Oh, baby, it’s a Black-owned summer. Whether you’re looking to serve a casual slay or have a cold drink by the pool, there’s a Black-owned business to help you make the most of the rising temperatures. After a year of performative support for Black businesses, it seems it’s really just a U.S. thing, and that’s cool because we’re rooting for ourselves…always. With that said, here are a list of Black-owned brands bringing the heat for the summer!
The category is…SKIN. Harlem native and seasoned beauty insider Diarrha N'Diaye put the makeup world on notice when she dropped her new Ami Cole collection. After turns at both L'Oreal and Glossier, N'Diaye decided she knew what girls who looked like her still needed when it came to achieving that effortless makeup look we all want for the summer. Three simple products—skin-enhancing tint, lip treatment oil, and light-catching highlighter make up the brand's first offering, and already the girls are gagging for it! Intended to enhance the natural glow of melanated skin rather than mask it, Ami Cole products will be the skin holy grail of the season.
Latched and Hooked Beauty
The summertime calls for protective styles to keep our crowns safe from extreme heat and over-styling. During quarantine, many of us learned how to give ourselves some quick braided styles, which means we may be making fewer trips to our favorite stylists, but we can still hold down Black women in the beauty space by buying our braiding hair from Black-owned brand Latched and Hooked. Owned by a former bank executive, Tiffni Gatlin, Latched and Hooked is a one-stop-shop for all of your braid, crochet, and natural hairstyles. You can even use their website to find a stylist in your area.
Brandon Blackwood made the world take notice with his "End Systemic Racism" collection and has taken things to the next level with his line of adorable handbags for all of the chic girlies. Not only do these bags make a big statement, but they have also quickly become a must-have for every woman wanting to turn heads in a simple way. The brand has expanded to include bags with everything from gold fixtures to bamboo handles and crocodile leather. So if you're looking for a handbag to make itself known when you walk into a room, look no further than Brandon Blackwood.
Let's serve a LEWK, shall we? When the designer behind the Hanifa brand, Anifa Mvuemba, debuted her virtual fashion show last year when it seemed the runways would be closed down for the foreseeable future, we were all shook. Using technology we hadn't seen utilized in this way, she debuted one-of-a-kind designs that we knew we had to get our hands-on. Her Pink Label Congo collection sold out in no time, and many fashion houses have duplicated her innovative vision. All of her collections are truly stunning, and though her pieces are very much couture, they are also affordable.
Did someone say shots? We got you. Founded in 2018 by Detroit native and cancer survivor Nayana Ferguson alongside her husband, Anteel Tequila is the first tequila brand to be partially owned and led by a Black woman. Committed to creating a smooth enough spirit to be consumed without sugary mixers and syrups, the Fergusons set out to create the ultimate sipping experience. They did just that when they brought Anteel to life and are the only brand to distribute a coconut lime blanco tequila…in the world. Let's toast to Black excellence this summer!
The Takeoff Collection
Mother and journalist Imani Bashir is a world traveler turned startup founder who seems poised to take our traveling experience to new heights. After using Clubhouse to raise 20% of her funding goal, Bashir is ready to launch The Takeoff Collection, a line of travel luggage and products that are waterproof and easy to carry for the entire family. Aimed toward those traveling with children, The Takeoff collection has something for everyone who may find themselves globe-hopping this summer.
Always one Balenciaga sneaker ahead of the pack, Elisa Johnson, daughter to NBA legend Magic Johnson and wife Cookie, is one of the best-dressed women in the public eye. Never following trends and always setting the style bar high, it's no surprise our good sis is giving us some chic frames to compliment any outfit. So whether you're lounging by the pool or nursing a sweet hangover from the night before, The Elisa Johnson collection has a pair of shades for every moment.
This budding designer is going to be around for a long time. Hogoè Elimiera shares her designs on social media and recently made waves on Twitter with her latest collections, The Firefly and The Bee. Featuring apparel, swimwear, accessories, and handbags, Hogoé Kpessou is an ethical brand (the handbags are made with vegan leather) that is sure to gain lots of loyal followers when the core pieces launch in August. We even love the thought behind the collections, with both of them having corresponding quotes to accompany them. "I attract only the sweetness and beauty of life," reads The Bee collection, and "Even in darkness I'll always attract light and guidance" sets the tone for The Firefly pieces.
Though the demand for these bags usually leaves consumers empty-handed, Telfar bags will be one of the summer's calling cards in exciting new colorways. They're easy to carry, come in three sizes, and are the bag that everyone wants, but only a few have been able to get their hands on. Nevertheless, there's no doubt that you'll be seeing these in plenty on trips and at kickbacks alike.
When I dip, you dip, we dip, ok?! Bring on the days spent by the pool and get into these swimsuits from the Black-owned brand The VVS. Handmade and dripping in sauce, you can bet your beach will be better if you show up to the function in one of these numbers. There's something for everyone, whether you want to serve a look that can double as a cute cookout number or if you're headed on a dope baecation and need something to set the mood right. You can find exactly what you need to feel your sexiest and most summer-ready with this brand.
Let us know which one of these brands you will be supporting this summer?