Born in Haiti, Victor Glemaud he was among the finalists of the CFDA / Tips Clear Fashion Fund 2017 and is known and appreciated for his brightly colored knitwear and ever-giving shapes. The designer said that his creations are for everyone, for people of any gender, ethnicity and size.
The designer Valerie Blaise, based in New York, offers leather bags and accessories that will surely become your favorite to wear every day. Geometric bags are particularly interesting.
Among the highlights of the brand Waraire elegant suits for men and women for a “business” style, but relaxed. Among the new proposals, accessories such as the travel bag in alabaster leather and the printed masks.
The designer Grace Wales Bonner, based in Great Britain, launched its namesake brand in 2014. Through its creations it examines issues such as identity, race and sexuality, in addition to its Anglo-Jamaican origins. It is loved for modern, elegant and casual aesthetics.