Here are 5 of the most famous black fashion designers. You may not have heard of them, but they are making waves in the fashion industry and are known by celebrities.
A Brief List of Fashion Designers
Grace Wales Bonner graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014. She made waves in the fashion world and is still in her 20’s. Daughter of a white mother and Jamaican father, Her signature aesthetic consists of effortlessly fusing the attributes of classic European and opulent African design elements, putting into question society’s view of (black) masculinity.
Her brand is called Wales Bonner. Beyonce wears a custom Wales Bonner Satin Nehru suit embroidered with cowrie shells and swarovski crystals in the September issue of Vogue Magazine.
As a black fashion designer, Grace Wales Bonner is quoted as saying, “It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.”
Martine Rose Label: Martine Rose
37-year old mother of one, Martine Rose, and her label first surfaced in 2007. But it wasn’t until almost a decade later that the menswear designer made a name for herself in the world of mainstream fashion. A protégé of London’s Fashion East initiative, Rose has become widely popular amongst fashion enthusiasts worldwide. This famous black fashion designers trademark use of bold and blocked colors and — quite literally — blown-out-of-proportion silhouettes have cultivated an ever-increasing fan base. Martine has collaborated with Nike and says, “My relationship with Nike has been a very organic one and that’s what is the base for the most successful relationships. I am really looking forward to what we can do together in the future,” said Rose. “It was really nice being able to celebrate the amazing Nike track and field and soccer athletes that were a part of Paris Fashion Week this season. I feel proud to be part of the Nike conversation and celebrate female voices and sport.”
Kerby Jean-Raymond, Pyer Moss
Black Fashion designers have made room for Kerby Jean-Raymond. He founded his nostalgia-infused label, Pyer Moss, in 2013, calling it “an art project” or “a timely social experiment”. Inspired by childhood memories of sports, Sci-Fi, and subcultures, the New York-based brand for men and women stands out in the streetwear-obsessed sea the fashion industry has recently become. Having already teamed up with athletic wear giant Reebok, making Forbes’s 30-under-30 list, and counting Erykah Badu, Usher and Vic Mensa as fans of the brand, Pyer Moss is definitely going places.
LaQuan Smith, Queens New York
LaQuan Smith’s coming-of-age story is one that black fashion designers dreams are made of: The 29-year old first developed an interest for garment construction through watching and learning from his grandmother, a skilled seamstress and pattern maker. Following several internships, Smith was chosen by iconic Vogue Editor At Large, Andre Leon Talley, to become his apprentice. This kickstarted his design career, formally debuting a collection for his eponymous label back in 2010. Ever since, Smith has become a go-to for the likes of Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Cardi B., and many more.
Black Fashion Designers: Adebayo Oke-Lawal
In 2011, Lagos, Nigeria-based fashion designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal founded Orange Culture which he considers to be “less a label and more movement”. He was nominated for the highly sought-after LVMH-prize. It is a prize for your fashion designers around the world. Oke-Lawal has garnered great praise for his work in and outside of his native African creative scene and among black fashion designers around the world. Commenting on his AW17-collection, Oke-Lawal explained that “as a Nigerian boy, you are not necessarily allowed to own hurt, even if it is staring you right in the face.” Blaming patriarchy, he explains that one is “mostly […] required to be a man before you are old enough to realize that being a man is overrated.”
Famous Black Fashion Designers
As you can see, these are but a few of the hottest famous black fashion designers in the fashion industry.
See our list of Hottest Young Black Actresses