There’s nothing more inspiring to me than seeing women who look like me making major strides in the world of fashion.
Black women pushing boundaries, overcoming adversities and showing women everywhere that our abilities are truly limitless.
Black women who rebel against societal norms and pave the way for the rest of us to celebrate wins alongside them.
Growing up, my Mom always stressed how important it was for my sisters (I have 4!) and me to be relentless in what we want, fearless in how we move through life, and to be supportive of each other.
So today, in support of sisterhood everywhere, I want to highlight 5 Black Female Fashion Designers that should be on your radar in 2020.
Diarra Bousso, a Serial Entrepreneur, Creative Mathematician and Multidisciplinary Artist born in Dakar, Senegal.
Diarrablu is high contemporary lifestyle brand. The brand’s mission is to iterate for sustainability while highlighting the African continent’s rich colors and unique patterns through practical and versatile pieces designed using mathematical concepts or algorithms. Through a sartorial celebration of geometry and modern art, the collections are marked by strong structural cuts, bold prints and colorful accents.
My 2 cents:
I am obsessed with Diarrablu’s patterns. They can outright be hypnotic in some of her designs like the striking black & white kimono that I am wearing here. And the cherry on top is that Diarra uses real math equations to create these mesmerizing styles. It’s an innovative and thoughtful way to express herself through her designs and make prints that are different and unique. Who said that Math + Fashion can’t be fun.
Felisha “Fe” Noel, a womenswear designer from Brooklyn, NY.
“Eat well, travel often, and dress to inspire!”. This is the philosophy behind Brooklyn based, womenswear brand Fe Noel. The brand is deeply influenced by Fe’s Grenadian heritage and the ability to bottle up culture and glamour infused with sensibility and sensuality.
My 2 cents:
I saw Fe Noel’s show this past season at New York Fashion Week and it was amazing in all the right ways. Feminine and flowy designs with vibrant colors combined with lightweight fabrics and surprisingly complex sleeves had the audience in awe. I wanted to be transported to a resort somewhere in the Caribbean lounging by the pool in her clothes.
Dumebi Iyamah, a Nigerian fashion designer based in Ontario, Canada
Andrea Iyamah caters to females across borders looking to rock a fabulous piece to an event or an edgy bathing suit on a steamy vacation. Since 2011, the brand has focused on selling ethnicity with a modern twist, while maintaining its attention to detail and cuts. The brand seeks to be a part of the memories of getaways through its designs and the opportunity for the A.I. woman to be a part of a cultural story in the attire she adorns herself with.
My 2 cents:
When it comes to swimwear, it’s hard to create something outside of the box. Luckily, Dumebi loves to play with shapes, strings and cutouts in her designs. Her range, from revealing to more modest designs, appeal to women of all shapes and sizes and hugs you in all the right places once you put them on. It’s no wonder the likes of Ciara and Gabrielle Union have rocked her pieces in the past and you should too if you want to channel your inner fierceness and stand out from the crowd this summer.
Carly Cushnie, Creative Director and CEO of Cushnie, the designer womenswear brand she co-founded in 2008
Established in 2008, the label was founded on the desire to serve the modern woman. Artfully crafted with clean, sculptural lines, the Cushnie collection is precisely tailored to achieve the perfect fit for the female form. Defined by the balance of proportion, structure and fluidity, the Cushnie aesthetic embodies a refined sense of cosmopolitan minimalism and femininity.
My 2 cents:
If I could have create a single fashion line, it just might be Cushnie. The eponymous line by Carly Cushnie is everything a modern woman might want in her closet – minimal, feminine and timeless. Carly’s attention to fit and understanding of how to make a statement while staying true to her minimalist aesthetic is what sets her designs apart. And with a slew of celebrity endorsements from Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, and Lupita Nyong’o all advocating for the 31-year old black female fashion designer, Cushnie’s future seems very bright.
Aurora James, a Toronto-native and New York City-transplant, Creative Director and Founder
Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices, and techniques alive while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. Now handmade artisanally across the globe, Brother Vellies creates luxury accessories that celebrate cultural histories and timeless design.
My 2 cents:
If you are a shoe lover, you might want to stay away from Brother Vellies website or you will be sucked into Aurora’s universe that feels just like falling down a rabbit hole. Extravagant designs, statement shoes and a unique take on basics, Brother Vellies has designs that will instantly elevate your look. All of the shoes are handmade around the world – South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Italy, New York City, the list goes on and fair labor practices that Aurora advocates for are easy to get behind – for example, her shoes never go on sale. Judging by how many of her designs are on a waitlist, it seems to be doing the trick for shoe lovers around the world.
Hope you are as inspired as me by these 5 amazing black female fashion designers who are slaying the fashion game in their own ways. Let me know in the comments if you have any other stunning women of color that I should add to the list!