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  • Writer's pictureJurnee Holland

Favorite Black Fashion Designers of the Month - Our Fashion Art Inspiration

Keep reading for our May roundup of amazing Black fashion designers and Black-owned fashion brands that have inspired us.

1. Blk Girls Apparel - Art Style: Bold & Unapologetic

The Blk Girls Apparel collection’s primary goal is to empower Black women, and their products do just that. From belt chains with bedazzled letters spelling ‘MELANIN’ to handbags that read ‘THIS BAG IS OWNED BY A PHENOMENAL BLACK WOMAN DON’T TOUCH, Blk Girls Apparel clothing and accessories are bold and unapologetic. These pieces are for Black women who are proud of who they are and are not afraid to show it.

See their entire collection here

2. Ahluwalia - Art Style: Patchwork & Colorblocking

Ahluwalia was created by London-based Indian and Nigerian designer Priya Ahluwalia in 2018. Priya’s mixed heritage serves as an important source of inspiration for the collection, as well as the past and potential future life of vintage textiles. Ahluwalia utilizes various techniques including patchwork in order to repurpose surplus and vintage fabrics. Priya’s innovative designs have earned her namesake label several awards and grants including the GQ x BFC Designer Menswear fund, and the opportunity of collaboration with other great brands like GANNI and Mulberry. Ahluwalia’s most recent Spring/Summer 22 collection was the first to present men’s and womenswear together. The collection is a perfect display of the brands unique patchwork and colorblocking techniques which tastefully combine various patterns and textures. Another key feature is the Afro Caribbean braid inspired motif, which can be seen in a signature print used throughout the collection, and even in the smaller details like the seams and embroidery.

Discover their latest collection and more here

3. Lemlem - Art Style: Easy Living

Started by Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede in 2007, Lemlem is an artisan clothing brand produced entirely in Africa with a sustainability and craftsmanship focus. The initial drive to begin her label stemmed from Liya noticing the decline in demand for local goods created in Ethiopia; she saw Lemlem as a way to bring artisan job opportunities back to her native country and revive ancient traditions of weaving. Lemlem has since expanded its artisan sourcing to Kenya and Morocco as well. The brand’s and Liya’s ultimate goal is to encourage economic growth in these areas and ‘break their cycle of poverty.’ In addition to these efforts, Lemlem is committed to a slow fashion model. Their pieces are created in small batches under safe working conditions. Lemlem pieces are perfect for those who appreciate a resort wardrobe. The easy, flowing dresses, blouses, etc. scream summer vacation on a tropical island. Though much of the collection is still very classic and universal so it can be adapted beyond just one season.

Discover the entire collection here

4. Hope for Flowers - Art Style: Timeless & Whimsical

Hope for Flowers was created for women who are inspired by beauty but are also conscious of their power to yield change through their consumer choices. The brand aims to make their customers look good as well as feel good, by creating products through positive social and ecological practices. Hope for Flowers does more than just produce beautiful collections, they also offer several ‘Art Enrichment Programs’ which are free to all and aim to teach innovative art techniques with a focus on sustainability. In the Hope for Flowers collection you will find whimsical watercolor floral prints, vintage silhouettes, and timeless charm. These pieces are not super modern or minimalist, but rather are intended for those who love a pretty colorful print and intricate details.

Discover the brand’s collection and programs here

5. Stella Jean - Art Style: Eclectic & Intuitive

Born from her desire to intersect her contrasting Italian and Haitian heritages, Stella Jean’s namesake label is a storytelling tool meant to send a message of inclusiveness. Stella Jean’s work extends beyond just putting out pretty garments. On the most recent of her global missions, Stella Jean traveled to Pakistan to collaborate with various communities including the nearly extinct Kalash people, in order to share their embroidery traditions with the world for the first time. In her latest collection you can see the eclectic mix of techniques and cultural inspirations. The intuitive combination of traditional Haitian patterns and classic Italian painted prints is just one of the many things that makes this collection unique. And the large woven belt buckles are unlike anything you’ve probably seen before.

Discover the brand and its missions here

Art Inspired by Fashion

Each of my favorite black designers of the month have a special place in my heart that fuels my creativity. If you love fashion art and fashion-inspired art, make sure to browse my current selection of custom art here

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