10 Black-owned fashion brands to shop this Black History Month
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Black History Month was first instituted in 1970 by the HBCU Kent State, and in 1976 it was federally recognized by President Ford as a month dedicated to celebrating Black history and culture. The month of February has become an annual moment of honoring and celebrating Black historical and contemporary icons and events. In more recent years, a new approach to Black History Month has encouraged consumers to #ShopBlack to support Black-owned businesses of all kinds.
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Whether you’re looking to celebrate Black History Month or are just looking to upgrade your wardrobe with some serious style, here are 10 Black-owned fashion brands that are sure to keep you coming back year-round.
Wales Bonner was founded in 2014 after its namesake, Grace Wales Bonner—a graduate of the famed fashion school Central Saint Martins and 2016 recipient of the LVMH Prize. Though her label makes clothing for everyone today, it was first established as a menswear brand. Her work in fashion is centered around celebrating Black heritage, namely grounded in her own Jamaican background. This colorful brand is known for using tailoring as a means to play with traditional silhouettes and is best known for its patterned cozy knitted sets and separates.
Our top picks from Wales Bonner:
Neon Cowboys is an independently-owned fashion tech brand founded by Asia Hall in 2014. The brand is particularly popular in the festival scene for their electric accessories for party-goers and performers alike. Designed with built-in lights that add a neon glow to any outfit, accessories from Neon Cowboys allow you to stand out in the crowd.
Fans of the brand’s iconic Neon Cowboys Hat mention that the integrated lights are bright enough to be noticed in low-light settings, while still being comfortable to wear. Each of their products add a uniquely charged touch to your outfit.
Our top picks from Neon Cowboys:
One of the most iconic Black-owned fashion labels of the 90s, Cross Colours was founded in 1989 by Carl Jones and TJ Walker. At its height, you could find Cross Colours garments on the cover of your favorite hip-hop albums and on the streets long before streetwear became the trend it is today.
After relaunching the label in 2014, the brand is stronger than ever, maintaining its original slogan, “Clothing without prejudice.” Shop the label for its colorful T-shirts, powerful hoodies, trendy pants, and stylish hats.
Our top picks from Cross Colours:
Fear of God Essentials
In 2013, during the height of the luxury streetwear trend, Fear of God was founded by Jerry Lorenzo and became a clear front runner among its competition. In 2018, Lorenzo launched a more affordable and unisex offshoot, Fear of God Essentials, that is dedicated to just that: The essentials.
Muted colorways are an earmark of their many cozy sweatsuit sets and casual basic tops and pants that are sure to elevate your work-from-home and casual Friday looks.
Our top picks from Fear of God Essentials:
Lace by Tanaya
Designed and made in Los Angeles, Lace by Tanaya is an independently owned label created by Tanaya Henry. Founded in 2009 with an initial focus on jewelry, the brand has since expanded into body jewelry and bejeweled lingerie. With her most recent Black Label line that is made to order, which guarantees fit and custom embellishments, Lace by Tanaya is innovating what lingerie can look like beyond the traditional silk and lace sets.
As peek-a-boo lingerie moments continue to trend, Lace by Tanaya’s offerings provide the opportunity to dabble in as little or as much of a moment as you want to play with.
Our top picks from Lace by Tanaya:
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Founded in 2013 by James Flemons, Phlemuns is a Los Angeles-based unisex label. His designs are created with a focus on clothing construction that is meant to complement the body and wearer’s gender identity.
Known best for their backless and cut-out T-shirts and tank tops, they are sure to make anyone feel ready for a day or night out. Their colorblocked design elements will make you feel both playful and put together, while checking off the cut-out, sheer, and color-pop trends.
Our top picks from Phlemuns:
Trendy sunglasses label Perfect Haze was founded in 2013 by Kamilah Holder in tribute to her late mother, a fellow fashionista. The brand specializes in sunglasses that range from classic aviators to eclectic takes on the small sunglass trend.
Whether you are in search of a new daily pair, or something more eye-catching, Perfect Haze offers unique and stylish options for everyone at an affordable price point.
Our top picks from Perfect Haze:
Size-inclusive luxury brand Hanifa was founded in 2012 by Anifa Mvuemba. During the pandemic, when most designers had to either halt or find alternatives to runway shows, Hanifa came to the attention of the mainstream fashion space in 2020 with her groundbreaking AI fashion presentation.
While the brand's mainstays consist of fun, sexy, comfortable, and colorful knitwear, Anifa does not shy away from pushing each collection further than the last, by playing with different styles of knits that she is best known for, as well as with new materials like painted faux leather, and most recently expanded into footwear.
Our top picks from Hanifa:
Founded in 2016 by Monti Landers, Riot Swim offers swimwear and cover-ups that toe the line between simple and sexy. Their twists on classic swimwear styles, as well as unique cuts, are sure to cause double-takes, while their cover-ups provide a seamless transition between pool lounging and your next activity. Their high-cut one-pieces will elongate even the shortest legs, while their atypical tops could double as a crop top with a pair of high-waisted jeans.
Our top picks from Riot Swim:
Oak and Acorn
Founded by designer Miko Underwood in 2015, Oak and Acorn is a sustainable, genderless New York-based brand that specializes in denim. While sustainability has become quite the buzzword in the fashion space, Oak and Acorn was the first to stake their flag in Harlem, NY, utilizing non-western influences to take a more environmentally friendly approach to their denim from the way it is sourced, to the way it is cut and sewn, as well as re-using and reworking other natural fibers into their designs.
When they’re not creating denim jumpsuits, jackets, and jeans, they are using other eco-friendly and recycled materials to design what are sure to be new staples in your closet.
Our top picks from Oak and Acorn:
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 10 Black-owned fashion brands to shop this Black History Month