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With protests around the world in support of Black Lives Matter, people are finally taking a hard look at the daily inequalities Black people face. Though we see the most serious and often deadly disparities played out in the news, there’s no part of our lives that remains unaffected. Did you know that even though Black people make up roughly 15% of the U.S. population, according to a 2016 Census study, only 17.5% of businesses in the country were minority-owned, with Black owned businesses making up an even smaller portion of the pie?
Lack of diversity in fashion brands trickles down and is often reflected in a lack of inclusive designs, sizes, and attention to sustainable practices. Here are seven Black-owned businesses in the fashion and beauty space you can shop today show your support for a more inclusive industry.
7 Black-Owned Businesses in Fashion and Beauty
1. Taylor Jay (clothing)
When designer Taylor Jay started her own line, she set out to create pieces that could build a wardrobe of elevated, comfortable essentials that flatter everyone’s unique curves. Every piece is designed and made in Oakland, Calif., with a focus on sustainability, using ethical labor and certified eco-friendly fabrics. If you had to grab one piece from Taylor Jay, you couldn’t go wrong with the Anne dress. A perfect marriage of boho and modern chic, this maxi is comfy, casual, and romantic all at once. The deep earthy green tone has us daydreaming of a summer vacation among the pines.
We also have to give a nod to the chic Berry crop top. If the words “crop top” make you take a deep breath, don’t panic! This top works perfectly with your tummy concealed when paired with high-waisted bottoms. We’d go with a flowy, high-waisted skirt that plays off the silhouette for a bit of a dressier look. High-waisted jeans would make it the perfect effortlessly casual summer outfit.
2. Andrea Iyamah (clothing and swimwear)
Andrea Iyamah’s beautiful swimwear and resort line will have you wishing your full-time job was lounging poolside while someone brings you tropical drinks. The line was created by Nigerian designer Dumebi Iyamah, who was inspired by color, nature, and her African heritage. The inclusive size range (most pieces range from XS to 2X, with some going up to 3X) makes Iyamah’s unique designs accessible to even more fashionistas.
One of our favorite pieces is the Kimora jumpsuit, a bright mustard off-the-shoulder piece with a halter neckline, wide legs, and bubble sleeves that is sure to stand out amongst the rest of your wardrobe pieces this summer.
The Malika shorts would be perfect to keep cool on a hot day, whether you’re hanging around your apartment, out for a walk, or relaxing near the water. Pair it with any basic tank or tee on your wardrobe for a colorful yet casual look, or slip it on over your bikini bottoms for a quick and stylish cover up.
3. Diarrablu (clothing and shoes)
Creative mathematician and artist Diarra Bousso created Diarrablu to unite her love of art and math. She uses mathematical concepts and algorithms to create beautiful patterns that make for irresistible fashion. Most pieces in the line are handcrafted in Dakar, Senegal, where Bousso was born. Bringing the tradition of Africa’s rich colors and patterns to a contemporary line was just one of the driving forces behind the brand. Sustainability is also embedded in the line, from conception to manufacturing. Most pieces are adjustable and convertible to give them a longer life in your wardrobe, too.
The Zena Mailys maxi dress is stunning, thanks to the unique and beautiful pattern to a cut that would look great on just about anyone. The dress can be wrapped in several different ways, so you can get plenty of mileage from it this summer and for years to come.
We also love the versatility of the Mini Ananas kimono. Wear it as a short dress or over pants. You can also dress it up with heels or down with your favorite pair of comfy sandals. However you choose to wear it, the breezy feel and gorgeous pattern will surely make this one of the items you reach for most.
4. EDAS (jewelry and accessories)
Unlike most jewelry lines, at EDAS, every piece of jewelry is handmade to order, meaning no two pieces are ever the same. The process also helps reduce waste since they don’t overproduce items. The line leans heavily on refurbished elements to add to the one-of-a-kind nature and increased sustainability.
EDAS’ Prime earrings are on our wishlist of summer accessories. The brass drop earrings have a curved design that mimics a slithering snake. Accented with a single black wooden bead, they hold their own and could easily be the only accessory you wear. If you like geometric shapes, look to the Angie earrings. Brass circles hang by a small ring from half-circle tops, adding an interesting modern twist on a classic style.
5. Made for Curves (lingerie, swimwear, and loungewear)
High-quality lingerie can be hard to come by in larger sizes. Thankfully, Made for Curves knows sexy comes in all sizes, and everyone deserves to look and feel beautiful. The size range starts at small, going up to 4X; the product line includes basic bras and panties, swimsuits, sleepwear, and more.
The Ariana floral robe is one of our new favorites. The black base and lace trim make for the perfect sexy counterparts to the romantic large-scale floral pattern. Wear it over your favorite pajamas or the equally sexy and beautiful Ariana romper, which has matching black lace trim and is covered with flowers in shades of red, green, and yellow.
6. Pat McGrath Labs (beauty)
After decades of working with the world’s top designers, magazines, makeup brands, and celebrities, Pat McGrath put her passion and knowledge into creating a line of her own.
Forget everything you know about matte lipsticks before giving the MatteTrance lipstick a try. With a highly pigmented matte formula that’s never drying, you’ll have color you can depend on to last all day without the tight, uncomfortable feeling most of us associate with matte formulas.
And, if the last time you saw your face glow was from the illumination of your screen, you’ll love the ChromaLuxe Hi-Lite Cream Highlighter. The shimmering gold highlighter can be used around your eyes and anywhere on your face to create a natural looking glow from within, no matter how much — or how little — sleep you’ve been getting.
7. Grace Eleyae (hair accessories)
When brand-founder Grace Eleyae took an eight-hour car ride and realized her hair was breaking off due to friction against the car’s headrest, she was inspired. The outcome? A line of protective and wearable products including headbands, wraps, and even pillowcases.
The product that started it all was Eleyae’s adjustable slap, a satin-lined cap. With elastic bands and adjustable drawstrings, it’s easy to get the perfect fit, so it stays put to protect your hair no matter how much you toss and turn at night.