Fashion has throughout its history been influenced by black culture. Whether it be hip-hop music or styles influenced by traditional clothes from a particular population, black culture is interwoven with many of the styles we wear today.
In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, now more than ever it is important to amplify the voices and work of black designers in the world of fashion. Personally, I have many of these designers to thank for shaping the clothes and styles that I wear today and am in constant awe of their work. Of course, this is just my opinion and there are countless other brilliantly gifted black designers out there that belong on this list.
Martine’s designs have probably touched everyone in some way whether they know it or not.
British menswear designer Martine Rose is easily one of my favourite fashion designers of all time. Starting her eponymous London-based label in 2007, she is inspired by her British and Jamaican heritage alongside dance music. Martine’s designs have probably touched everyone in some way whether they know it or not, as she is famous for her oversized silhouettes, elevated normcore pieces and a distinctly 90s aesthetic. This has led to some stunning collections on her personal label as well as high-profile collaborations with brands such as Napapijiri and Nike- with whom she put a (in my opinion) genius spin on the Air Monarch.
Martine also comes across as incredibly humble and fiercely loyal to her native London, opting to stage her shows in Tottenham cul-de-sacs rather than country estates. Martine Rose is definitely a designer worth checking out.
Off White has quickly become one of the most desired brands on the planet.
If you’re even remotely interested in fashion and haven’t heard of Virgil Abloh you must’ve been living under a rock the past few years. Abloh is the designer behind high-end streetwear sensation Off White and also the creative director for the menswear arm of Louis Vuitton.
Since its creation in 2013, Off White has quickly become one of the most desired brands on the planet, with its deconstructed aesthetic having become a major trend in mainstream fashion. It’s rare that you can scroll through Instagram without seeing the brands’ industrial belts or tape-adorned tops. However, Virgil clearly has talent which can be seen in his impressive tailoring that he has showcased throughout his time at LV and has undoubtedly won his fanfare for a reason.
Pyer Moss is stylistically diverse and Kerby has shown ability as both a menswear and womenswear designer
Kerby Jean-Raymond is the brains behind Pyer Moss, one of the most socially conscious labels on the planet as well as one of the most exciting. Kerby’s work is especially prevalent now in the wake of the death of George Floyd, as Pyer Moss’ Spring 2016 show centred around the theme of police brutality and highlighted the black lives matter movement. The label have also created some of the best sportswear around thanks to their stunning Reebok collaborations.
Pyer Moss is stylistically diverse and Kerby has shown ability as both a menswear and womenswear designer, with a strong political message at the heart of his designs.
Colour and patterns also play heavily into Daley’s pieces.
Nicholas Daley is one of menswear’s rising stars and for good reason. Daley is of mixed Jamaican and Scottish heritage and this multiculturalism serves as the main base for his designs. Daley’s collections are vibrant and mix classic British silhouettes such as overcoats with more contemporary pieces such as zip-up vests. Colour and patterns also play heavily into Daley’s pieces, with colourful tartans and Caribbean stripes being commonplace.
Daley has also been heavily influenced by jazz and reggae which have been prominent in previous collections such as the ‘Red Clay’ Autumn/Winter collection of 2018 which featured an atypical marriage between tweed and jazz.
Last modified: 9th June 2020