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These Black Fashion Designers Are Killin’ It

Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei, and Abderrahmane Trabsini

black designers daily paper

Courtesy Daily Paper

Brand: Daily Paper

Founded in 2012, this Amsterdam-based crew (they’re childhood friends!) formed an up and coming fashion and lifestyle brand you must keep on your radar. Back in 2008, Suleiman, Osei, and Trabsini started Daily Paper as a blog—the trio then channeled their admiration for the arts into creating one of the fastest-growing fashion brands in Europe. Their designs, which span both menswear and womenswear, celebrate the vibrant heritage of African culture and contemporary life.

Jason Rembert

new york, new york november 02 jason rembert poses with an award for shopbop during the 25th annual ace awards on november 02, 2021 in new york city photo by ilya s savenokgetty images for accessories council

Ilya S. Savenok

Brand: Aliétte

Heralded for his thought-provoking looks, Rembert is a sought-after Hollywood stylist, dressing the likes of Issa Rae and Marsai Martin. His luxury label is inspired by his mom (!!) and features many gorge creations, including the stunning dress Zendaya wore in her Netflix film Malcolm & Marie.

Kerby Jean-Raymond

cfda vogue fashion fund 2019 awards

Jamie McCarthy//Getty Images

Brand: Pyer Moss

Founded in 2013, the Haitian designer started off with menswear before expanding into womenswear, and he’s only gotten more buzz. Stars like Lil Nas X, Issa Rae, and Tracee Ellis Ross have worn his creations, and he was also named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 most influential people in 2019.

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Aurora James

e, elle img host nyfw kickoff party, a celebration of personal style sponsored by tresemme arrivals

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Brand:Brother Vellies

James was also the creator of the “15 Percent Pledge,” which launched in 2020 to give more shelf space to Black businesses in retail stores in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Her sustainable accessories brand, Brother Vellies, features enviable boots and handbags (like the one she’s holding, here).

Telfar Clemens

telfar backstage february 2018 new york fashion week presented by made

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Brand: Telfar

His popular purse designs with the signature logo have been dubbed the “Bushwick Birkin.” Telfar’s designs are unisex and he’s championed gender-neutral clothing.

Romeo Hunte

another magazine the store x host the official opening of

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Brand: Romeo Hunte

Michelle Obama, Zendaya, Beyoncé, Saweetie, and Keke Palmer have all worn Hunte’s designs. His outerwear definitely makes a statement, and he’s known for using the buffalo-check pattern in many of his clothes, like on his jeans shown here.

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Carly Cushnie

cushnie september 2018 new york fashion week

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Brand: Cushnie

Designer Carly Cushnie’s sleek styles have been worn by so many major names, including Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Selena Gomez, Ashley Graham, Lupita Nyong’o, and Michelle Obama. Dubbed “one of the most prominent Black-owned brands in American fashion” by the New York Times, Cushnie paved the way for Black women in fashion. Her streamlined silhouettes and luxe fabrics were total “wow” masterpieces, so the world was v shocked when Cushnie was forced to close due to financial burdens spurred by the pandemic. Thankfully, the designer is still creating, but in a new—and pint-sized—way. Her most recent work includes designing a collab for the iconic American Girl dolls. It was perfectly timed, too, seeing how she’s been killin’ it taking care of her kids at home!

LaQuan Smith

cfda fashion awards arrivals

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Brand: LaQuan Smith

He’s a real celeb fave. Proof? Rihanna, Beyoncé, and sooo many more have worn his pieces. Basically, go to LaQuan Smith for any of your glam and/or sexy outfit needs.

Rihanna

robyn rihanna fenty and linda fargo celebrate the launch of fenty at bergdorf goodman

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Brands: Fenty, Savage X Fenty

Yes, you already know RiRi and she’s founder not one, but TWO fashion lines. Savage X Fenty has affordable and size-inclusive lingerie, while Fenty offered super upscale fashion until sadly shuttering in 2021 (though it lives on as bomb beauty brand).With the latter’s launch, she was the first woman—and the first Black woman—to helm her own original brand at LVMH.

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Christopher John Rogers

cfda vogue fashion fund 2019 awards

Jamie McCarthy//Getty Images

Brand: Christopher John Rogers

His runway shows are consistently the talk of New York Fashion Week with their exuberance and amazing styling. At just 28 years old,the Louisiana designer has already dressed high-profile women like Michelle Obama and Cardi B. In 2021, he won the American Womenswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Fashion Awards, and his recent work includes a playful Target collab featuring sunny yellow dresses, floral prints with puffed sleeves, and the coolest juxtaposition of gingham and plaid.

Fe Noel

harlem's fashion row 12th annual fashion show style awards

Johnny Nunez//Getty Images

Brand: Fe Noel

Beautiful robes, swimsuits, and ready-to-wear from designer Fe Noel will literally make your life a happier place. You’ll fall in love with the stunning, vacation-worthy prints, like the one on the robe she’s wearing here.

Dapper Dan

manhattan magazine celebrates new yorks men on the move

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Brand:Dapper Dan

The Harlem designer has his own atelier where he creates his made-to-order designs, which are practically synonymous with the hip-hop stars of the ’80s and ’90s. He’s known for reworking designer logos into his clothes, and has collaborated with Gucci. He even has a memoir out where he talks about his experience as Black designer and how he made his now-famous store on 125th Street.

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Dumebi Iyamah

arise fashion week

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Brand:Andrea Iyamah

Specializing in swimwear, there’s quite literally something for everyone (seriously, even brides!) from designer Andrea Iyamah’s stunningly colorful collections.

Anifa Mvuemba

black fashion designers

Getty Images

Brand:Hanifa

Designer Anifa Mvuemba’s sophisticated designs (sold in sizes 0 to 20) are just the beginning of her innovations. She recently debuted her newest collection in a completely digital, 3-D fashion show that will blow your mind.

Mowalola Ogunlesi

arise fashion week

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Brand:Mowalola Ogunlesi

The Nigerian-British designer led the Yeezy design team of Kanye’s Gap collaboration. (Gap was supposed to do a collab with Telfar, but that’s another story you can read about here.) She also has her own label featuring fun pieces worthy of a night out like long-sleeve bra tops and cutout dresses.

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Grace Wales Bonner

bfcvogue designer fashion fund announcement lunch

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Brand:Wales Bonner

Launched in 2014, her eponymous label started as a menswear brand and later ventured into womenswear. The clothing is inspired by European and African history, and the tailoring is basically PERFECTION. (As you can probably tell from this impeccable black blazer in this shot.)

Kenneth Ize

kenneth ize runway paris fashion week womenswear fallwinter 20202021

Thierry Chesnot//Getty Images

Brand:Kenneth Ize

If mixed patterns and prints are your thing, then you absolutely need to know about Kenneth Ize, whose colorful menswear-inspired pieces will make you feel so joyful just by looking at them.

Victor Glemaud

victor glemaud presentation september 2019 new york fashion week the shows

Albert Urso//Getty Images

Brand:Victor Glemaud

In case you can’t tell from his striped sweater, Glemaud is known for his amazing knitwear. You’ll want to update every piece in your closet to this material thanks to his designs. If you’re into multi-colored stripes and color blocking, then you hopefully nabbed something from his 2021 Target collab, which sold out almost instantly.

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Heron Preston

louis vuitton photocall paris fashion week menswear fall winter 20192020

Stephane Cardinale – Corbis//Getty Images

Brand: Heron Preston

Preston’s streetwear aesthetic has been a favorite among celebs like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Bieber. His graphic tees usually have the bird of the same name on them, but he also does accessories like bags, phone cases, shoes, and belts.

Virgil Abloh

street style paris fashion week womenswear fallwinter 20202021 day five

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Brand: Off-White, Louis Vuitton menswear

If there’s anyone who knew luxury and streetwear, it was Virgil Abloh. Often likened to the millennial generation’s Karl Lagerfeld, the Ghanaian-American creative director was one of the v few Black designers to lead an iconic luxury house as artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. He consistently broke boundaries and revolutionized the role of directing with the way he honored hip-hop and desired for change. Though he passed away in November 2021 after a private battle with cancer, his legacy lives on. In June 2022, his prelaunch collection for AirForce 1 drops with 47 unique styles. If you’re interested in previewing ’em (and the holographics), check out out the dope exhibition in Brooklyn through May 31.

Lettermark

Lauren Adhav

Associate Fashion Editor

I’m Cosmopolitan’s Associate Fashion Editor and write about any and all trends, major celeb fashion moments, and why wide-leg jeans are basically the best. I originally moved to New York City to audition for RENT, only to find out that the play closed 10 years ago.

Headshot of Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien

Fashion Editor

Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien is the fashion editor at Cosmopolitan, writing weighty and witty stories that run the gamut of gushing over Zendaya to convincing you of everything you need in your closet! She began her journey in the industry with a fashion and faith blog and an internship at Elle.com almost 10 years ago. Since then, she’s also served as the style editor at The Haitian Times. The Haitian-American pageant queen is a Syracuse Masters graduate and the author of two books, including: Claim Your Crown. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @iamtarahlynn.

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