5 Black-Owned Fashion Companies to Support For Black History Month and Beyond

When we think of the fashion industry, the first word that comes to mind hasn’t always been “diversity.” However, that narrative is slowly being rewritten, with designers and models of all different races, sizes, and ethnicities gracing the runways of recent years. We aren't a one-size-fits-all society, and our fashion consumption shouldn’t be either.

Black fashion designers in particular have contributed so much to the fashion industry for years and hardly ever get the credit they deserve. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's more important than ever to support the Black community in more ways than one. Beyond just signing petitions and educating yourself on Black history, your support trickles down to your shopping behavior. Supporting Black-owned businesses is a way of giving a voice to an often underrepresented community. In honor of Black History Month, I’ve curated a list of some of the best Black-owned fashion companies you can shop right now to add some style and diversity to your closet. 

1. PSK Collective x Walmart.com

PSK Collective preaches equality and diversity for Gen Z women everywhere. Founded by former athlete and entrepreneur Phaidra Knight, PSK Collective is the perfect marriage between fashion and sports — a combination we are sadly not used to seeing often. The streetwear-meets-sportswear styles allow women to express themselves while still being comfortable enough to play sports in them. 

Sure, the clothes are amazing, but Knight takes it a step further. 15% of all profits from PSK Collective go to the Women’s Sports Foundation, which aims to further the conversation about women’s equality in sports. In 2019, Knight founded PeaK Unleashed, a non-profit organization that supports and uplifts marginalized youth — particularly those of incarcerated and exploited populations — through educational support and physical activities such as rugby and yoga. 

2. Jolie Noire

Sisters Keyondra and Kim Lockette launched Jolie Noire in 2019 when they saw the need for more Black, female voices in the fashion industry. Inspired by their Louisiana and French roots, Jolie Noire means “Pretty Black” in French. The Lockettes believe that “we are primed to think dark colors (specifically black) are negative and light colors are positive." To level the playing field, they aim to shape the minds of consumers to change the meaning, emotions and values that they associate with the color black. 

The collection consists of beautiful printed sweatshirts that celebrate Black women. In a market that is often not representative of the customers who support it, it's refreshing to see a brand that praises diversity and acceptance.

3. Brother Vellies

Founded in 2013, Brother Vellies is a luxury accessories brand that aims to keep traditional African design practices alive while also creating and sustaining jobs for its artisans. Its founder, Aurora James, had vast fashion industry experience before launching the brand. Today, Brother Vellies is sold at Moda Operandi, Shopbop, and countless other retailers.

Looking for glamorous, timeless shoes and accessories? Look no further than Brother Vellies. Their handbags and footwear are handcrafted in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco, so you know your purchase is supporting artisans in Africa. 

4. Cushnie

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CUSHNIE (@cushnie)

Formerly known as Cushnie et Ochs, the label was started by Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie in 2008 and continued under Cushnie after Ochs left in 2018. The brand was one of very few Black-female-led brands in America, which is a really sad realization. Cushnie struck the perfect balance between sexy and feminine style and was a favorite among many famous ladies, including Michelle Obama. 

While Cushnie tragically announced it would be closing its doors in late 2020, you can still shop remaining pieces at retailers like Net-A-Porter and Bergdorf Goodman (and there’s always Poshmark). TBH, I almost cried when I found out they were closing — Carly Cushnie is a huge role model of mine. I have faith that this isn’t the last of her days as a designer.  

5. Ivy Park

I think in 2021 pretty much everyone knows about Ivy Park. If you don’t, allow me to introduce you. Ivy Park is an athleisure company co-founded by Beyoncé in 2016. She said, “Versatility is a big part of the IVY PARK line and what inspires me. You can create your own style by experimenting and taking chances and continually reinventing your look with all of these pieces.”

Ivy Park was recently relaunched in collaboration with Adidas, and the third drop launches on February 19th on the Adidas site. It'll be available in-store and at other select retailers starting February 20th, so get your wallets ready. 

There are so many ways you can show support for the Black community that extend beyond the month of February, and believe it or not, your shopping addiction can be put to good use. Next time you’re looking for a new trendy workout set or cozy sweatshirt, consider shopping from a Black-owned business.