Supporting Black-Owned Businesses
It would be near impossible to say that you haven’t come across the tragic events that have been unfolded in the past few weeks. Most notably, the murders of; George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and Breonna Taylor (not to mention the many other deaths in the past years). Protests have been organised across different cities in the world to manifest against prevalent systematic racism, white supremacy and police brutality; creating global awareness. People are donating, signing petitions and vowing for equality and anti-racism. Supporting Black-owned businesses in fashion is another great way to use your own power for change.
Today, twenty-one per cent of Black-owned businesses suspect that they will not be able to pull through the COVID-19 epidemic. This implies to only five percent of White-owned businesses will be impacted in the same way. This is concerning. We believe that it is only right to encourage reflection and to see Black-owned businesses thrive. As consumers, we can do our part in contributing and showing some love! As well as reading books on constructive racism, why not learn about fashion brands that embody diversity and undeniable talent? Let us take a look at some businesses that we think you should have on your radar.
Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi is breaking boundaries as she sculpts her world in the realm of fashion. Mowalola was born in Lagos but is now based in London. She has had the astounding experience of working with top names in the industry such as Solange, Drake and Naomi Campbell. Her stylish and bold designs represent a fusion of Nigerian kaleidoscopic rock and British pop culture surrounding the themes of politics, erotism and music. “No matter how well dressed you are or well behaved, we are time after time seen as a walking target. I’m in a position to be able to speak on issues that others would be silenced on. Inequality is still rife and newspapers clawing at my work is a testament to that.” – Mowalola
Meanwhile, there is a different kind of nude in the market. Many women of colour have found it impossible to buy nude bras and skin-tone hosiery that match with their skin shades. This task is often compared to finding a needle in a haystack. With great attention to detail, Nubian Skin has launched a collection of underwear for men and women of colour. Headquartered in London, the company also ships worldwide. Thanks to founder Ade Hassan, men and women from around the world are now able to feel even more beautiful in their own skin.
There is no doubt in saying that the designer and singer/songwriter Dork Dozier has worked his way up in producing a groundbreaking portfolio. With years of experience growing up in Los Angeles and travelling around the world collaborating with artists such as Nicki Minaj, he is definitely proof that Black men can also be successful! A huge part of his journey evolves around Tabb, a luxurious accessory line based on exquisite bowties available for men and women. Not only has he created a wide range of dope bowties but he also has a collection of cufflinks, t-shirts and new to his edition are his COVID-19 protective masks designed as you’ve never seen it before. If you are interested in grabbing a mask know that 15 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to children’s hospitals. Message http://instagram.com/tabb_bowties to order.
Next, supermodel Liya Kebede launched the Lemlem brand after visiting her home country Ethiopia. She was inspired by the native weavers who were passionate for their craft. Lemlem meaning ‘bloom and flourish’ in the Ethiopian language of Amharic commits to providing employment, supporting artisanship and growing production in Africa through the Lemlem foundation. The handwoven collection from natural Ethiopian cotton offers apparel for men, women and children.
To summarise, invest today and forever. Support all Black-owned businesses in the world of fashion.
Written by: Pablo Etienne-Escudero