The fashion industry has work to do when it comes to dismantling the racism it continues to uphold, but how can we ensure we’re keeping up our end of the deal in the anti-racist plight as consumers?
On top of putting pressure on big global brands to speak up and enact real change we should also be giving our time, capital, and support to black owned fashion brands and creatives, ensuring a platform for their voices to ring loud in future conversations surrounding the fashion industry.
While much of the work will be up to our non-POC readers to source information for themselves we want to use the platform we have to do our part. We’ve started you off by compiling a list of black owned fashion platforms, designers, models and Instagram accounts that are changing the face of a white dominated industry.
We appreciate that Garçon Paper has readers in countries across the globe therefore we’ve ensured that all of the businesses’ mentioned ship internationally, although we also encourage readers to seek out smaller scale independent black owned businesses’ in your own communities.
Black inspiring instagram accounts
@Fiiriagency – Founded by black female freelance creative Mona M. Ali, Fiiri is Scandinavia’s first diverse only agency, their initiative is to represent people of colour in front and behind the camera.
@youngblackartists – An online community founded by artists Ashley Smith and designed to give exposure to young black creatives working across various multimedia platforms. YBA has spent the past five years shedding light on young talent in a competitive industry.
@palomija – Paloma is a New York based model and activist. Since being discovered by MUA Pat McGrath she has worked with global brands such as Nike, Vogue, Glossier and Fenty Beauty. As a black woman and voice of plus size models, she is one of many looking to reshape the fashion industry.
@Imaanhammam –Imaan is a Dutch Moroccan Egyptian Model from Amsterdam. Alongside her work in fashion she is also a Global Ambassador for @shesthefirst a non-profit organisation that seeks to offer disadvantaged young women across the global the opportunity to choose their own future.
@Gabriellak_J – Gabriella is a stylist and fashion director for @garage_magazine, her editorial work is changing the face of digital fashion as she strives for greater representation within the industry.
@burneece – Bernice is a London based freelance artist, set designer and activist, who’s film photography series’ seek to document the experiences of black people in the UK.
@ErinCalexis – Erin is a London based artist, footwear designer and founder of the @hometeamproject which hosts sustainable, creative workshops for young people in Grenade and Carriacou.
@galdemzine – A diverse only media company, collective and print and digital publication seeking to share the perspectives and narratives of women and non-binary people of colour. Their founder @livslittle started the project whilst at university and has since been featured on Forbes 30 under 30 for media and marketing.
@bbz_london – A South East London based, curatorial and creative production collective that seeks to prioritise and give a platform to the experiences of queer, trans and non-binary people of colour. They state that one of their primary aims is to challenge and diversify the creative industry.
@Kai_isaiah_jamal – Kai-Isaiah is a London based trans model, poet, writer and visibility activist as well as a longstanding member of BBZ. Kai frequently references fashion as a tool with which to express body politics and identity.
@jeanie_crystal – Is and artist, DJ and founder of live art collective @birdspresents and the UK’s first LGBTQ+ strip club, Harpies, which primarily offers employment to communities who face greater risk of homelessness and poverty.
@nadineijewere – Nadine is a London born fashion photographer of Nigerian-Jamaican heritage who is making a big name for herself in the fields of fashion and portraiture. As a rising name within fashion photography she seeks to capture the non-traditional and redefine western beauty standards.
@ammydrammeh – Ammy is a Gambian-Spanish makeup artist who takes a story telling approach to her work, seeking to capture real experience as opposed to aesthetic façade. Her collaborations with photographers such as Tim Walkers have seen her work appear in publications such as Vogue and Love Magazine.
@ibkamara – Ib’s is the senior Fashion Editor at Large for ID magazine. Beginning as Central Saint Martin’s graduate his mensware collections explore African heritage and redefine the boundaries of masculinity.
@micaiahcarter – Micaiah is an US based photographer whose work is at once nostalgic of previous eras- particularly the 70s & 90s and relevant in its exploration of the modern day experiences of people of colour.
Black Owned Fashion labels
@kaicollective – Described as ‘attainable clothing with luxury aesthetics’
@suitecoco – Clothing brand that donates a % of their profit to initiatives supporting marginalised groups
@Jendaya.official – An online marketplace & platform that supports black owned brands and creatives.
@SavagexFenty – I don’t even need to explain this one, you already know.
@helloyowie – Retailer focused on supporting independent artists and designers.
@glemaud - Haitain born designer with eponymous fashion label.
@omathelabel – NYC based clothing and jewellery company.
@t.a.newyork – NYC based clothing company with a renewed outlook towards luxury living.
@vavvoune – Founded by designer Valerie Blaise producing leather accessories.
@brothervellies – Footwear brand started by Aurora James, featuring garments handcrafted by artisans from Nairobi to New York.
@coldlaundry – Sustainable fashion brand based in London UK.
@_bellemeg – Brand founded by artist and entrepreneur Megan Carter.
@riotswim – Minimalistic swimwear brand.
@_edas – NYC based accessories line.
On top of our list we know that Vogue recently compiled a more extensive list of businesses’ that also accommodates for beauty and skin care brands. We want to reiterate our original point that for non- POC consumers, half the work is sourcing businesses to support yourself.
There is extensive work to be done yet but reforming this industry is our duty too.