10 black-owned fashion and beauty brands to support right now
By fashion researcher Lila Flint Roberts
Following the death of George Floyd, social media has been full of important information on the Black Lives Matter movement, focusing on educating people (specifically white people) to not just be non-racist but how to be anti-racist.
As well as learning from literature and the media, signing important petitions and donating to anti-racist charities it is crucial to carry these actions into our day-to-day lives. Our duty doesn’t stop after posting a black square.
Here are 10 black-owned fashion and beauty brands that you can support now and forever.
Who: TTYA (Taller Than Your Average) was created by former stylist Irene Agbontaen and launched in Selfridges in 2013.
What: TTYA was born out of Irene’s frustration at shopping for herself. Standing at 5’11, she knows first hand the difficulties of finding the perfect fit and wants all ladies to feel ‘style-conscious, not self-conscious’. Shop TTYA for timeless pieces sure to elevate your style and confidence.
Love: This 95% cotton bodysuit is one of TTYA’s best sellers, and I am not surprised. Style with trainers and a wide-leg trouser for an extremely cool look.
Who: Janet Oganah, previously a barrister for seven years, works with women of colour to take charge when it comes to business.
What: Janet’s List is a “smart and simple way to connect consumers with women of colour in business.” Her online marketplace provides a platform to shop body, skincare, jewellery and hair products from a range of new and niche brands by women of colour.
Love: This brass pendant by Yala Jewellery is sustainably made in Nairobi, Kenya, and is hung from a 14k gold-filled chain. It’s simplicity at its finest and will add a beautiful touch to any outfit.
Who: Ade Hassan MBE is a British businesswoman and founded Nubian skin in 2014.
What: Frustrated by the lack of skin-tone choices within the hosiery market, Ade “decided it was time for a different nude.” Nubian Skin has “redefined nude” and made the lingerie and hosiery industry more inclusive.
Love: These Matt 15 Denier Curve Tights accommodate for the taller and curvier individual and have an anti-chafing panel, reinforced toe and anti-roll waistband. If you’re unsure of which colour to buy, see their Nubian Skin Skin-tones guide.
A A K S
Who: Akosua Afriyie-Kumi launched A A K S in 2014 in order to introduce the world to her favourite weaving technique practised by the women of Ghana.
What: A A K S creates stunning handcrafted, exuberant raffia bags. Each collection silhouette is “unique and tells a different story through detail, colour and shape.”
Love: This colourful TIA Basket bag with drawstring closure is the perfect bag for this summer and will brighten up any outing!
Who: Yvonne Telford, a Nigerian woman who arrived in England in November 1996, dreamed of owning a shop since she was five years old. Yvonne created Kemi Telford to encourage women to take up their rightful place and to “stop shrinking themselves.”
What: Loud, bold and fabulous clothes that are more than just ‘stylish’, they command attention.
Love: This gorgeous printed dress is made of 100% cotton yarn and has a drawstring waist to flatter all shapes. I love how Yvonne has styled it with a bright coloured trainer.
Who: Willow&Mane’s owner used to use her boyfriend's t-shirts to prevent tangles and frizz during hair wash days. Born out of frustration at the lack of products on the market, Willow&Mane aims to create quality products that you’ll use and love on repeat.
What: Luxury sustainable hair towels made in the UK from organic cotton. They come in an array of colours and would make the perfect gift. Wrap as you would a normal towel to dry your hair, or wear in a turban when deep conditioning.
Love: This reversible hair towel is double layered for extra absorbency and perfect for those with thicker or curly hair types.
Who: Nigerian-born, LA & London based, Sharon Chuter created UOMA with the belief that beauty starts the moment you decide to be yourself. UOMA exists to “re-write the rules of inclusivity and diversity to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.”
What: From everyday make-up to bright and bold looks, UOMA provides products in a vast array of shades and colours. If you’re unsure which foundation is right for you, UOMA have a Shade Finder consisting of three steps to find your shade.
Love: This Black Magic ‘Allure’ Eyeshadow Palette is a great all-in-one for an easy day to night switch!
Who: You may have heard of Fenty Beauty already. Its creator, Rihanna, founded the brand after years of seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones.
What: Fenty creates products for lips, eyes, cheeks, brows and more but is infamous for its range of 50 boundary-breaking shades of foundation.
Love: This Matte foundation is buildable, durable and provides medium-full coverage for a natural look.
Who: Loretta De Feo created Dizziak because she needed it: she couldn’t find a conditioner to suit her hair. Loretta wanted an accessible, aesthetically pleasing and great smelling product, so she made one.
What: Dizziak offers a range of ultra-hydrating formulas mixed with natural minerals and plant oils for every hair texture. All products are cruelty free and vegan.
Love: This hydration wash is super moisturising and great for afro-hair, or tight curls, and should be used instead of your shampoo and before conditioner.
Who: Established in 2016, Okiki was born out of a desire to create products of the highest quality and with natural ingredients whilst paying homage to the brand's rich Nigerian and Ghanaian roots.
What: Simple, natural organic products with botanical infusions ranging from body balms and bath salts to gin & tonic candles.
Love: It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! This soap bar is made of Egyptian and Ivorian coffee to revitalise and refresh your skin whilst awakening your sleepy senses.
Thank you to the plethora of journalists and influencers sharing black-owned fashion and beauty brands who helped inform this article. This list is non-exhaustive and there are plenty more online resources sharing incredible fashion and beauty brands owned by black people.