Keeping the momentum of Black History Month flowing long past February, we've curated a list of Black-owned brands to support and fall in love with. Ranging from fine jewellery and fashion to interior design and botanicals, these are some of the many brands we endorse, adore and think are worthy investments.
Ultra-feminine designs and modern silhouettes lay the foundations for Sika'a. This forward-looking clothing brand offers African dresses for women that are ethically sourced and sustainable. From easy-breezy dresses crafted from wax cotton fabrics to soft silky blouses and fun and funky jumpsuits, African tradition and culture are present at every turn. Founded by John Tchoudi, Sika'a is a celebration of the rich heritage of Africa and its vibrant and beautiful prints.
A deliciously decadent London-based clothing label with a cult following, Lisouis all about timeless style with a twist. The name behind the brand is Rene Macdonald, who grew up between Tanzania and the UK. Pick up everything from chic silk blouses to out-of-this-world dresses and exquisitely tailored jackets.
Gwyneth Paltrow has given the Mila midi dress the stamp of approval whilst Marsai Martin has been spotted in the Lucille jacket and Libby skirt. Lisou works in collaboration with One Tree Planted, and the brand plants five trees for every full-priced item bought.
With impossibly hip Akosua Afriyie-Kumi at the helm of AAKS, you know that the bag you sling over your shoulder is going to make a big impression. AAKS offers style with staying power and a great story behind every bag. Each piece is handwoven by African women in Ghana using ecologically harvested raffia. All leftover scraps are then used to make smaller bags, keeping everything stylish and sustainable. Ghanaian-born Afriyie-Kumi designs with zesty bursts of sumptuous colour, a high fashion spin and an authentic and ethical approach.
Nana Quagraine, the founder of 54kibo, launched the global platform for African home decor in 2018 and has paved the way for under-the-radar creatives to become mainstream concepts. The name is inspired by the 54 countries that make up Africa. Their website is jam-packed with contemporary treasures honouring African culture and centuries-old traditions. Interior design heaven, it’s the place to come for intricately woven pendant lights influenced by Ndebele African jewellery and exquisite safari-inspired porcelain plates from Senegal.
Showcasing the glorious prints and colours of Africa, Kemi Telford offers high-end women's fashion that is bright, bold and beautiful. Founded in 2017 by Nigerian-born Yvonne Modupe Telford, you'll find African dresses hand-dyed by women artisans in Abeokuta, safari shirts crafted from cotton dead stock and garments hand-stitched by women in Lagos. Celebrate Black History Month with one of Kimi Telford's African print skirts and you'll be rocking it way beyond the end of February.
Tiffany, Dariel and their little girl Elena are the faces behind the Black-owned Bright Black candle brand. Tiffany created Bright Black intending to ensure that her daughter had more positive representations of Black culture. Each custom-blended vegan and all-natural Bright Black candle throws out both mellow and uplifting fragrances. Try the Gospel candle for an inviting blend of chamomile, lilac and myrrh and the Hip Hop candle for that earthy ambery scent of evergreen and oud.
Adore Adorn is perfect for those who value manifestation, self-care, and positivity. Founded by NYC-based jewellery designer Sasha Flynn, it's a fantastic option when you want to steer yourself away from the high street. Flynn handpicks semi-precious stones - agate, malachite, freshwater pearls and moonstone - and crafts statement-making pieces set in silver and gold.
Energising and healing, each piece of jewellery pay homage to Flynn's ancestors. Her values are clear and she is focused on social issues and inclusivity. Since the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Adore Adorn has also made the 15/15/15 pledge.
Shaking up the fashion scene, Black-owned, NYC brand Telfar is all about affordable luxury, unisex apparel and a side of streetwear edge. The brand is helmed by out and proud Liberian-American Telfar Clemens and he's garnered celebrity fans including Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey.
The Telfar vegan leather shopping bag is a cult accessory and always sells out within minutes of being restocked. Clemens' inclusivity message - 'It's not for you. It's for everyone' - is on point and never more so than during Black History Month.
The history of Africa is always explored in Thebe Magugu's ready-to-wear collections. Through his thought-provoking and highly coveted clothing line, the South African designer speaks on issues such as gender equality and government corruption. Expect contemporary pieces that are chic, sleek and designed for comfort. Discover African clothing for women that tell stories of history, heritage and ancestral experiences. Alongside boxy tees and fine knit dresses, there is a sublime collection of berets and sheriff hats featuring Magugu's sisterhood emblem.
Mateo New York
Jewellery designer Matthew Harris grew up in Montego Bay in Jamaica before moving to New York at the age of 16. His brand, Mateo, is worn by Michelle Obama, Zendaya, Gabrielle Union and Kamala Harris and his signature pearls are a showstopper. Swing by Mateo New York for true investment pieces designed to last a lifetime. His photography is also exceptional; visit the website and see a collection of beautiful African women wearing his necklaces, rings and anklets.
Lisa Folawiyo treats her customers to wow-factor dresses, statement-making trousers and vibrant tops. She fuses traditional African wax prints with modern silhouettes for an aesthetic that nods to her Nigerian heritage. Raised in Lagos, this former lawyer turned designer is the queen of print and her use of Ankara textiles is bringing Nigerian fashion to a global audience. She won the African Fashion Awards in 2012 and her clothes have been seen on A-Listers including Lupita Nyong’o, Lucy Liu and Thandie Newton.
A proponent of diversity and inclusivity, Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of Diana Ross, is all about Black girl magic moments. Her global hair brand, Pattern Beauty, is the go-to name for those searching for products that work on African American natural hairstyles. Covering curly, tight and textured hair, Pattern Beauty celebrates the authentic and is fully centred around Black beauty.
Prefer a mocktail to a cocktail? Looking for a healthier way to get your kicks? In steps Pauline Idogho with delightfully punchy non-alcoholic cocktails. Mocktail Club is a sophisticated alternative to the real thing. The aim is to make the social drinking experience fully inclusive.
Mocktail Club's collection of drinks are a mouth watering mix of everything from Capri Sours to Manhattan Berry’s. Born in Nigeria, now living in Washington D.C. and the winner of Pharrell Williams' Black Ambition prize, Idogho is shaking up the drinking scene, showcasing her strength as a female entrepreneur, and fostering Black-owned businesses to grow and prosper.
South African native Hleziphansi Zits's jewellery is rooted in history and family. Her brand, Nandi Naya, was named after her first daughter and is a homage to Shaka Zulu's mother, Queen Nandi of Zululand. Naya's sculptural pieces are fashioned into seductive shapes, named after strong and sensual women including Eartha Kitt, and are certainly worthy of a place in your jewellery box.
Thiara Smith's eponymous brand is all about the London look with a Caribbean twist. From zesty art prints and raffia wall hangings to tropical stationery and gorgeous gift wrap, you'll always find something fun, uplifting and mood-boosting.
Black-owned Prick is London's botanical beauty; a brilliant shop that specialises in all things succulent and cactus. Green-fingered owner Gynelle Leon is dedicated to spiky creatures and she retrained as a florist in her 30s. She has written for The Guardian, featured in Vogue and has published a book showing you how to care for and style your cacti. Leon has a passion for plants and her objective is to educate, engage, and entertain whenever she speaks of nature.
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