Fashion, but make it BLACK-OWNED.
Let’s make supporting the Black community part of our every day and “normal” agenda. Showing your support and allyship takes more than just posting a black square or sharing something we’ve seen on our stories. The more we work to become intentional and less performative, the sooner we will see change.
Within the fashion industry, there has been a disproportion of representation of Black people in comparison to our white counterparts. Not only with models and industry management but with brands you find showcased and promoted on certain platforms. Social media has allowed brands that would otherwise not be seen in mainstream media to have a voice and reach the masses in a less traditional way.
It’s time to shift the focus to where we are spending our money and who we are supporting. By buying Black, you are contributing to the growth of the Black economy as well as encouraging and motivating Black business owners. Every brand has a story and when you learn of the story or faces behind some of these fashion brands, you’ll feel a connection.
If you are looking for Black-owned businesses to support within the fashion industry, I have collated a list of 10 Black-owned and designed fashion brands that are based in London.
Image courtesy of Velviere
Velviere is a brightly coloured luxury fashion brand for men and women. Initially starting as a men’s clothing line, they have since ventured into womenswear. The classic and vibrant brand currently stocks a number of jacket styles that have different versions to complement both male and female body types – like “his and hers”.
This brand is more than just a clothing brand, but a lifestyle one too. Velviere strays away from the traditional navy and grey and uses bold blues and bright oranges which differentiates them from other luxury fashion brands.
My favourite piece is the ‘Soho Orange’ jacket. I usually go for a simple black or navy jacket, but I love how bright the orange is and who doesn’t want to stand out in the crowd?
Image courtesy of TTYA London
Founded by London-based fashion stylist Irene Agbontaen, TTYA London is a fashion brand that caters to women who are 5’9” or taller. TTYA London gives women of a taller stature timeless and classic pieces that last beyond a season or trend.
For mainstream brands, despite their catwalk models being tall, the items that actually hit the store shelves are not always complimentary for those with longer limbs. Even with basic t-shirts or jeans, you may find that the arms are short or the trousers showcase some unwanted ankle. That is where TTYA London comes along. As well as their statement pieces, they also have a range of basic t-shirts and jeans to bridge the gap of items on offer for taller women.
TTYA London as a brand is more than just a fashion label. An online and offline community has been created to inspire and empower women to stand tall in themselves and their journey through life.
Trapstar was founded by three young Black men, friends who started off making t-shirts and selling them at Portobello Market. Since then, they have gained notoriety globally and have a store in Notting Hill.
Trapstar is among the fashion brands that are loved and praised by the UK urban music scene. The clothing brand can be found being worn by many of the UK’s rappers, which has contributed to its growth online and internationally. Since having US rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z invest, you can even find Rihanna and Rita Ora sporting the apparel.
Their products range from t-shirts to tracksuits, socks to facial masks, catering to both men and women. For me personally, it’s the rags to riches story that makes me buy into the brand. I love that the founders are just your average guys that had a dream and built an empire.
Notting Hill | Trapstar London website
Image courtesy of Fi Dem & Co
Fi Dem & Co
Fi Dem & Co is a Black clothing brand that is all about culture. Their creative and quirky products showcase different elements of African and Caribbean culture. They hope to inspire people to grab one of their statement t-shirts and represent with confidence.
Fi Dem & Co specialise in graphic t-shirts with African and Caribbean sayings, my favourite being the t-shirt with the list of Nigerian foods.
Their recent styles use the typography of well-known and popular t-shirts, but then add an African spin to them. An example would be their ‘Chale’ t-shirt on which they’ve used the typography from the TV programme Friends.
It’s a fun and quirky brand and personally, I can’t wait to see what else they come out with.
Image courtesy of Sincerely Nude
Sincerely Nude is a women’s nude clothing brand that caters to a wide range of body shapes and sizes. It was started to celebrate women of all shades and to offer clothing that was nude for those of different skin tones.
As well as being inclusive of skin tones, they’re also inclusive of size, with their clothing ranging from extra small to double extra large.
Sincerely Nude is based in London but offers worldwide shipping of their diverse range of products. From two pieces to bodysuits to boob tape, you’re a click away from styling your Sincerely Nude.
In addition to being a nude womenswear brand, they spread messages of positivity and self-love. They highlight the importance of loving yourself, internal beauty and empowering others. A brand that celebrates all skin tones, offers a range of products and sizes and spreads self-love, what more could you ask for?
Founded by Cameroonian twin sisters, they wanted to combine the two worlds they live in through clothing. Grass-fields produce beautiful African print pieces with bold colour.
Offering clothing from UK size 6 to 20, Grass-fields’s pieces are versatile in style, bold and bright in design. You can take one of their pieces and either style it for a casual brunch or dress it up for a day at the racecourse.
What I love the most about Grass-fields is their ‘Mummy and Me’ collection. My daughter is still a baby, but I can’t wait for her to be able to wear cute matching outfits with me. If you’re a lover of African print and statement pieces, shop Grass-fields.
Image courtesy of Dao London
Dao London is a modern African inspired fashion brand that uses African Kente material to create unconventional stylish pieces. Dao London is for the woman who wants to be bold and radiates confidence.
The Kente Bustier is a versatile statement piece and by far one my favourite current items. It can be both casual and classy; on their Instagram they have it over a black shirt-dress giving simple and sultry vibes.
They have strayed away from the usual traditional way of styling African print and are keeping it up to date with the latest fashion trends.
Image courtesy of God’s Gift London
God’s Gift London
This next Black-owned fashion brand is God’s Gift London, who specialise in accessories for all occasions. How you accessorise an outfit makes a difference and God’s Gift London aims to give your outfit that little bit extra and boost your confidence.
In addition to accessories, they also have a variety of jackets and bags available for purchase. They have a woven style handbag which I am fond of, it’s different to what I would usually purchase, but that’s the point.
God’s Gift London promotes confidence, individuality and authenticity, all at affordable prices.
Image courtesy of My Buba Prints
My Buba Prints
My Buba Prints is an African inspired accessory brand born-and-bred in London. Their handmade products are bright and bold, embodying African culture.
Currently, their line consists of print scrunchies and headbands, which are easy to style and perfect for both adults and children.
Each sale made by My Buba Prints goes to supporting children in West Africa. They are currently working with the charity, Change for Ghana, and donate £1 from every order.
When I was 16/17 years old I literally lived in headbands, I would have loved a brand like My Buba Prints to have been around back then. Personally, I love a bold accessory. My current wardrobe is full of black clothing, so adding bright accessories levels up the outfit.
Support Black-owned fashion businesses and if you can’t now, bookmark this page for later and share it with your friends and family. With fashion moving online and brands mentioned in this article being online-based businesses, subscribe to their newsletters so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to visit London during one of their pop-ups or grab something from their website.
London Fashion Week takes place in September, which would be a great time to head to London. It’ll give you the chance to catch some of these Black-owned fashion brands and more on the runway and having pop-up stores.
London may not be the fashion capital of the world, but it definitely is a contender.
- 10 Amazing African Restaurants In London You Need To Try
- Important Things To Know As A Black Person Travelling To London
- 10 Hidden Gems To See With Three Days In London