There is so much raw talent in the Black community that has yet to be explored. Fortunately, the birth of Beyonce’s Black Parade Route has given underrepresented Black-owned accessories brands the recognition they have always deserved. After perusing virtual jewelry cases for over 48 hours, I have compiled a list of earrings, head wraps, bags and more at a range of prices to style under the sun.
- Cross Colours
Cross Colours is an urban streetwear brand born in the late ‘80s. After 30 years, Cross Colours is the vintage fashion that 2020 shoppers crave, with a taste of social justice. The denim bucket hat above is a must-have. Cross Colours also sells solid-black face masks. If you’re looking for Black-owned face masks with bold colors and tribal prints, here’s five.
- 3rd EyeView Eyewear
In the name of vintage fashion, I give you 3rd EyeView Eyewear. The Francis, shown above, just made your grandma’s shades a fashion statement, all while keeping it affordable.
- Saint Fort
Saint Fort is a brand widely known for bejeweled fedoras and top hats. The Val Turban incorporates the same design. The turban is dressed in delicate pearls and made of deep blue velvet fabric.
I have a strange addiction to anything with a tassel, and earrings top that list. Choked specializes in hair accessories, earrings, rings and handbags. Their voluminous tassel and gemstone earrings captivated my attention almost immediately. Each design is handmade and comes in multiple colors. Wait, you don’t have your ears pierced? Choked offers clip-in earrings, as well. My personal favorite: the Bonita.
- Melanie Marie
I’m sure you may already have a personalized necklace or a pendant with your initial from Claire's, but have you ever had a personalized necklace in your own handwriting? Melanie Marie allows customers to get inventive and add their own unique touch.
- Beads Byaree
Each item designed by Beads Byaree brings you into her whimsical fantasy. Designer Areeayl Goodwin takes her dreams and brings them to life through the coils and curvatures of brass rings, necklaces and earrings. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted in her Brooklyn home and bent into expressive shapes and figures depicting her imagination. The Keepsake earrings encase your loved ones in a brass frame, so they’ll never be too far.
- Lingua Nigra
Alicia Goodwin, the powerhouse behind Lingua Nigra, crafts metal jewelry using acid etching and metal reticulation, which forms a network pattern on the piece. This earring is called Two Clouds Above Nine and is plated with 22kt gold. If my wallet would allow it, I would buy it.
Sustainable handbag designer Zashadu manufactures everything from her Nigerian studio. The design technique used is passed down from generations from local craftsmen and craftswomen. She also focuses on slow fashion, where leather used in her handbags is sustainably sourced, which is replacing fast fashion. The Muse Fringe Bag is the accessory I’ll be wearing to brunch post-COVID.
Virgil Abloh’s brand has grown to stardom, for using what looks like a white permanent marker, to label each item. The Jitney Bag does just that. It’s compact size and crafty writing grabbed my attention, and it's now on my wishlist.
Neglecting to wear accessories is like dimming the lights, tucking yourself under a fleece blanket, your thumb on the play button — and forgetting the popcorn. Your outfit is just not the same without it. Accessories elevate any look from sweatpants to pencil skirts. With the introduction of these nine amazing Black-owned brands, I hope you can include them in your daily rotation.