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5 Luxury Menswear Brands, created by Black Men

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

I would like to dedicate this article to all of the black male-owned brands that are doing it for the culture.

Before returning to Maryland for spring break, my boyfriend and I decided to make a spontaneous stop along our journey at Tysons Corner Mall. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar, Tyson’s Corner is a mall with many luxurious retail stores located in Tysons Corner, Virginia, an edge city that lies in the Washington, Metropolitan Area. In large malls like this, I, like many other people, I am sure, people watch. As I walked through the mall, I observed the people not in a judgmental way but more so in a curious way. I noticed that several of the men and women were very well dressed and carried themselves in a graceful and distinguished manner. After we passed by multiple couples whose appearances hinted towards a wealthy and successful lifestyle, as they were well dressed from head to toe, I nudged my boyfriend and said, “That’s going to be us one day- wearing the finest and most luxurious clothing.” We both laughed and began to name different high-end brands of clothing that we could see each other wearing in our possible future together. As a disclaimer, by no means are he and I materialistic or vain individuals, but we were taught that hard work deserves success, and you can earn the desires of your heart as long as you work hard and speak it into existence; therefore, this silly interaction is us speaking it into existence. Anyway, after I said that to him, he named the many nice women’s brands that he could see me wearing. When it was my turn to name brands for him, I struggled to name one that I thought suited him and all that he is, not just an individual, but in the essence of who he is as a black man.  As we continued our walk through the mall, I did not dwell on this for much longer, but, it surely left its mark on my mind. How does this anecdote correlate to my topic? Don’t worry; I’m getting there. 

On Sunday, March 6th, about a week after being at Tyson’s Corner, I contemplated what article I should write for this week. Then like miraculously, that moment of us in the mall came to me. I realized that though I could name a few, such as Versace, Calvin Klein, and Gucci, all of these were white male brands. I believe that oftentimes, the fashion industry and the clothing lines created can be dominated by either white men or white women. In my opinion, there aren’t enough mainstream clothing brands that are created for as well as by black individuals in general. However, we stand true to many luxury brands, only to sometimes be betrayed by their culturally appropriated and suggestively racist designs and creations. For example, in February of 2019, Gucci released a black turtle neck sweater with a red opening for the mouthpiece that was reminiscent of stereotypical, Black caricatures depicted in old, racist cartoons and, because a black model wore it, it closely resembled black face. Nonetheless, after a short period of “canceling,” many of us continue to patronize these brands. I am not here to judge; to each their own. However, the mainstream spotlight should also be shined on black-owned brands to create more diversity in the fashion industry and accurately depict the diversity of black culture.

Having this understanding of this problem lighted a desire in me to know more about the luxury black-owned menswear brands that are out there. Therefore,  being that it is “His Campus Week” and it always being the perfect time to highlight Black Excellence, here’s a  small list comprised of five of the many black-owned luxury menswear/gender-neutral brands created by black men that are out there and quickly caught my eye. 


A-COLD-WALL* is a high-end, minimalist streetwear brand for men that was created by Samuel Ross, the protege of Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Virgil Abloh. The style of A-COLD-WALL* apparel can be described as Avant guard in the industrial design techniques used to create the clothing. This brand takes a sociological and philosophical approach to fashion. It focuses on the effect of society’s perception of the male and its influence on the limitations placed on male identity and the possibilities for the progression and evolution of how men’s clothing is depicted and worn. The brand uses material innovation, rational system-based design, and a constantly changing mindset to bring futuristic, sophisticated, unique, and interesting clothing to life. The brand takes a more sustainable stance as it discourages overproduction and overconsumption by staying true to innate respect for the technique, artistry, and expression that truly defines real fashion. Moreover, since its debut in the 2018 Spring fashion week show in London,  A-COLD-WALL* has partnered with Nike, Converse, Dr. Marten’s, and Beats by Dre. 



In 2009, Armando Cabral, a former model for Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Dries Van Noten, and J. Crew, launched his eponymous shoe brand. What motivated him to launch was his recognition of the small size of the men’s luxury footwear market. Each of the loafers, slippers, boots, winter soles, sneakers, and Derbys that ARMANDO CABRAL produces are created by well-versed Italian artisans but are by no means separated from the roots of black culture. The namesake brand has strong links to Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, the birthplace of Armando Cabral himself, and included in the craftsmanship of his shoes is the pano di pinti.  Pano di pinti is a Guinea-Bissau symbol that Armando uses to express the diversity of his country. His shoes are made for luxurious and modern comfort while promoting West African and global culture. In 2011, ARMANDO CABRAL received global coverage after walking in London’s Fashion Week. In 2019, as a result of their support towards social justice movements and different communities in need, they became one of the first luxury fashion brands to start a give-back program. In 2021, ARMANDO CABRAL proceeds from purchases to the Black Lives Matter social movement and Education in Guinea-Bissau.


  1. The Brooklyn Circus

One of my new favorites, Brooklyn Circus, is a streetwear- menswear brand native to Brooklyn, New York, and was founded by Ouigi Theodore. According to the Circus, their fashion is not only an ode to themselves, but it is an ode to some of the greatest styles of vintage Black fashion that came out of the 1960s to early 2000s, from the signature varsity jackets, wool baseball caps, sweatshirts, graphic tees, suit jackets. Many of the ensembles are reminiscent of the fashions worn in the 1975 film Cooley High and the fashion tastes of Spike Lee. Nothing is more significant and unique to this label than its “100-year plan”. According to Theodore, this means after centuries of perseverance through pain oppression. Black individuals haven’t had time to patent the trends and styles we create; therefore, within 100 years, the label hopes to solidify its ideas as a permanent influence on American history as well as bring back those parts of Black fashion and culture that have been forgotten.

Shop Brooklyn Circus

  1. Connor McNight

Conor Mcknight is a gender-neutral namesake brand that was launched by McKnight during the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020 while in quarantine. The brand takes a new approach to workwear that defies the usual tightly fitted, uniform black and blue, and overall structure of ‘typical” luxury clothing, by applying the same fabrics, shapes, and colors that would typically be used for recreational activities. He understands that black people are expected to look the part, a part that is defined by a society that views them as less than and always needing to go the extra mile to prove themselves. He chooses to defy these expectations in his designs, creating the opposite of what people perceive to be “professional” or “acceptable” of Black individuals. There is a diverse inclusion of fabrics from corduroy to leather, as well as various earth-toned color pallets. Interestingly, the designs colors, and textures included in McKnight’s brand were taken from his grandfather’s 1950s Northeast D.C. home. Therefore, the Connor Mcknight brand was created to entail the lifestyles of the black community and to explore the correlation between normality and luxury in black culture. 

Shop Connor McKnight

  1. Darryl Brown

Darryl Brown is another eponymous brand, that was created in  2019 created under the influence of Brown’s experience working on the railroad and other industrial jobs. This brand is another new and fresh approach to workwear as well as casual wear. Darryl Brown began in fashion as a head stylist for Kanye West before leaving him to start his own empire. His clothing is inspired by Dickies and Carhatt styles because these brands are significant to his childhood development, being that it was all that his parents could afford as he was growing up. Therefore, his brand redefines what they could only afford or what may not have been the most trendy into something that holds value and can be worn proudly by an individual. His brand illuminates simplicity and reshapes workwear as something that is just as durable and high quality but is less restrictive and more expressive. 

Shop Darryl Brown

Overall, this list of black-owned menswear luxury fashion brands by black men is probably less than 0.01% of the great multitude of brands that are out there. Aside from just menswear and luxury, there is such a wide array of unique and fashionable black-owned brands that are just waiting to be discovered.

Lizzy Veal

Hampton U '24

Elizabeth Veal is a sophomore, Sociology major and Criminal Justice minor at Hampton University. She is from Baltimore, Maryland (shout out to the 410) , and recently joined HerCampus in September 2021. She is excited to make new memories with her fellow members, improve her writing skills, and become involved in all that HerCampus and Hampton University has to offer. In her spare time, she enjoys watching classic Black films, listening to R&B and old school rap. Her favorite artists are Jhene Aiko, Giveon, J Cole, and Tupac.