15 Black-Owned Fashion and Beauty Brands to Support
By: Mariah Thomas
In the midst of COVID-19, the murder of George by white officers in Minneapolis gave rise to #BlackLivesMatter protests calling for an end to police brutality. As protesters gather across the globe to fight for change — including gatherings in England, Rome, Scotland, Switzerland, and Hong Kong — many wonder what else they can do to stand in solidarity with the cause.
Including the need to vote, with voter registration surging following Floyd’s death, other ways to contribute involve signing petitions, protesting, and supporting black-owned businesses. Black-owned fashion and beauty brands are continuing to break barriers in the industry while opening doors for diversity and inclusion.
The origins of America’s racial wealth gap existed since the Jim Crow days. Currently, only one in four black households have a negative net worth compared to less than one in ten white families with limited wealth. There is truth to the saying, “money is power,” and we as consumers can create long-term change through the distribution of wealth.
Here are 15 black-owned fashion and beauty brands, that not only will have you longing to buy more, but are unapologetically bold, unique, and culturally rooted.
Founded by Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba in 2012, Hanifa Clothing is designed for the bold, sexy, and feminine boss. The designs cater to black women, using colors to match brown and dark complexions in sizes of different proportions. From ruffled blouses, accentuated mini skirts, and denim sets, Hanifa is the epitome of representation.
After having her idea shut down on Shark Tank in 2015, Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler landed her products in Target stores across the country. Her brand features vibrant lips colors for women of all skin tones. Featuring shades for every occasion, The Lip Bar products are vegan, cruelty-free, and will leave your lips feeling moisturized throughout the day.
Where sexy and simplicity collide. Creator Briana Wilson started Matte Brand eight months after moving from Texas to New York City. Featuring figure-hugging bodysuits, leather, and satin corsets, and attire fit for a throwback 90’s vibe, Matte Brand is authentic when it comes to designs and prints.
Designed to leave your skin fresh and glowing, skinBUTTR is a beauty brand comprised of whipped Shea-based body butter and scrubs. Founded by one of America’s Next Top Model’s runner-ups, Tatiana Price, skinBUTTR products are formulated by skincare specialists to heal, hydrate, and leave your skin silky smooth.
This accessories brand was founded by self-taught designer Valerie Blaise. All designs are born in a small studio in Brooklyn before being physically developed in New York’s Garment District. The brand introduces wearable leather accessories in an array of colors and prints. Not only are these accessories creative and spunky, but they also give back, with unused leather scraps donated to art programs across the country.
Mary Louise Cosmetics
Say bye, bye to acne scars, hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, and razor bumps after using these natural and organic skincare products. Founded by L.A.-based Akilah Releford, Mary Louise makes high-quality and clean skincare accessible. Though all of their products are designed to give you that natural glow, they are especially known for their “Miracle Serum,” a multi-purpose serum with turbo ingredients designed to penetrate the skin and fade away those marks.
From luxury scarves to silky durags and swimwear, Atira Lyons is a brand catered toward black culture. Atira Lyons features headwear in a variety of vibrant colors, from “Nipsey blue” and baby pink, to turquoise and orange. The brand screams authenticity with unique designs and limited-edition releases including Santa Clause durags for the Christmas season.
This London-based womenswear brand was established in 2016 by fashion and travel blogger, Fisayo Longe. Attainability, luxury, and femininity collide with high-neck long-sleeved mesh dresses, silky satin shirts, and vegan leather black dresses.
ABA Love Apothecary
This line brings you plant-based skincare, botanical perfumes, and aromatherapy. Featured in Essence, Marie Claire, Forbes, and more, this brand gives you the finest botanical nature has to offer. Soothe anxiety and stress with the “Divine Me Anointing Oil;” Acquire brighter skin with the “Flower Crown Facial Serum.” Your face will thank you later.
Multiculturalism meets ethical fashion with this Italian -based clothing line. The brand was founded by Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean — who, in 2011, became the first black designer to win the Vogue Italia’s talent contest “Who Is On Next.” Her work features designs merging Italian tailoring with an array of cultural influences.
Committed to empowering women of color, Hanahana Beauty brings you 100% handcrafted all-natural products with Shea butter sourced from the Katariga Cooperative in Tamale, Ghana. Enrich your senses with lavender, lemongrass, or eucalyptus body butter. They also offer exfoliating bars, Shea balms, and body scrubs.
Christopher John Rogers
A recent graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Christopher John-Roger is the fashion industry’s latest obsession. His work revolves around vibrant neon colors, strikingly ruffled gowns, sky-high heels, and an aesthetic that screams drama. His designs are empowering, lively, and make bold impressions on the runway.
Black Girl Sunscreen
As the name suggests, this beauty brand was made “for us, by us.” You can find this vegan sunscreen in your local stores such as Target. If you’re worried about the sun leaving your skin dry and damaged, Black Girl Sunscreen will give you ultra-sheen protection, while leaving your skin rejuvenated and moisturized. Harmful chemicals are excluded from their ingredients list — including fragrance, parabens, and oxybenzone, which can cause allergic reactions or skin cancer.
Caribbean Cowgirl founder LaNatria Ellis, created her brand to pay homage to her Caribbean heritage and a southern upbringing. For Ellis confidence is key, and at Caribbean Cowgirl you can find pieces that give a boost of courage to get through the day. From chiffon-style corseted tops to two-piece tropical print sets, you’ll have an exciting and extensive lineup to choose from.
Classifying themselves as “clean, vegan, and unisex skincare for all,” Plant Apothecary brings you eco-friendly self-care. Whether you have acne, bumps, sensitivity, or smooth skin, their grooming and bath products will cater to you. Reduce inflammation with their Matcha Organic Antioxidant Face Mask or increase circulation with their Super Soak Organic Healing Bath salt.