15 Black Fashion Designers You Should Know
It’s February, which means we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day and Black History Month all month long. Since New York Fashion Week is fresh on our minds, we’re sharing our favorite black designers who are making serious moves in the fashion industry. Get ready to be wowed by these insanely talented black fashion designers.
1. Stella Jean: The stunning Stella Jean is one of Milan’s rising stars. In 2011, she won Vogue Italia’s talent competition, “Who’s on Next,” and now counts designer Armani and Vogue UK editor Suzy Menkes as fans. Her designs are a true reflection of her and embody ladylike silhouettes. Her prints pay tribute to her mother’s homeland of Haiti, as well as West Africa. (Photo via Gareth Cattermole/Getty)
2. Darlene and Lizzy Okpo: Nigerian American sisters Darlene and Lizzy Okpo are the geniuses behind William Okpo, a successful women’s wear line. The Okpo sisters began designing in 2005 at the ages of 19 and 14 (yes, you read that right) with a t-shirt line called Mayhem. Their clothing has been featured in Elle and is carried in Opening Ceremony, among other retailers. (Photo via Christelle de Castro/Vice Magazine)
3. Duro Olowu: Nigerian-born designer Duro Olowu began his L fashion line in 2004 in London. It caught the eye of Vogue editor Sally Singer and Julie Gilhart of Barney’s New York. He’s become famous for his use of bold colors, African prints and ‘70s tailoring. He and his wife, Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, make one impressive power couple. (photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)
4. Maxwell Osborne: Maxwell Osborne is the cofounder, along with Dao Yi-Chow, of cutting-edge fashion brand Public School NYC. The brand has won two prestigious awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, as well as the accolades of Anna Wintour. In February 2014, the fashion duo decided to branch off from their menswear line, debuting a women’s collection to much praise. (Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)
5. Jessie Adore: Jessie Adore is the current Creative Director for Harlem Fashion Row. She started as a fashion blogger before designing her first phantom handbag in 2013. After receiving critical acclaim and a slew of orders, she decided to start her handbag collection, Adore New York, in 2014. The luxury bags are made of finely crafted leather imported from Italy and manufactured in New York City. (Photo via Adore New York)
6. Olivier Rousteing: Olivier Rousteing is a French designer and the current Creative Director of Balmain. He began his designing career in 2003 at Roberto Cavalli, where he quickly worked his way up through the ranks to become Creative Director of their women’s ready-to-wear collection. In 2009, he was tapped to design for Balmain, eventually taking full control of their men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections at age 25. WOW. (Photo via Mireya Acierto/Getty)
7. Tracy Reese: After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 1984, Tracy Reese began her career as a designer for the infamous fashion house Perry Ellis, eventually becoming the design director for their women’s portfolio. Reese began her own women’s ready-to-wear line in 1996, before following up with her second line, Plenty, in 1998. Reese’s collections are infused with ultra-femininity and are often described as bohemian, eclectic and adventurous. (Photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)
8. Quincy “Ouigi” Theodore: Ouigi Theodore is the founder of Brooklyn Circus/Bkc, a fashion boutique and lifestyle brand. His fashion mission is to globally redefine the image of urban America. With boutiques in Brooklyn and San Francisco and his clothes available all around the world, he’s doing just that. (Photo via @maxpoglia)
9. Ituen Basi: Ituen Basi is a Nigerian designer who began her fashion line in 2009. She has won countless awards, including “Most Innovative Designer” and “Emerging Designer of the Year, Africa.” Her designs celebrate individuality and feminism, and have ushered in a new era of unique Ankara designs. (Photo via Samir Hussein/Getty)
10. June Ambrose: June Ambrose is the mastermind stylist and costume designer behind your favorite nineties music videos for artists like Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Jay-Z, just to name a few. Ambrose began her company, Mode Squad, when no one was in the business of dressing celebrities. A couple decades later, she has written a book, launched a women’s ready-to-wear collection (June by June Ambrose), and continues to style celebrities. (Photo via Chelsea Lauren/Getty)
11. Dexter and Byron Peart: Dexter and Byron Peart are the twin brothers and founders of high-end accessories label WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie. Prior to starting their accessories line in 2006, both brothers began the WANT Agency and helped introduce fashion brands like Acne, Nudie Jeans, Filippa K and Maison Kitsuné to North American markets. Their collection includes travel bags and accessories inspired by timeless and functional design classics. (Photo via Wanted Les Essentiels de la Vie)
12. Andrea Iyamah: Andrea Iyamah is famous for her namesake resort swimwear and women’s ready-to-wear collection, which offers unique pieces with a modern twist. Her designs have garnered the attention of socialites like Angela Simmons and have been featured in many publications, including Cosmopolitan UK and Ebony. (Photo via The Style HQ)
13. Armando Cabral: You might recognize this fashion model-turned shoe and accessories designer from your J. Crew catalog. In 2009, Armando Cabral decided to turn his passion for shoes and design into a reality and launched a shoe collection. The brand offers a minimalist, modern and metropolitan perspective on fashion. (Photo via Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty)
14. Carly Cushnie: While completing her degree at Parsons School of Design, Carly Cushnie perfected her skill as a designer at Donna Karan, Oscar De La Renta and Proenza Schouler. She paired up with Michelle Ochs and launched Cushnie Et Ochs, a women’s ready-to-wear label that has since been donned by celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Rihanna and Michelle Obama. (Photo via Jemal Countess/Getty)
15. Jerome Lamaar: Lamaar began his design career at 15 years old, working as an intern for Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat. He was eventually promoted to Senior Designer, and then went on to serve as an apprentice to fashion house Chado Ralph Rucci and consult for brands like Armani before launching his own women’s ready-to-wear line. (Photo via Vivien Killilea/Getty)
Who are your favorite fashion designers of the moment? Let us now in the comments below!
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.