BLACK-OWNED BRANDS TO SUPPORT ALL YEAR ROUND
Standing up for racial justice and inclusion is something to be considered all year round, not just during the Black History Month behind us. At a time when we are increasingly aware of the lack of inclusion, not just in the fashion industry but all, here are the five black-owned brands to follow and support. Signing the petitions against racial injustice and protesting can make a difference, but so can a purchase. Some of the companies are already famous, while the newcomers are trying to find their place in the market -- fighting the ongoing battle for equality and sustainable production.
Founded by Abrima Erwiah, actress and activist Rosario Dawson. Studio 189 is a brand founded in Africa, offering clothes and African-inspired content. The fashion lifestyle brand is also a social enterprise, collaborating with various traditional manufacturers. The company has won the prestigious CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability, continuing to empower the local community through collaborative projects with the United Nations ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, creating new jobs and education opportunities.
Aliétte is a company led by Jason Rembert, named Stylist of the Year at the 2018 Harlem Fashion RowAwards. The designer who made it on The Hollywood Reporter's Most Powerful Stylist of the Year list is the creative mind behind the red carpet look of stars like Erykah Badu, Issa Rae, and Rita Ora, to name just a few. The first collection launched in 2019, named Madinia or Isle of Flowers celebrates the designer's Martinique roots. Rembert expanded his eveningwear line in the process, making ready-to-wear pieces for a bold woman who is not afraid to make a statement.
Belovd DEI Agency
Belovd is a London-based DEI partnership agency, offering consultancy and training programs for companies in a partnership with their large network of experts. Founded by Jess Maly and Marvyn Harrison in 2020 with a mission to drive change with diversity, equity and inclusion -- commonly referred to as DEI -- as we are witnessing the growing importance of workplace diversity. Hiring an expert, a third-party facilitator is not only a good idea but a necessity when we think about hierarchy at the workplace and how hard can it be to hold the person with more power accountable. Belovd is here to implement DEI, making sure that marginalized groups are included, giving them equal opportunities to succeed.
Black Girl Gamers
Founded in 2015 by Jay-Ann Lopez, Black Girl Gamers is an award-winning gaming platform, supporting justice and racial equality. Started as a Facebook community and a safe place for black female gamers, the platform is having an increasing impact on breaking the stereotypes. While the collective is becoming more popular, Lopez is also breaking prejudices in other areas -- the young gamer partnered up with Spotify to curate a gaming playlist, showing us what diversity can look like in the field of music, avoiding being placed exclusively in a gaming niche.
American designer with a master's degree in architecture, and former Kanye West's creative director, started his own high-end fashion label in 2012. Popular among the rappers and pop stars, with $1000 hoodies and prominent collaborations, Virgil Abloh is on top of every social media feed, with 5,8 million Instagram followers. Even when on a break, the company founder Virgil Abloh is constantly reaching new heights -- Off-White was the world's hottest brand in 2019 and 2020, according to Lyst's ranking, surpassing Gucci and Balenciaga.