There are lots of ways to support the struggle against police brutality. You can donate money to a local grassroots organization. You can join a protest if you feel you can do so safely. You can educate yourself and, if you are white, talk to other white people about racial justice. But one of the most direct and sustainable ways to support the Black community is to shop at Black-owned businesses, many of which have been disproportionally affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
We first created this directory of (now almost 200) Black-owned businesses in June 2020, and this is our second big update of it since then. Previously, we pulled recommendations from a variety of sources including our writers’ and editors’ reporting. This time around, we focused primarily on adding the brands Strategist staffers themselves have been buying from. To make it easier to browse and give you plenty of ways to show support, we’ve sorted the 198 brands into seven different categories: beauty brands, bookstores, clothing and accessories, food and drink, fitness, home décor, and gift shops and beyond. We acknowledge that this list is far from complete and skews toward New York City–based businesses (where most of our team is located), but we will continue to update and add more national and non–New York local businesses moving forward. If you want to jump to a specific category, use the links below.
Some of these beauty products were recommended to us by experts in our reporting, others were recommended by friends and colleagues, but the majority of them are part of our writers’ and editors’ regular grooming routines.
Ace Beaute was founded by Niye Aniekan-Attang in 2015 to sell cruelty-free faux-mink lashes; now it also offers brightly colored eye-shadow palettes and a wide range of nail and beauty tools. —Aisha Rickford
Aini Organix is an Africa-inspired natural skin-and-body-care company. They make shea- and coconut-oil products with botanical ingredients, including a wide range of serums with ingredients like jasmine and Moroccan rosewater. —A.R.
Alaffia focuses on fair-trade natural hair, face, and body care with products that center on a few key ingredients like shea butter, African black soap, and coconut oil, all of which are sourced from cooperatives in West Africa. You can buy its popular bubble baths, body lotions, and deodorants at Whole Foods or Amazon; profits support the Alaffia Foundation, an organization involved in empowerment initiatives in Africa. —A.R.
Shontay Lundy founded Black Girl Sunscreen, a moisturizing sunscreen for women of color in 2016, after growing frustrated with the unflattering white cast caused by most sunscreens. The line’s sunscreens — one for adults and one for kids — have nourishing ingredients like jojoba and avocado and range from SPF 30 to SPF 50. “I can confirm that it never leaves a white cast when I use it,” says Elisa Johnson, who recommended it to us, “and it blends seamlessly with makeup.” —A.R.
Model, actor, and recording artist Dorion Renaud was inspired to create Buttah Skin after discovering the revitalizing effects that the simple combination of a gentle cleanser, vitamin-C serum, and shea butter had on his own skin. The vitamin-C serum is also a favorite of Elisa Johnson’s, who says it gives her “a smoother, more even complexion.” —A.R.
Ron Robinson worked as a cosmetic chemist for big beauty brands like Lancôme, Clinique, and Estée Lauder for decades before launching BeautyStat. After just a few weeks of daily use, its vitamin-C serum helped me fade some dark marks caused by early quarantine stress picking, and it also have an eye cream I’m itching to try. —Dominique Pariso
In 2011, Dana Jackson was diagnosed with lupus and completely changed her life. Because of certain symptoms of the disease, she had to take an all-natural approach to beauty and wellness. Her products have completely natural ingredients, and they can be found at Credo Beauty as well as on her own site. Her skin soufflé is her hero product, and it’s magical. —Chloe Anello
Brought to our attention by Byrdie writer (and Strategist contributor) Sydney Gore, BLK + GRN is a beauty and wellness marketplace full of all-natural products — all of which are made by Black artisans. We especially love its gift sets, whether for gifting or keeping for yourself, which feature a myriad of the retailer’s best products. —Casey Lewis
Hair-care label Bread Beauty Supply — named for the brand’s belief that its products are a daily essential for curly hair — is relatively new, having launched in 2020. Founder Maeva Heim was inspired by the products she saw in her mother’s braiding salon, and the brand carries its own wash, scalp serum, and two different oils. Its lip-gloss-like Hair-Oil is a personal fave, giving my curls a little more shine and definition than I would get with just an air-dry. —Ambar Pardilla
At one of Skål’s outdoor markets — another Black-owned business — I came across these luxury nail polishes with the best Brooklyn-centric names (“Yerrr,” anybody?). Founded by Bed-Stuy native Ariel Terry, the lacquers are also 11 and cruelty free. —Chelsea Peng
Nancy Twine, who grew up making homemade hair products with her grandmother, is the founder of Briogeo, a clean, natural hair-care line that caters to all textures. Rio Viera-Newton is a fan of its Don’t Despair Repair Mask because it has “the ability to moisturize my sad hair without creating any heaviness,” and finds it to be a good dupe for the Christophe Robin masks. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
Self-taught makeup artist Danessa Myricks’s eponymous beauty company produces makeup that targets specific skin types and makeup goals — dividing products into those concerned with either complexion, color, or glow. The brand is also known for its highly pigmented color palettes. —A.R.
Environmental scientist Evelyn Nyairo founded Ellie Bianca, which makes vegan and cruelty-free skin-care products. The hero product is Rose Skin Oil, but the Breathe Bath Salt and Luxe Day/Night Serum are also standouts. The company also makes an exclusive line of spa-grade products. And perhaps best of all, Ellie Bianca supports the women who harvest the shea and other ingredients for its products, making them great for those with both sustainability and fair trade in mind. —A.R.
This skin-care line from Nigerian entrepreneur Ozohu Adoh includes a high-end face oil, night balm, and hydrating serum — all of which are made with Africa-sourced ingredients that are formulated to target “dryness and discoloration caused by the sun, free radicals, and air pollution.” —A.R.
Kayla Phillips, a touring hardcore/punk/metal musician, founded Foxie Cosmetics in 2015. And because Phillips lives with chronic pain, she started out making soothing bath bombs and salts but has expanded since to create hair, skin, body, and fragrance as well. Vegan since age 14, Phillips ensures that products are cruelty free and sustainably made. Most impressively, all of the products are handcrafted, packaged, and shipped by Phillips herself. —A.R.
Hanahana Beauty, founded by Abena Boamah-Acheampong, is a clean beauty brand that sustainably sources its shea butter and pays double the fair-trade price to its suppliers. Its shea butter comes in a variety of scents, including vanilla lavender, amber vanilla, and eucalyptus, but lemongrass is a favorite of Strategist beauty writer Tembe Denton-Hurst, because “it literally smells like summer.” It also makes a face scrub, lip treatment, and an exfoliating bar. —D.P.
Created by a former performer Hassan Sayyed, Haus Urban takes into consideration what stage performers need for their skin to counteract stage makeup, sweating in said makeup, and more. His line is all-natural and includes everything from body butters and oils to face washes and toners.
Highbrow Hippie was started by beauty-industry veterans Myka Harris and Kadi Lee. They stock their shops — online and in Venice, California — with thoughtfully sourced wellness and beauty products, including their own line of small-batch honey-infused bath salts. —C.L.
Bea Dixon started making feminine-care products in her kitchen, and today they are sold at large retailers like Target, Urban Outfitters, and Walgreens. They are 100 percent natural but still clinically tested and gynecologist approved. The line encompasses everything from organic tampons to bath bombs to feminine washes for everyone from the most sensitive to expectant mothers. —J.M.W.
Desiree Verdejo created Hyper Skin after a bout of hormonal pregnancy acne left her with stubborn hyperpigmentation. Its first product, Hyper Clear, is an affordable vitamin-C serum formulated with 15 percent skin-brightening ascorbic acid as well as kojic acid and vitamin E. —D.P.
Keeping with her mission to use her platform for good, tennis player Naomi Osaka’s sunblock line was developed with the intent to dispel myths about melanin-rich skin not requiring sunscreen. In addition to offering tinted sunscreens (that won’t leave a white cast on melanated skin), the line includes eye cream, facial oil, and more. —Sanibel Chai
KNC Beauty, founded by Kristen Noel Crawley after she observed the popularity of lip masks on a trip to Tokyo, makes all-natural collagen and retinol lip and eye masks with aloe, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin A. They’re a favorite of Elisa Johnson’s, who calls KNC Beauty’s retinol-infused eye mask a “literal face-saver.” —A.R.
Tony Johnson, son of Sierra Leonean immigrants, created his company after asking his parents what natural ingredients from back home they used to treat skin issues. Krio Skincare’s face, hair, and body oils are formulated with African oils like marula and baobab oil and have names that celebrate Sierra Leonean heritage, including Tacugama body serum, after Freetown’s chimpanzee sanctuary, and Bintumani hair oil, for the country’s highest mountain. —A.R.
Lauren Napier, former celebrity makeup artist, created a line of face wipes that don’t strip the skin and instead hydrate it as it takes off makeup. She created a different texture for the wipes, and they’re individually packaged, so they don’t dry out. They’re the ones I always buy for myself. —C.A.
Before Harlem-based salon the Nail Suite closed for the pandemic, “you’d be lucky if you could get an appointment two, three weeks out,” says founder Lisa Logan, manicurist for the stars and famous for designing Beyoncé’s nails for her “Single Ladies” music video. Now that New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening, you can book your appointment at the Nail Suite online or, if you’re not in New York, shop its nail colors. —A.R.
One of the original and best-known natural-hair vloggers of the past decade, Whitney White (a.k.a. Naptural85) co-founded her hair-care company, Melanin Haircare, with her sister Taffeta in 2015. A longtime proponent of clean, DIY natural-hair products, Melanin Haircare’s silicone-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, style cream, and oil use plant-based and safe-synthetic ingredients like camellia oil and mango butter, African black soap, and turmeric. The company also sells hair accessories like hats and headwraps. I absolutely love its products, which come in large sizes (16 ounces) at reasonable prices and have drastically improved the health of my hair since I started using them almost a year ago. My favorite is the Twist Elongating Style Cream, which is unscented and light enough to give my fine hair definition without weighing it down. —A.R
Gwen Jemmere started Naturalicious, a natural-hair-care company, with the mission to “eliminate the frustration, time, and expense” associated with Black hair and to assure customers with curly and coily hair that “they are the standard of beauty.” The company has products specifically made for all types of curl textures, including multi-step systems and treatments. —A.R
Awa Diaw and Chelsea Trotter started Nekawa as second-year M.B.A. students with a desire to share the uses of shea butter for hair, body, and health and to bring “minimalism” to beauty. Senegalese-born Diaw sources the shea and oils for lavender and unscented butters and baobab face serum from Senegal; 10 percent of all proceeds go to Amref Health Africa, a health-development nonprofit. – A.R.
A body-care company, founded by Karen Young, that makes the nicest reusable, direct-to-consumer razors I’ve ever seen. They also sell a body gloss, a gel-to-milk in-shower moisturizer, and bikini-line masks. —D.P.
Pat makes some of the most luxurious makeup products, and with her long list of celebrity supporters, she’s one of the most loved makeup artists.
Jacqueline Carrington decided to create her line of nail lacquers — designed specifically to compliment women of color’s skin tones — after her daughter took an interest in nail polish. The brand’s vegan, cruelty-free polishes come in a range of nudes as well as bright shades like lime and orange. —D.P.
Rooted Woman offers ethically made, vegan-friendly nail polishes, along with online self-care courses. Its nail polish comes in a range of muted, flattering colors — like a glittery pink called “Joyful” or a gleaming red aptly named “Unwavering.” Plus it’s the longest-lasting one that I’ve ever used. —A.R.
Jamika Martin started developing the idea for what would become Rosen Skincare, a brand with natural ingredients like fruit extracts, kojic acid, and clays, while an undergraduate at UCLA. Dissatisfied with what was available, Martin wanted to make “thoughtful products” for acne-prone skin — so Rosen was created for custom routines to target specific skin issues like scarring, texture, and hyperpigmentation. Its products are available on its site and at Urban Outfitters. —A.R.
Shea Radiance was created after Funlayo Alabi started mixing shea butter in her kitchen to treat her kids’ eczema and dry skin. Now, it’s a fair-trade hair-and-body-care company that utilizes sustainable supply chains to empower women and communities in West Africa. My favorite is the Antioxidant Body Cream, which has eucalyptus, ginger root, and baobab oils, giving it a rich and luxurious scent. You can buy its products from its website; they are also available at Whole Foods and Amazon. —A.R.
Dorian Morris founded Undefined Beauty, a botanical-and-CBD-powered beauty brand, with the dual mission of introducing the benefits of cannabis in skin care (like its popular Glow Elixir), and “infusing social purpose” into the beauty industry. Her brand is committed to highlighting the social-justice crisis of cannabis-related incarceration of people of color. —A.R.
As pointed out in our list of sunscreens for darker skin tones, Unsun, founded by Katonya Breaux, is one of the few sun-protection brands founded by a Black woman. This came expert-recommended as one of the best tinted mineral formulas out there that works for a wide range of skin tones. —J.M.W.
Sharon Chuter, a former beauty executive, started Uoma to bring more diversity to the world of beauty. I recommend its foundation, which has one of the largest shade ranges on the market. —C.A.
When Illeisha Lussiano’s Lower East Side hair salon the Way had to close due to COVID-19, she created a braiding kit so people could braid their hair at home. You can buy the kit at Lussiano’s online store, which also sells hair accessories, home incense, and, in a very 2020 move, face masks. —A.R.
One of the best ways to be anti-racist is to learn about anti-racism, and one of the best places to buy books is at a Black-owned bookstore. Some of these shops are ones our writers frequent in their own neighborhoods. We also found several recommendations in the comments section of this post on Cup of Jo and on Instagram from Iris de la Torre and Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Chelsea Kravitz has also compiled a list of Black-owned bookstores across the country that we referenced; you can find the full list here. —Maxine Builder
Cafe con Libros — which means “coffee with books” in Spanish — is an intersectional feminist community bookstore and coffee shop in Prospect Heights.
Located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Frugal Bookstore is a community bookstore with the motto “Changing Minds One Book at a Time.”
Named after Harriet Tubman, this bookstore in Philadelphia’s Fishtown specializes in books by women authors.
For Keeps Books is an Atlanta-based bookstore that carries rare and classic Black literature as well as records and T-shirts. —Hilary Reid
Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fulton Street Books has curated an Ally Box, which is “is a three-month limited book subscription for allies (and those who seek to be allies).”
The Lit. Bar, which opened in 2019, is the only bookstore in the Bronx, serving the borough’s 1.5 million residents.
Loving Me Books
Angela Nesbitt, a registered behavioral therapist, created Loving Me Books to bring parents and children books with more diverse characters and story lines. You can buy from her online stock, but she also provides services to schools, day-care centers, and book fairs.
Mahogany Books started as an online bookstore a decade ago, specializing in books “written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora.” It opened a storefront in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and is still committed to making books accessible to all.
Malik Books is an independent bookstore in Los Angeles that specializes in works by African American authors and programming centered on African American culture, like a Nipsey Hussle reading list that celebrates the L.A. rapper’s legacy. –Aisha Rickford
Semicolon is Chicago’s only Black woman-owned bookstore.
Sister’s Uptown has been serving Washington Heights for 20 years, opened and operated by Janifer Wilson and her daughter Kori. They sell their books online via oneKin and recently put together a “Consciousness Reading Book Guide” on Instagram.
Newark’s only African American–owned bookstore Source of Knowledge had to close because of the coronavirus. It is running a GoFundMe to help keep the family business alive, continue to serve the community, and feed its employees. —Liza Corsillo
Clothing and accessories
The stores and brands included here come from a variety of sources: Some were culled from Black-Owned Brooklyn, a website that profiles Black business owners in the borough, others are places where I personally love to shop, several have been mentioned in our “What I Can’t Live Without” series, and dozens were shared on Instagram, including by Teen Vogue fashion and beauty features director Tahirah Hairston; actor and writer Jordan Firstman; and Lawrence Schlossman and James Harris, hosts of the popular podcast Throwing Fits. —Hilary Reid
Anya Lust is a luxury lingerie e-commerce business founded by Krystle Kotara. On the site, you’ll find pieces from a range of smaller high-end lingerie designers as well as links to sign up for Sensual Yoga and Tantric Date Night workshops.
After a hugely successful run in the 2000s, designer Kimora Lee Simmons relaunched Baby Phat — one of the first streetwear lines for women — last year and is now running it alongside her daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee. —Karen Iorio Adelson
BedStuyFly offers graphic tees, hats, jackets, and sweats for men and women and has stores in Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg.
I love Chris Echevarria’s confident, go-with-anything loafers, and I’m not alone — in just the past few months, three other guys have recommended them on our site. As menswear writer Jordan Bunker explains, their “chunkier, more modern, almost sneakerlike shape slots in easily with wide jeans, shorts, and gym socks as well as suits.” Beyond their silhouette, the shoes are Goodyear welted, meaning they’re waterproof and will hold up for years to come. —Louis Cheslaw
Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst wrote about Bed-Stuy’s BLK MKT Vintage, which is owned by Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart. The couple combs flea markets and estate sales for Black ephemera (including 1970s Afro picks and 1970s anti-apartheid stickers), which you can find on their website alongside art and vintage pieces.
A menswear store located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Circus was featured in Black-Owned Brooklyn, where owner Ouigi Theodore cited “Cooley High, sports, Jay-Z Brooklyn, Spike Lee Brooklyn” as the reference points for styles carried in the store.
Brother Vellies makes fine leather goods including handbags and shoes that range from summery huarache sandals to thigh-high boots. It was founded by Aurora James, who established the 15 Percent Pledge (which asks major retailers to devote 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses). —Dominique Pariso
Los Angeles–based designer Cameron Tea uses wooden beads to make bucket hats, rectangular mini-purses, and bags that are shaped like hearts.
A swimsuit line founded by former model Chantel Davis, Castamira has bathing suits that are designed to support women with curves and come in sleek one-shouldered cuts as well as ruched designs with lace-up details.
Los Angeles–based CBAAF’s clothes are hand-dyed and made of 100 percent recycled cotton. Its current collection includes oatmeal and Black tie-dyed T-shirt, long-sleeve, and shorts sets.
Christopher John Rogers makes stunning womenswear pieces in voluminous silhouettes, including iridescent pink taffeta skirts and a red feather-trimmed bustier.
Elisa Johnson’s favorite sunglasses are from Coco and Breezy, an eyewear line founded in 2009 by Corianna and Brianna Dotson. As Johnson puts it, “In my opinion, you can’t beat the detail and quality of their products, which include regular eyewear in addition to sunglasses. When it comes to the latter, my favorite style is the Avatar. I love a good aviator shape, and these manage to look absolutely original while still giving off that classic look.” —Aisha Rickford
One of the shops I found through Firstman’s Instagram story, Cool and Casual Studios, is a Los Angeles–based shop that offers a mix of vintage and independent designers. You’ll find breezy striped linen shirts and ideal pairs of stonewashed vintage jeans.
Carly Cushnie started her eponymous brand in 2008 and offers clothes that are minimalist and elegant as well as a bridal line of sculptural gowns, jumpsuits, and suits for women.
Elisa Johnson also told us that her favorite sweatsuit is from Daily Paper, an Amsterdam-based men’s and women’s clothing brand created by Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei, and Abderrahmane Trabsini. “While a little on the pricey side for a sweatshirt and sweatpants, I think they’re worth the investment because together they make for an easy, wearable moment, and each is stylish enough to wear separately with other things from your closet.” —Leah Muncy
Darryl Brown’s focus is on minimal workwear — think Dickies or Carhartt but on a smaller scale. The heavyweight tees, hoodies, and pants are all made in the United States, and J.Crew and Nordstrom recently began stocking them, too. —Jordan Bowman
Detroit-based clothing label Diop makes diaspora-inspired streetwear, including fabric face masks inspired by mud cloth from Mali. For each mask sold, Diop is donating a portion of proceeds to coronavirus relief initiatives, including Feed the Frontlines, which supports Detroit restaurants and provides meals to emergency and health-care workers. —Liza Corsillo
New York City line Edas — which sells spiral earrings, hand-rolled jewelry dishes, and miniature leather bags — was started by Sade Mims, who is also the head designer for the brand.
Farai London is easily identified by its bold watercolor-like patterns, double-lined mesh fabric, and sexy cutouts (think Maddy from Euphoria). Since launching in July 2020, the brand has been worn by the likes of Kylie Jenner, and is now sold at Revolve and Selfridges. —J.M.W.
Flat Fifteen is London-based designer Francesca Kappo’s line of tiny handbags in iridescent silk and gingham that, as Kappo writes on the site, “your Aunty would probably wear to Church on a Sunday.”
FlameKeepers Hat Club’s mission is, in its words, “to pass the torch of good taste from one generation to the next.” Founded by hat-industry veteran Marc Williamson, the Harlem-based hat boutique offers an array of luxury hats, from cashmere baseball caps to wool fedoras, in a variety of custom sizes and styles. —L.M.
Bed-Stuy’s Gizmo Vintage Honey is where you’ll find retro patchwork tops, perfectly broken-in jeans, and utility jumpsuits.
We could all use a few more lounge sets these days, and this brand, which offers custom-made matching shorts, sweats, and tops, was included in Hairston’s stories.
Mother-daughter duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka started House of Aama in 2015. According to their website, the brand — which sells silk halter tops, corduroy jackets, and off-the-shoulder tops — “explores the folkways of the Black experience by designing timeless garments with nostalgic references informed by historical research, archival analysis, and storytelling.”
Founded by fashion blogger Fisayo Longe in 2016, Kai Collective is a London-based luxury womenswear brand providing ethically sourced clothing — like velvet statement skirts and vegan-leather dresses — at non-luxury price points. —L.M.
Founded by fashion and travel blogger Fisayo Longe, KAI offers glamorous ruched burnt-orange and purple skirts and patterned mesh going-out turtlenecks.
Kenneth Ize works with a small group of weavers and Nigerian artist-and-design groups to create its pieces. According to the brand’s site, its focus is on “reinterpreting examples of Nigerian craft to create an original perspective on luxury production within textile and fashion.”
When we talked to Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors about the things she can’t live without, dresses from Los Angeles clothing store Kutula by Africana were high on the list. “I grew up in Los Angeles and I used to go to this African store when I was maybe 18, 19, 20 years old, but they never had clothes for young people. I would go in because I liked the fabric, but I didn’t like the styles,” Cullors told us. “Then one day I was in the neighborhood, maybe a decade and a half later, and I walked into the store and was like, What the hell, this is not the same store. These two young women who are sisters, Bo and Kay, were like, We’re the daughters of the woman who used to own the store, our mom was going to get rid of the shop, and we were like, ‘No, this is a staple in the community, we’ll take it over.’” Now, Kutula offers ready-made and custom pieces, many of which you can find on its Instagram.
Label by Three’s clothes are designed and handmade in Phoenix, Arizona. The brand’s focus is on sustainability, and its designs are made in limited runs from dead-stock fabrics sourced from independent sellers in the United States.
Designer LaQuan Smith started his namesake brand when he was 21 and, on his site, describes the aesthetic as “unapologetically glamorous.” Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga have all worn his designs.
Another highlight in Hairston’s Instagram story, Alexandra Bunch’s Los Angeles brand Local European offers the sleek bike shorts, satin corsets, and ruched turtleneck dresses you might hope to wear out dancing again someday.
Rosemary Matovu opened her closet-size store on West 10th Street in 2007 and stocks it with truly fabulous vintage pieces picked up on her world travels: from cancan skirts to antique Victorian slips. Rosemary also makes her own fabulous pieces out of vintage finds.
Womenswear brand Maki Oh was founded in 2010 by Maki Osakwe, who, according to the site, “fuses traditional African techniques with detailed contemporary construction.” The line has been worn by Michelle Obama, Solange Knowles, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Founded by 26-year-old skater Adrienne Cooper, Moonlight Roller makes some of our favorite skates. Their site also features lots of gear and accessories like jelly-toe caps, light-up wheels, and a rainbow of laces. —D.P.
Designer Moshood Afariogun opened Moshood Creations in Fort Greene in 1994, and the store remained there for 25 years before it was forced out by high rents. The store has since reopened in Bed–Stuy, where you can find its signature wrap skirts, dashikis, dresses, jumpsuits, and patchwork pants. Moshood was also profiled on Black-Owned Brooklyn.
I came across this brand from Tahirah Hairston’s Instagram stories. Founded by Hleziphansi Zita, this line of architectural jewelry is elegant and sculptural — each piece reminds me of something you’d find in a museum, and the prices for the sterling silver and gold plating are reasonable.
Sisters Rachel Topping and Rikki-Richelle (whom I met at a Building Black Bedstuy event) created this brand with an eye to increasing the representation of authentic Blackness in the mainstream media. It does this through bold and beautiful messaging on everything from home goods to clothing to hair accessories — many of which I own and have gifted to others. —J.M.W.
After graduating with a B.F.A. from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Nia Thomas founded her eponymous NYC-based apparel and accessories brand with a focus on community and sustainability, offering responsibly sourced, recycled, reclaimed, and biodegradable goods like plant-dyed socks and recycled-silk scarves. —L.M.
On Nude Barre’s site, you’ll find hosiery and underwear in 12 different shades of nude. According to a feature in Forbes, CEO Erin Carpenter, a former Knicks City Dancer, started the line after struggling to find undergarments and tights that were actually “nude” — and not just beige.
Octave is a Brooklyn-based jewelry line of geometric pieces with hand-cut raw stones, including opal and mother of pearl.
Oma the Label carries thick gold hoops and rope chains that are easy to imagine wearing every day, along with flattering basics and bodysuits, including a square-neck leotard with high-cut legs.
Founded by Whitney Mero, Harlem’s Onion Cut & Sewn has been in business for over 20 years and sells vibrant dresses in jewel-tone solids and bright stripes.
The Nigeria-based brand Orange Culture was founded in 2011 by Adebayo Oke-Lawal, who works with ethically sourced fabrics from local Nigerian fabric-makers to create androgynous pieces, including iridescent button-down tops and beaded vests.
Bronté Laurent’s namesake label is all about finding clothes you’ll never want to take off — but it’s not loungewear. Instead, think recycled material turned into relaxed designs that you can still get dressed up in. Though if you are looking for something more casual, the brand also has limited-edition sweats and tees with an “Honor Black Women” logo. —J.M.W.
Peju Obasa is a London-based womenswear designer who makes bright knitted and crocheted belt bags with raffia and jersey yarn.
Included in Throwing Fits’s post of businesses, menswear brand Post-Imperial was founded by designer Niyi Okuboyejo in 2012. According to Post-Imperial’s site, the fabrics used in its garments are treated in Nigeria using a hand-dyeing process called Adire, which involves first hand-painting the fabric with a dye-resistant wax and then dipping the fabric in dye — the process results in gorgeous naturally dyed textiles with patterning.
Rebecca Allen’s shoes come in three simple silhouettes — minimalist two-strap high heels, a pump, and pointy-toe flats — and five different shades of “nude” that cover a wide range of skin tones.
Riot Swim sells the bathing suits that are all over your Instagram feed. Designed by Monti Landers, one of its most recognizable styles is a cheeky, deep-V one-piece, but the entire range consists of minimalist swimsuits in a range of colors from neutral to neon. —Jenna Milliner-Waddell
L.A.-based Samaria Leah Denim, according to Samaria Leah, “marries the past and present” with its one-of-a-kind pieces made with upcycled vintage Levi’s. Each pair of denim is made to order (with a size range of 24 to 38) and styles range from lightly distressed cutoffs to lace-up mom jeans. —L.M.
The Bed–Stuy coffee-slash-clothing shop founded by Kai Avent-deLeon focuses on jewelry, home goods, and womenswear by emerging designers (it is also where Strategist senior editor Katy Schneider buys, as she puts it, “more of less all of her clothing”).
Brooklyn-bred Franci Girard was five-foot-ten by the time she hit fourth grade. So this brand was born out of a very real and longtime struggle to create actually stylish clothing for tall women (five-nine and over) — and she really, actually has. (That is, after she played professional volleyball, got an M.B.A. from Harvard, and went to Parsons.) The line just launched in 2019 with all manner of pants — jeans, leggings, palazzos — that are extremely flattering, at least judging by the way they look on Franci. —Jessica Silvester
I came across New York–based designer Tia Adeola’s brand on my Instagram discover page and immediately loved her Renaissance-inspired designs. Adeola launched the line from her dorm room at the New School (from which she graduated in 2019), and since then, her iridescent puff-sleeved ruffle crop tops have been worn by everyone from SZA to Dua Lipa, to Lizzo, to Gigi Hadid.
A vintage shop on Instagram and Etsy, Small Needs carries ’80s-glam lace corsets as well as timeless silk blouses and gold jewelry.
Based in Utah, Stella and Haas makes pieces that Elisa Johnson likes to call “layering jewelry” — minimal gold- and silver-tone pieces that are easy to mix and match. Johnson told us that she has an impressive collection of Stella and Haas hoops, bracelets, and necklaces and favors the brand’s Old English Zodiac necklace for its customizable, personal touch. —L.M.
Telsha Anderson’s online shop carries a sharply curated selection of popular independent designers, including Priscavera and Gauntlett Cheng, and magazines including Gentlewoman and Document.
Telfar Clemens’s eponymous brand Telfar was largely popularized thanks to its signature bags — which our colleagues at the Cut called the Bushwick Birkin. The brand also has a line of apparel and jewelry, but I am personally waiting for the small shopping bag in white to hopefully be restocked.
Founded by Shilla Kim-Parker, Thrilling curates vintage clothing from boutiques across the country and brings them together in one digital marketplace, where you’ll find one-of-a-kind vintage beaded gowns from the ’70s and lounging-around-the-house-worthy caftans. —Hilary Reid
TLZ L’FEMME’s tagline is “to live zealously femme” and sells everything from ruched leather pants to a silver bodysuit to parachute pants that were once worn by Cardi B. The brand also sells “Love Bags” — 100 percent of proceeds are put toward filling a second tote with items like water, baby wipes, and flashlights that the owners then distribute to those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
Torch is a vintage sportswear brand dedicated to sourcing clothing from historically Black colleges and universities. It stocks everything from Vintage Morehouse T-shirts to crewnecks to vintage caps, and it also has its own line inspired by collegiate-tennis uniforms. —J.B.
Minimalist leather-goods brand Tree Fairfax offers timeless cross-body bags, belts, totes, and waist bags in rich shades of mahogany, cognac, black, and russet.
Victor Glemaud worked as studio director for Paco Rabanne and style director for Tommy Hilfiger before launching his own eponymous label in 2006. Glemaud’s focus is on knits for all genders: His fall 2020 collection was made entirely from merino wool, cotton cashmere, and a merino-cotton-ramie blend.
We Dream in Colour makes some of the most fantastical jewelry I’ve ever seen with pieces shaped like swans, peacocks, and shells swinging from a reef. The sister-led label focuses on local manufacturing with every piece made in their Salem, Massachusetts, studio. —A.P.