I love black people! Our culture, our melanin, our hair, our smiles, our hearts, our creativity, our strength and most of all, our SWAG!
We are some of the most stylish people I’ve ever seen in my life. I LOVE US! Not to be a shady palm tree to anyone else or other cultures, but it’s very important for us as a community of people to support each other in every good thing that we do. Society has tried to convince us to look to others for the things we need as a people. In actuality everything we need, WE CARRY on the inside of us and we can create those things to build a strong community from within. I’m all for inclusion, but when inclusion doesn’t represent us in our multifaceted greatness then we must be the change and do that for ourselves. It’s very evident now more than ever that we need to continue to make and support brands that are for US and by US. So when I come across Black-owned brands that catch my eye, I believe in sharing the wealth. Some of these brands have been established for quite some time and others are just taking off. But, no matter what, they represent us and they believe in the togetherness of our people. Let's show them some love and support.
Zelie For She: This Los Angeles based brand is for the curvy fashionista. The beautiful owner Zelie created this brand for the curvy girl that loves fashion and still wants to feel fresh and confident. Zelie for She offers earthy color along with bold patterns. Zelie will bring out your inner vivaciousness with its subtle yet sexy clothing. Prices range from $70-$200. You can find Zelle at www.zelieforshe.com.
Andrea Iyamah: Established in 2011, is owned by Nigerian born Dumebi Iyamah. Based in Ontario, Canada, with a location in Lagos, Nigeria, A.I is strongly inspired through colors and ethnic cultures. With A.I being the brainchild of Dumebi since the age of 17, this fashion brand has been known for its eccentricity through vibrant colors and cuts of their swimwear that was first launched in 2013. With A.I staying true to their African heritage, they cater to women across the globe with ready to wear garment pieces, custom made pieces for special events and exotic swimsuits. Prices range varies depending on the item. Check A.I out at www.andreaiymah.com.
Hanifa: A contemporary ready to wear fashion line established in December of 2011, Hanifa is for the everyday bold, bright and beautiful working woman. With their chic yet simplistic style, Hanifa prides itself in honing its exclusivity of style, colors, textures and patterns that are purchased from international sources such as Dubai and Istanbul. Hanifa is establishing itself as a fresh global brand for women who are not afraid to take a risk with their style. Their services also include customs and alterations. Prices vary as they sell clothing, accessories, and shoes. Hanifa can be found at hanifa.co. a
Street & Alternative Wear
Melanin Apparel: This Urban streetwear clothing line celebrates African American heritage. From HBCU to legendary black television shows, Melanin Apparel knows how to draw the community in. They are known for bringing pride back into our communities and encourage black people to enjoy and celebrate our African heritage and culture with power and boldness. Melanin Apparel offers a wide variety of t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, hats, oversized travel bags and so much more. If you want to celebrate black power and make a bold statement, Melanin Apparel is the store for you. Here is the link for more information, www.melaninapparel.com.
Fly Nerd: I love when I find a clothing brand that speaks directly to ME! Fly Nerd is that brand. Often times I have been dubbed a nerd or weird, and even strange, and I know that I can dress as fly as anyone out there while staying true to me. That’s what I get with Fly Nerd. They are a graphics t-shirt company that speaks to the inner mysteries of oneself and promotes self-acceptance. It’s okay to be geeky and out of the box and that is just what Fly Nerd represents. Founded and created by MimiDre, a Baltimore based designer, Fly Nerd shows us to embrace who we are and still show swag in the process. They offer a wide variety of affordable graphic tees, hoodies to kids apparel and accessories. Fly Nerd teaches you to embrace all that is quirky about you. Check them out at flynerdapparel.com.
Coco'Pie Clothing: This family-run business focuses on making sure our little black queens can embrace all of who they are. No matter if they are rocking braids, puffs, or twists, Coco Pie was founded in 2011 and they are making sure that black girls are being represented to the fullest. They know how important it is for our little girls to see positive images of themselves and they help parents reinforce what is already being taught in the homes. Coco Pie is making sure black girls are being celebrated early on in life with their affordable clothing, accessories and even sleep products. Contact them at www.cocopieclothing.com.
Pint+Size+Faith (PSF): Based out of Chicago, this husband and wife business was established in 2015. Initially known for children's apparel, they have branched into women's apparel as well. Their focus is on sharing the unchanging gospel of Christ through stylish clothing and accessories. With their global statement #allyouneedispintsizefaith, they’ve been recognized in Ebony magazine and have amassed a following as far as Canada, the UK, and Africa. Become a part of their tribe at www.pintsizefaith.com.
By: Etosha Bahaiddin
Facebook: Etosha Bahaiddin