The Ultimate Guide To Shopping Black-Owned Clothing Brands

16 black-owned clothing brands that will never leave your 'must-have' list.

Beauty & Fashion

The black dollar is mighty, and something we've seen a heavy emphasis on in the last eight or so months. Black-owned businesses, especially black-owned clothing brands, seemed to boom in the summer with thousands of online media platforms publishing one listicle after the other. While the listicles have stopped and fewer brands are standing behind the black squares posted on Instagram, black-owned clothing brands are still of the utmost importance.

Historically, the global fashion industry is one of the most underrepresented industries, and that stands true today. For a centuries-old industry, the amount of 'firsts' we've experienced in the past decade is unfathomable. With initiatives like the 15% Pledge, the Black in Fashion Council, and Pull-Up or Shut Up, the dialogue has heightened but actions are still lacking. It will be up to us as a community to show the importance of black-owned clothing by using the black dollar.

With the holidays being one of the busiest seasons of the year, it's important to continue the conversations about shopping black. Below is a list of some black-owned clothing brands to add to your shopping list, no matter the recipient!

Pyer Moss

Founded by Kerby Jean-Raymond and one of the leaders in the black fashion movement, Pyer Moss is a men's and womenswear fashion label concerned with building a narrative that speaks about heritage and activism. The stunning silhouettes and exquisite use of color are only one part of why this brand is so groundbreaking. Raymond uses his platform to highlight the narratives of the black community, giving a voice to the people behind the inspiration.

Jovana Louis

If your style borders on professional and sophisticated, Jovana Louis is the label for you. Influenced by French and Caribbean cultures, Jovana Louis was co-founded by Jovana and her husband to create exceptional couture pieces that hug a woman's body perfectly. From the red carpet to reality TV to magazine covers, Jovana Louis is the chosen designer for dynamic and dramatic looks.

Christopher John Rogers

Few designers are Beyonce-approved, and Christopher John Rogers is one of them. The NYC-based designer started a label that served to create emotional and sensitive clothing with a focus on effortful dressing. Aside from draping Beyonce for British Vogue, the brand dabbles in ready-to-wear and streetwear, as well as custom-made pieces.


A brand that is equal parts philanthropic and fashionable, A.Au is a lifestyle brand that directly caters to worldly, multidimensional women of today. Each piece is sourced and made in Nigeria by the hand of advanced ateliers, resulting in the most sophisticated and unique clothing. Additionally, 10 percent of every sale goes to building an education bursary in Abua that will fund the next generation through university.

Kai Collective

An attainable clothing brand with a luxury aesthetic, Kai Collective is famous for the original GAIA Dress. Started by London-based Fisayo Longe, KAI seeks to create clothing for multi-dimensional women who embrace their femininity in all its various forms. An exquisite combination of statement pieces and luxury staples, Kai Collective has a mission to inspire women with that extra dose of confidence.


A self-taught Congolese designer that brought her designs from IG to NYFW runways, Anifa designed Hanifa with one thing in mind: black women. No stranger to mainstream media, Anifa made headlines when she debuted her Pink Label Congo collection on a virtual model during the height of quarantine. The clientele list is A-list and the designs are for women at every turn of her lifestyle.

Brother Vellies

If sustainability is important to you, Brother Vellies is the brand for you. Brother Vellies was founded with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices while creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. Since its inception, Brother Vellies has been featured in major publications like VOGUE, received several CFDA awards, and has dressed celebrities like Elaine Welteroth, Solange, and Laura Harrier. The founder, Aurora James, is a huge community activist and started 15% Pledge, which asks major retailers to dedicate 15 percent of shelf space to black-owned businesses, especially black-owned clothing brands.


Named for his daughter and late mother, James Rembert created ALIETTE with the idea that strength, beauty, and grace could coexist in one powerful conception. This modern luxury brand expertly blends traditional design and innovative fantasy, creating exceptional pieces that are as unique as the woman who wears it.

Stella Jean

A ready-to-wear brand with a bigger mission in mind, Stella Jean has been a force in fashion since showcasing her 2014 collection at Giorgio Armani's Teatro. The designer, for who the brand is named, uses her collections to articulate a beauty that is rarely seen and transcends borders. Recently, Jean made headlines as one of five black Italian designers handpicked to show at the first digital Milan Fashion Week.

Fe Noel

This Brooklyn-based womenswear collection is comprised of the most luxurious staples while evoking sensuality and sensibility. The influence derives directly from the designer, whose penchant for vibrant colors, travel, and her Caribbean heritage are all reflected in every aspect of this label. Aside from designing beautiful silhouettes for women, she also founded the Fe Noel foundation, a program for young girls who are passionate about entrepreneurship.

Undra Celeste New York

Undra Duncan, founder and creative director for Undrea Celeste, isn't new to the fashion world, even if her brand is considered emerging. A 12+ year veteran in fashion, Undra founded her namesake label to provide quality modern workwear to multicultural women. The pieces transition perfectly from day to night and the perfect balance of statement and staples.

Eclectic Bella

This West-Coast brand has the most effortless yet stylish pieces for your everyday wardrobe. Inspired by the ease of LA, each collection by Eclectic Bella is the catalyst where quality and affordability meet. The handpicked pieces range from relaxed athleisure to late-night staples, and at an affordable price point without sacrificing style.

Andrea Iyamah

Inspired by color, ethnic cultures, and nature, Andrea Iyamah is a ready-to-wear label that dabbles in custom-made special event dresses. Started by a Nigerian designer who shares the name, Andrea Iyamah caters to fearless females who exude confidence and adventure. Through incredible perseverance and determination, the brand has dressed celebrities like Ciara, Gabrielle Union, and Issa Rae.

Citrus Husk

Based out of Atlanta, Citrus Husk is a ready-to-wear brand that beautifully blends classic pieces with West African roots. From work-from-home must-haves to date-night staples, there's something for everyone. You can also shop the 'West African Shop', that honors the strength and style of Ghanaian women with authentic prints and handmade pieces. All items in the West African Shop are created in Ghana, and all clothing is made with genuine Ankara cotton.

Nomads Swimwear

We all know how stressful swimsuit shopping can be, but Nomads Swimwear makes it effortless. Founded on bridging the gap of size inclusivity, Nomads focus on bold swim styles and highlights that real size inclusion is possible. The sizes range from small-4x and adorned with unique prints and patterns inspired by travel and beauty.

Imad Eduso

One of the more playful brands on our list, Imad Eduso corners the market in sophisticated and functional pieces for the modern woman. A line dripped in vibrant colors, youthful silhouettes, and overstated drama, the brand is focused on creating versatile pieces that are contemporary and timeless.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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