By ROBYN MOWATT
Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
In 2020, Black-owned fashion brands were heralded in a way that pushed them to the front of the fashion industry. With an uptick in coverage, these brands (and their designers) began to get the recognition they’d always deserved. Many of their collections flourished by word of mouth before they became embraced by the mainstream. But even before the acclaim, it was apparent that these designers were uniquely gifted, creating expressive and intricately designed pieces in streetwear and workwear.
If you’ve been searching for something to round out your go-to officewear or makes sense for your ever-changing tastes, you’ve come to the right space. Below, you’ll find an assortment of lines that are ideal for everything from kicking it inside your home to attending weddings.
Telfar, New York City
Telfar Clemens landed on a lot of fashion insiders’ radars when he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2018. Despite being founded in 2005, the fashion house became a household name following the redesign of the beloved logo Shopping Bag in 2017.
Wales Bonner, London
Menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner is constantly flipping Western silhouettes on their heads. She’s great at dreaming up elaborate everyday staples like tailored jackets, intricate collared shirts, office-ready trousers, and more.
Daily Paper, Amsterdam
Daily Paper constantly offers streetwear staples like t-shirts, denim jackets, and other pieces. Each season there are refreshing prints that are worth snatching up immediately, too.
Denim Tears, Los Angeles
Tremaine Emory is known by many as the creator of No Vacancy Inn, but he’s also the designer behind Denim Tears. The line is filled with expertly designed streetwear emblazoned with graphics and denim pieces.
Joe Fresh Goods, Chicago
Multi-talented creative director Joe Fresh Goods has the collaboration game on lock. Over the last few years, he’s created sold-out collections with New Balance, Converse, and more. His streetwear pieces are expressive and influenced by his Chicago roots.
Fear of God, Los Angeles
Jerry Lorenzo struck gold when he began releasing comfortable luxury wear that consisted of flesh-colored graphic tees and sweatpants. He’s since moved on to footwear and luxe workwear.
Savant Studios, Brooklyn
Michael Graham’s Savant Studios is for streetwear lovers who are strictly into logo tees, trucker hats, sweatshirts, workwear vests, and jackets with a hint of DIY. You can slide by their Brooklyn storefront if you’d like to pick up pieces in person.
Martine Rose, London
Martine Rose is constantly pushing out sleek menswear and womenswear pieces that are heavily inspired by ‘90s-era rave and hip-hop culture. What she accomplishes each season are options for those who are looking for thoughtful everyday wear, including must-have trousers and elevated outerwear.
Who Decides War, New York City
As a frequent collaborator of the late Virgil Abloh, Who Decides War’s Ev Bravado is known for creating expressive streetwear. Rather than relying on logos and T-shirts, he takes things a step further by dreaming up elevated denim selects and more.
Heron Preston, Milan
San Francisco-born designer and DJ Heron Preston cut his teeth alongside Off-White’s Virgil Abloh and Alyx’s Matthew Williams (the trio formed the cult streetwear collective Been Trill together). His eponymous line features graphic prints and luxe pieces ideal for office wear.
Bianca Saunders, London
Bianca Saunders creates pieces inspired by her British and Caribbean background. Her eye for creating expressive and unique menswear (especially suits and smart casual loungewear) has helped her become a topic of discussion in menswear fashion.
Connor McKnight, Brooklyn
Luxury label Connor McKnight was founded in 2020. What started as a pandemic hobby of cut-and-sew pieces turned into an expansive line filled with functional, wearable luxury selections that are undeniably sophisticated.
No Sesso, Los Angeles
Ran by a group of Black trans creatives No Sesso is just as exciting as it is compelling. Since its creation in 2015, the house’s collections have been genderless. With each range, co-founders Pia Davis and Autumn Randolph succeed in creating a shoppable drop that is sensual and unconventional.
Mowalola Ogunlesi, an alum of Central Saint Martins, is constantly shelling out unpredictable tees, handbags, and more that are injected with the energy of her Nigerian heritage. She relies heavily on her background and fuses it with her affinity for graphics, leather, and bold colors.
Edvin Thompson’s Theophilio is heavily inspired by his Jamaican heritage. You can look to this brand for boldly colored dresses, tops, and more. Each piece is constructed with upcycled or responsibly sourced materials, too.
Phlemuns, Los Angeles
Since 2013, James Flemuns has been responsible for releasing luxe ready-to-wear pieces that are genderless. The brand is mostly known for Flemuns’ unique way of creating elevated basics.
Sheila Rashid, Chicago
Sheila Rashid is a staple in the fashion community in her hometown Chicago. Her eye for custom denim and jackets has led to major collaborations, like the one she did with Air Jordan in 2020 during All-Star Weekend.
Nicholas Daley, London
Central Saint Martins graduate Nicholas Daly launched his eponymous label in 2015. Since then, he’s been creating ranges that speak to his distinct Scottish-Jamaican roots, merging cultural and musical references into his workwear-inspired silhouettes.
Founded in 2004 by Edson Sabajo and Guillaume Schmidt, Patta has gone on to become a streetwear staple. Collabs with Nike, in addition to their seasonal offerings, are well worth stocking up on.
Gallery Department, Los Angeles
Gallery Department is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based designer Josué Thomas. Its most significant pieces are carpenter pants and denim separates splattered with paint.