FASHION: BLACK BRITISH BRANDS YOU SHOULD BE FOLLOWING!
In the midst of this pandemic alongside the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s more important than ever to support Black businesses, and this includes UK based fashion designers. I’ve selected a range of Black British brands who caught my attention, captured my heart and opened my wallet. It’s been a long few months, but you deserve a post-lockdown outfit, so scroll through our suggestions and treat yourself. That’s right, you can look fly as you give back to the Black community - a win-win.
You may recognise Grass Fields from their Instagram that often includes videos of their models dancing around feeling and looking good. The brand was founded by Cameroonian twin sisters, Chistelle and Michelle Nganhou. The brand provides ‘a range of modern African print dresses and clothing for women, men and kids’, all of which are sourced and made within the UK and Cameroon. This family business founded in 2013, will provide you with gorgeous outfits for your whole family.
When a Black woman sees an item labelled as ‘nude’ the likelihood is that this will be an ecru to pink colour that resembles that of a Caucasian person’s skin tone. A basic hue that should belong in every women’s lingerie and hosiery collection has proven very difficult to find. Then, in stepped British Brand Nubian Skin, founded by Ade Hassan who decided it was time for ‘a different kind of nude’. This brand features a range of hues and even matches their suggestions with popular foundations, to ensure that you can get an accurate match to your skin tone.
Whether you’re prepping for a pending wedding, black-tie event, or want to grab a nude corset, AloNuko is the place to be. Designer and founder Gbemi Okunlola, has had fashion on her mind since the age of 11, when she taught herself how to contrast garments. Gbemi who said that ‘the idea is to apply all of our creative energy and participate in completing the best you’, provides made to order and bespoke garments.
You may have seen Euphemia Sydney-Davis designs being worn by singer-songwriter Nao. The MCQ trained, Sierra Leone born designer produces ethically sourced clothing made in her home country and in England. Her warm and colourful designs often include sheer organza fabrics and mixed prints, making them a joy to look at and a pleasure to wear.
Kai Collective label themselves as attainable clothing with a luxury aesthetic and was founded by influencer Fisayo Longe. Her latest orange and purple sheer dress - Gaia - was created in collaboration with print designer Adebusola Adetona of Grapes Pattern Bank. Kai Collective's designs, which are made with ‘multi-dimensional women in mind’, are popping up on our Instagram feeds non-stop, so make sure you grab a dress whilst you can!
You may not be flying to beach resorts this year but that doesn’t mean you don’t need something cute to sunbathe in and post on Insta (we see you). Bema Republic is one of the first brands to create swim-proof Kente swimwear within the UK. They create one-pieces, bikinis and cover-ups so you can transform the beach or the garden into your own outdoor runway.
Founded by British model Leomie Anderson in 2016, LAPP The Brand is providing long-lasting activewear made with movement and fashion in mind. The name stands for Leomie Anderson the Project the Purpose and was created to ‘embody the 21st-century girl’, producing clothes that represent not only their style but their issues. Staying true to their word, LAPP also has an online zine discussing the latest topics concerning their 21st-century consumer.
From skin-coloured tights and kente swimwear to luxury evening wear, you’ll have every occasion covered, even if it is just a virtual one! I’m off to refresh my wardrobe and bookmark items for my Christmas list (you can never be too early), I suggest you do the same. Don’t forget to share with us any brands that are on your fashion radar!