As we all strive to support as many black-owned businesses as we can, boosting black fashion designers is also a priority for the city's fashion flock. Here are some of the most stylish brands to shop now.
Paloma sandals in Midnight, $685, Brother Vellies
Founded in 2013 with the goal of preserving traditional African design practices and techniques, while also sustaining artisanal jobs, Brother Vellies has gained the support of the fashion world for its signature handcrafted shoes and handbags. By combining her long-running passion for artisanship and humanitarianism, creative director and founder Aurora James strives to design truly one-of-a-kind pieces that will remain in your wardrobe forever. 71 Franklin St., Brooklyn
LIVELY-101 sunglasses, $285, Coco and Breezy
Twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson established Coco and Breezy with signature eyewear designs such as the Amazonia, Artemis and Zesiro, along with fashion blue-light glasses. Coco and Breezy’s designs have ranged from the “third-eye” sunglasses for the late Prince to recent collaborations with Hershey’s, Ciroc and SIX:02. 134 W. 29th St.
Designed by Carly Cushnie, CUSHNIE serves the modern woman through its artfully crafted ready-to-wear and bridal collections. Defined by the balance of structure and fluidity, the CUSHNIE aesthetic promotes a refined sense of cosmopolitan minimalism and femininity, as seen on Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez, Ashley Graham and Padma Lakshmi, among many others. 251 W. 39th St.
Tropical prints, vibrant colors, luxury fabrics and Caribbean influences comprise the Brooklyn-based Fe Noel, which bottles up culture and glamour in its versatile collection ranging from silk dresses to graphic swimwear. Through the Fe Noel Foundation, the designer is determined to help young girls who are passionate about entrepreneurship when they are starting their own businesses.
Jemari tiered striped cotton-blend gauze midi dress, $395, lemlem
Model Liya Kebede’s clothing and accessories line, lemlem, collaborates with artisans in her native Ethiopia to create sustainable pieces, ranging from handwoven maxi dresses to colorful swimsuits. Kebede was inspired to launch the brand following a trip to Ethiopia where she met a group of traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their crafts. Ever since, lemlem is committed to encouraging artisanship and expanding production and jobs across Africa.
Conceptual clothing brand Theophilio offers an alternative approach to fashion design through designer Edvin Thompson’s autobiographical collections that adhere to the constant celebration of all aspects of life.
Mishe bag, available in black, wisteria, deep olive and pear green, $495, Vavounne
Created in a small in-house studio in Brooklyn by self-taught designer/artisan Valerie Blaise, Vavvoune is a leather accessories brand known for its creative handbag designs. The brand aims at introducing passionate wearable leather accessories. Vavvoune’s leather creations are sent to NYC’s garment district to be manufactured locally, while the scrap leather is donated directly to art programs across the U.S.
Photography by: Brother Vellies photo by Adrienne Racquel; Vanounne photo by Travis Matthews; sunglasses photo by Lewis Winkle; all photos courtesy of brands