The year 2020 has been one for introspection. From a global pandemic that has threatened our very way of life, to the international outcry demanding for better treatment of black and brown people – we collectively, as a human race, needed to take a hard look at ourselves and revisit how we treat our planet and each other.
Black owned fashions labels have been making waves for decades, with the likes of FUBU, Cross Colours and Karl Kani paving the way for today’s fashion heavy-weights. Today, black creatives are slowly entering the realm of decision making in high fashion with Vogue’s Edward Enninful, LVMH’s Virgil Abloh and Olivier Rousteing of Balmain (to name a few)
We would like to take this chance to highlight some of the brands that in, our opinion exemplified the impact of black designers in luxury fashion.
1. Fear of God
Jerry Lorenzo has taken streetwear to new heights with his signature luxury aesthetic approach. Additionally, the Fear Of God x Nike sneaker is now embedded in the culture as one of the most sought after sneakers in the market.
2. Pyer Moss
Not only does Pyer Moss produce bold tailored clothing and streetwear staples, but many of their drops are also inspired by social issues. Additionally, founder Kerby Jean-Raymond has been vocal throughout his career about the plight of Black Americans nearly on every forum that has been afforded.
Founders Gee Schmidt and Edoson Sabajo originally began their fashion careers as sneakers resellers. Seventeen years later Patta has become one of the most recognized streetwear brands throughout the world. Thus far they have collaborated with the likes Carhartt, Bobbito Garcia, Diadora, Kangols, Stussy and Nike making them Holland’s hottest export.
4. Daily Paper
Fuelled by the rich heritage of African culture wrapped in contemporary designs, Daily Paper has become one of the fastest-growing fashion brands out of Europe. With two collections a year focusing on both men and womenswear, Daily Paper offers timeless designs across accessories, ready to wear and a range of capsules across the season.
The company was founded by three friends, Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini.In the beginning the trio set up a blog whereby they occasionally sold T-shirts bearing their logo. The company subsequently grew and amplified into a major trendsetter. ]Although the blog was running in 2008, the company was founded in 2010 and established in 2012.
5. HERON PRESTON
Heron Preston is a fashion designer whose eponymous label features workwear-redefined separates and accessories for both women and men. His work inherently speaks to the next wave of culture, innovation, environmental responsibility and human impact. On and off the runway, Preston’s mission to identify and integrate less environmentally destructive practices permeate throughout all of his work.
Botter is an Antwerp-based menswear brand that is bringing an intensely passionate approach to its thematically-driven design. The founders Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh are graduates of Antwerp's Royal Academy of Arts and Amsterdam's Fashion Institute respectively. The label's attitude is palpably empowering, its technique is undeniably strong: successfully blending elements of streetwear with traces of Caribbean-inspired power-dressing to produce menswear that is perfectly contemporary. Underlying elements of social commentary can be found throughout all of the brand's design as the duo aim to open a dialogue through their conscientious point of view—putting the identity-defining prowess of fashion under a scrutinising lens. Furthermore, ecological sustainability remains an incredibly high priority for Botter. The pair work with local eco-conscious manufacturers, utilise recycled materials, and continue to find new responsible methods through which they can minimize the size of their environmental footprint.
The brainchild of Paris based magazine editor and stylist Sarah Diouf, Tongoro is a Senegal-produced women’s wear high fashion label. Founded in 2016 by Sarah Diouf, with sustainability at the forefront of the brand’s priorities. Counting none other than Beyoncé as a fan, the brand’s eye-catching ready-to-wear pieces are created by artisans in Senegal using age-old techniques inherited from past generations. Each style is designed for the Tongoro girl, who Diouf has described as “feminine, playful, full of character, she’s never afraid of trying new things.”
Tongoro is an African brand that dresses globally, and that will hopefully help the ‘Made In Africa’ label to become a gauge of quality”
The brand carries the name of its New York based designer, Davidson Petit-Frere. His beautifully sculptured often print out or pastel hued suits have gained the attention of a line up of A-list celebrities such as Jay-Z, Diddy and Steph Curry. Last year saw him debut his men’s wear collection on the New York Fashion Week – where it is evident that he has expanded his repertoire to luxurious bomber jackets and classic, fitted tuxedos, as well as suits designed in modern, graphic prints.
9. Goya Paris
Another Afro-Parisian brand we like, is Goya Paris. A beautiful marriage of African “joi de vivre” and Parisian chic – the result is elegant shoes and sneakers created with quality in mind.
Created from scratch, by the Beninese Roderigue Vodounou, it is a testament to the value of hard work, creativity and persistence. Six years on, we truly believe this brand will make big waves.
Lolu a fashion and lifestyle brand for Men and Women of discernment and class. Our ethos is simple; There is nothing more appealing than a well dressed person. LOLU is where TRADITION and style meet with class, confidence and charm, to look effortlessly sharp in shoes and clothes that are handmade to order by expert craftsmen.
LOLU takes inspiration from African / British fashion, creating wearable art.
At Elemntz we have thus decided to do our part as well, with a refocus of our business model to empower and work with more brands that are predominantly black owned and espouse sustainability in their set of values.