Our ever-expanding list of Black-owned businesses has no shortage of fashion and fitness brands — but these standout 24 Black-owned brands are expertly combining fashion with fitness, making some of the coolest activewear on the market. So whether you’re looking for bike shorts to wear on your Peloton (or Peloton dupe), running shorts for your next 5K, or a sweat-wicking T-shirt for hitting the gym (may we suggest these 14 Black-owned fitness studios, while we’re at it?), these companies have you covered.
After helping her daughter navigate her first period, Crystal Etienne was inspired to find better alternatives to tampons and pads, and thus Ruby Love was born. The company makes leakproof underwear, swimwear, and even activewear, all of which have a built-in liner so you don’t need to wear a tampon, menstrual cup, or pad. The line currently features bodysuits you could wear to a dance class and leggings for all types of movement.
Full Court Sport
Marguerite Wade launched Full Court Sport in 2014 as an alternative to some of the dull options available in women’s tennis gear. In addition to moisture-wicking leggings and bike shorts, complete with a back pocket for tennis balls, there are tennis skirts, dresses, and brightly colored windbreakers to buy directly from Full Court Sport and from its exclusive collection with Net-a-Porter.
As an extension of his running club, Pioneers Run Crew, Sid Baptista launched PYNRS, a streetwear-inspired technical-running-apparel line designed to support diverse body types. The shorts, leggings, and joggers are all cut for thicker thighs and curvier hips. They make men’s and women’s clothing in addition to a few unisex offerings, like this sweatshirt with a built-in pocket for your phone or fuel.
Arrow + Phoenix
Arrow + Phoenix is known for its swim collection, but it also has a small activewear line with two different leggings and a sports bra. The Sweat line still aligns with the brand’s ethos of being sustainable and inclusive: The leggings are made from recycled material, and everything is available in sizes XS to 3XL. They also come in six different colors, including classic black and a vibrant hot pink.
Kemetic Knowledge aims to honor the ancient civilization Kemet (modern-day Egypt) through its clothing — mainly sports bras, leggings, long-sleeved crop tops, and shorts made from quick-drying durable fabric. The metallic gold “Goddess” print down the leg of the pants in this set stands out against the black nylon-spandex blend.
Vertical Activewear founder Tia Robinson describes her brand as “slow fashion.” Each piece is made sustainably and ethically and produced on-demand to prevent excess stock ending up in landfills. It might mean your order will take a little longer to arrive (depending on the product, delivery estimates are between one and three weeks), but the brand’s moisture-wicking and supportive leggings, sports bras, and one-pieces are worth the wait.
Based in Detroit, Melt Fit’s size-inclusive activewear (most pieces go up to size 3X) includes mix-and-match leggings, sports bras, and jackets in both solids and limited-edition prints. One of the latest collections is the 2nd Skin line, which features a jacket-and-leggings combo in a supersoft fabric that feels like you’re wearing nothing.
When she founded activewear line Roam Loud, Toyin Omisore sought to honor her Liberian grandmother’s legacy by capturing her bold spirit. The brand includes pieces for all types of activities — from high-waisted leggings for high-intensity workouts to relaxed-fit joggers (in a definitely bold lime-green print) for not-so-sweaty exercise or just hanging out.
After years as a reporter, Stefania Okolie took her storytelling skills and interest in design to create Solely Fit, an activewear brand designed to give women functional athleticwear that’s stylish, too. Her current collection features bodysuits, leggings, bike shorts, and sports bras that are all made in the U.S.
Kenyan-born Yvonne Bulimo couldn’t find any athleticwear brands she connected with while living in Kenya — so she started her own. Zoezi Sport, which means exercise in Swahili, honors her Kenyan heritage. The line is meant to withstand workouts, but it looks really lounge-worthy, too.
Artist and barre instructor Faren Collins combined two of her interests by putting her artwork onto athleticwear. She also sells “museum-quality” posters of the designs that are blown up onto her leggings, jackets, and sports bras — so, in other words, you can buy prints for your wall to match your wardrobe.
Lukafit’s founder Mbali Ndlovu started the brand to give women of color in all sizes — her clothes go up to 3X in leggings and 2X in sports bras — athleticwear that’s designed for them. Her leggings have bright colors with cheeky prints and are made from “squat-proof” material, so they’re not sheer and stay in place no matter what moves you do
CultureFit sells mix and match workout sets in three different West African prints. All three prints come in two different legging styles, a sports bra, and a tank top. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can throw in a matching yoga mat.
A lack of representation in other brands inspired Kia Phillips and Nekol Gaskins to start athleisure label Glamourina. Their colorful collections of leggings, sports bras, and reversible warm-up jackets — all of which go up to size 3X —sell out quickly, so act fast if you see something you need to have.
Unilove by Chloe and Maud
Professional tap dancers Chloe and Maud Arnold created functional yet stylish pieces for dancing and working out (though many of the separates look comfy enough to relax in, too). This dance-appropriate unitard also comes in a bright blue, and while it’s one-size-fits-most, it appears to be made from extremely stretchy material.
Founded in 2014, Pru Apparel — which stands for power, representation, and unity — promises squat-proof, moisture-wicking workout sets in fun patterns and bright colors. You can either buy matching sets together or separately for mixing and matching.
U.K.-based Damihow designs modern and minimalist performancewear. For women, there are sleek bike shorts, leggings, sports bras, tops, and warm-up jackets in half a dozen colors. The men’s offerings are a bit more limited — there’s popular joggers, quarter-zip pullovers, and moisture-wicking T-shirts — but the brand says an expanded men’s collection is coming soon.
Queen Malkia features bold, African prints on sports bra and legging sets made from four-way stretch, anti-bacterial fabric with sublimated prints, so the print won’t crack or fade. And each sports bra has different strap details to add a unique element to your set.
Tranzfit considers itself more of a lifestyle brand than an athletic company, but in addition to its ideal-for-lounging tracksuits, you can also find performancewear like leggings, bike shorts, and T-shirts for the gym.
EleVen by Venus Williams
Founded by pro-tennis player Venus Williams, Eleven has everything from comfortable loungewear to proper tennis outfits to sunscreen. Most of her athleticwear features four-way stretch material, so it won’t lose shape over time, and a pro-dri technology that allows the material to dry as fast as possible and give additional breathability.
Founder Tiana Denine Harris combines modern designs with ancestral prints to create unique clothing for people who she describes as being “as vibrant as their color choices.” The company sells everything from swimwear to yoga pants, for men and women alike, in bright, bold patterns. They also make a particularly adorable pair of child-size leggings for young yoginis.
Two professional athletes founded Impano Sports to produce the kind of athletic gear they wanted to wear. The pieces — which are manufactured in Africa — are made with moisture-wicking and lightweight materials. Their new Eco-Pano material offers the same technology, but it’s produced with recycled plastic bottles for an eco-friendly element.
Yema features bright-colored and patterned tracksuits and performancewear for men and women. Both founders, Yema Khalif and Hawi Awash, were refugees, and they dedicate 20 percent of all purchases to their scholarship fund that helps refugee students in Ethiopia and Kenya get a proper education.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.