When it comes to equity and inclusion, the fashion industry has significantly changed in recent years, said Adrienne Jones, the first tenured, full-time Black professor at the Pratt Institute. Jones told us that years ago, boutiques would praise her designs — until she dropped off her clothes in-person and they realized she was Black. Their interest would suddenly evaporate.
Thankfully, progress has been made. As you recognize Black History Month and feel inspired to support Black-owned brands — and, by the way, you certainly don’t need a specific month to do so — we’ve outlined a number of brands that fashion experts recommended to us below, along with some of their standout products. In addition to Jones, we spoke to Jonathan Square, assistant professor of Black visual culture at the Parsons School of Design, and Rikki Byrd, writer and PhD candidate in African American studies at Northwestern University.
Best clothes and accessories from Black-owned brands
We consulted the aforementioned fashion experts about their favorite Black-owned clothing brands. In some cases, we highlighted specific items they recommended. Other times, we highlighted a particular item from a brand they recommended to us. From skirts to earrings, we chose those items because of their positive reviews or affordable price point.
Telfar: Small Puff Shopper
Every expert we spoke to mentioned Telfar, the luxury brand piloted by Liberian-American fashion designer Telfar Clemens. As they should: Telfar shopping bags were one of Oprah’s favorite things in 2020 and Beyonce has been spotted in their gear — in other words, Telfar is everywhere. “During the holidays, I went home to Louisiana, and saw someone wearing a Telfar bag in Walmart. I thought, wow, [Telfar is] really global,” Square told us.
Telfar’s bags are hard to come by — they typically sell out quickly. The latest batch