10 Black-Owned Fashion & Streetwear Brands
Last year, protestors have gathered across the world to confront ongoing systemic racism and police brutality against Black people in different countries. So, your luxury streetwear stylist decided to give you “10 black-owned fashion businesses” to follow & support from now.
From the year 2010, we have seen notable strides forward. Virgil Abloh was appointed as the first black creative director of Louis Vuitton Menswear in 2018. Jerry Lorenzo’s “Fear of God” has been the face of streetwear-meets-luxury fashion metamorphosis. These are some of the names at the leading edge, but there are plenty of other Black-owned brands that deserve recognition as well. While the total number is not limited to what is listed here, we have decided to highlight 10 Black-owned fashion & streetwear brands that should be on your radar the next time you dip into your funds for some new pieces to add to the closet.
10.Deep is an independent, street fashion brand founded in 1995. Springing out of the mix of niche musical and visual subcultures that fueled the New York / Tokyo / London streetwear scene of the 1990s.
Originally launched in 2003 alongside close friend and streetwear legend Nigo, Pharrell’s BBC ICECREAM helped define an entire era of streetwear with its bold prints and bright colors in the 2000s. Pharrell reclaimed full control of the brand in 2016 after buying out Iconix Brands Group Inc’s 50 percent stake.
Based in Amsterdam, Daily Paper is a brand by Jefferson Osei, Abderrahmane Trabsini, and Hussein Suleiman. The line is heavily influenced by the backgrounds of the founders, who hail from Morocco, Ghana, and Somalia. What originally started as a streetwear blog has turned into a brand with formidable menswear and womenswear collections.
Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God has helped push the luxury/streetwear relationship forward since launching in 2013. Defining an era with his baggy silhouettes and remixed vintage T-shirts, Lorenzo has continued to expand his independently owned brand with an ongoing Nike partnership in 2020, more accessible Essentials diffusion line, and a foray into suiting with Italy’s Ermenegildo Zegna.
Daymond John, a Queens native and regular judge on ABC’s Shark Tank, founded FUBU, which stands for “For Us, By Us,” in 1992 with his friends J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, and Carlton Brown. At its peak, the brand was in over 5,000 stores, and in 1998 its yearly sales were more than $350 million. But after co-opting a Gap commercial via LL Cool J in 1999, outfitting pop acts like *NSYNC, and spending $5 million to make The Good Life, a compilation album under Universal, the team decided to retreat from the U.S. market in 2003. It partnered with Century 21 in 2019 to bring the brand back to the U.S. market and it’s maintained Black ownership since its founding.
The late Nipsey Hussle’s clothing, Marathon, has not only been a beacon for his community in Crenshaw, but also a way for the masses to honor Nipsey’s legacy. Collaborators have included Puma and Jerry Lorenzo’s Essentials line.
Martine Rose, a London-based designer, has been producing her eponymous label since 2007. She’s created a cult following with her distinctive sportswear pieces that are just a little off-kilter—a look she helped popularize while also working for Demna Gvasalia when he launched Balenciaga men’s and tapped Rose to help with design. She also designs Napa by Martine Rose, a collection with Italian brand Napapijri.
Since launching Off-White in 2012, Virgil Abloh has built one of the world’s most popular luxury streetwear labels today. From highly-coveted Nike collabs to his signature graphic hoodies, Louis Vuitton’s creative director of menswear has built a brand that will last—even if he thinks streetwear is dead. While The New Guards Group owns, produces, and manufacturers the line, Abloh owns its trademark.
Originally founded by Mary Ann-Fusco and James Jebbia in 1989, New York City’s Union is known as one of the first streetwear stores to ever exist. Today, it is based in Los Angeles and led by Chris Gibbs, who has kept the pioneering streetwear store’s legacy alive and has developed its in-house label.
Although Kanye West’s clothing line has been around since 2015, and his sneaker collaborations with Adidas have remained popular, West took a break from designing collections up until this year when he dropped Yeezy Season 8 at Paris Fashion Week. As usual, his latest collection consisted of monochromatic, elevated, essentials. Despite Ye’s polarizing political views today, his influence and voice certainly urged the fashion industry to pay more attention to black designers.
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