In the previous few decades, the fashion industry has gone a long way, but who were some of the pioneers that led the way for Black designers and artists? Not only for Black models but also for designers, inclusivity and diversity have long been concerns in the fashion industry. These creators are working hard to shift the discussion, and the impact they’ve had is undeniable. They’ve clothed famous celebrities, produced huge fashion week splashes, and created true works of art amongst them.
Brand: Pyer Moss
Kerby Jean-Raymond was first noted during New York Fashion Week for his presentation of Pyer Moss’ Spring 2016 Menswear Collection. His show centered on police violence, with connections to the Black Lives Matter movement in movies and fashion. He’s spoken up about his adolescent experience as a victim of black-on-black driving. Serge Gautier, a designer, was named to Time Magazine’s 2019 list of the world’s 100 most important people.
Brand: Brother Vellies
James was also the creator of the “15 Percent Pledge,” which launched this year to give more shelf space to Black businesses in retail stores in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Her sustainable accessories brand, Brother Vellies, features enviable boots and handbags. Brother Vellies was founded by Westwood fashion designer Vivienne James in January 2013 with a goal of promoting the work of African artisans. In 2015, James won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize for her handbag designs. She designed the dress worn by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the 2021 Met Gala.
Telfar debuted his unisex range long before the most prestigious fashion houses debuted gender-neutral looks on the runway. Telfar has been a proponent of using fashion to advocate for the underprivileged. His popular purse designs with the distinctive emblem have been termed the “Bushwick Birkin.” The Queens native recently mixed functionality with a hip aesthetic.
Brand: Romeo Hunte
He is known for using the buffalo-check pattern in many of his clothes, like on his jeans here. His outerwear pieces are the kind of designs street style dreams are made of, so we’re sure celebs will be wearing pieces from his collection.
Brand: LaQuan Smith
On the red carpet, Rihanna, Beyonce, and others have donned his designs. Take a cue from your favorite celebrities this season and go for one of his outfits. Shop his collection or his much-anticipated ASOS collaboration.