Black creators stole the show at New York Fashion Week FW22 as the fashion world was graced with original and highly anticipated showcases from designers like Telfar Clemens, Laquan Smith and Victor Glemaud. That same week, the spotlight also shone on a mass of talented designers that are becoming names in fashion, some still in their first season. Here are 10 Black designers that premiered at NYFW FW22 just a few years following their foundation.
BruceGlen, an eclectic brand launched by identical twin brothers Bruce and Glen Proctor in 2019, premiered their debut showcase virtually at NYFW. The collection titled “Look Mom..” is an homage to their late mother, Rosie Marie Thompson, who “gave up everything so we could have the lives we do,” according to the Proctors in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily. The collection includes everything from miniskirts to outerwear and handbags, all plentifully crafted in variations of prints, colors and hardwear, and features shiny, bold and colorful looks reminiscent of the 70s. Pieces from the collection are available for purchase at bruceglen.com.
According to House of Aama, the SS22 “Salt Water” collection, which showcased at NYFW, was “inspired by the seafaring legacy and Black resort communities that flourished in the US in the early 1900s.” The company, founded in 2014 by Mother and daughter Akua Shabaka and Rebecca Henry respectively, pulled inspiration from folklore surrounding the legends of water spirits, aiming to pay tribute to the African survivors of the middle passage. The collection tells a story of seafaring from the perspective of Black people. The sailing neckerchiefs, red and white-striped co-ords and ocean flowers are just a few of the details that brought this collection to life. All pieces from the collection are now available for pre-order on the brand’s site.
Connor McKnight’s F22 Ready to Wear collection brought a mixture of elements of subtle luxury to NYFW. With a neutral palette of browns and blacks, Mcknight allowed the structure of his pieces to speak to the quality of the brand that he has managed to build an identity for in just two years. Amidst the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, the Brooklyn native designer aimed to add his voice to the conversation. “ The first collection I did was an ode to the Black mundane-trying to revisit the idea of what it means to be a Black person who is somewhat ‘average’- and that’s the basis of my narratives,” McKnight told Vogue in 2021.
In 2020, Guinean model Mariama Diallo, who had been featured in campaigns by Savage X Fenty and Marc Jacob Beauty, launched Sincerely Ria. At NYFW, she showcased her debut collection, “Oshun”, inspired by the Fulani people of Guniea. The vibrant colors and modern silhouettes combine the brand’s traditional inspiration with current trends. All pieces from the collection can be purchased on the Sincerely Ria site.
Pastels, platforms and prints took the stage at the showcase of Sergio Hudson’s SS22 collection. The pieces, inspired by “…90s film and TV character imagined on a safari excursion,” according to Hudson, featured a set of co-ords reminiscent of Carmen Sandiego, complete with matching pastel wide-brim hats. The safari element was evident in the use of cheetah print and brown leather. Only having been founded in 2014, Hudson has managed to become the face of bright professionalism, dressing icons like Michelle Obama, Regina King and Mary J Blige.
LA based clothing brand No Sesso is currently the talk of social media. The brands FW22 showcase, “The Girls with Dolphin Earrings” collection is an ode to the cultural impact of Black women, from the 90s updos to the long acrylic nails. The use of denim and patchwork knits gave a very retro feel to the collection. The outerwear, lingerie and evening gowns were just a few of the elements of this showcase that set No Sesso apart. Some of the items from previous collections are available at nosesso.la.
The In the BLK runway show powered by UPS featured many emerging Black-owned brands, one of which was Khiry by Jameel Mohammed, a Chicago designer with an important message. The Fights Reveal Futilities collection, delivering both subtle and conspicuous messaging, symbolized the fight for the equality and liberation of Black people. Distressed tops, upcycled Everlast pieces and graphics reading “protect Black futures” helped to convey the message that the designer aimed to communicate during one of the most important weeks in fashion.
Menswear designer Kieth Herron’s Advisory brand debuted a culmination of streetwear and professional menswear through the showcase of the “Sometimes Dancing” collection. Herron’s inspiration for the collection was literally chaos, as told in an interview with Hype Beast. “I wanted to pivot and show the most important facet of Black culture – finding joy in the midst of chaos,” he explained. Symbols depicting the fight for reparation, as well as the contributions to society provided by Black culture tied purpose into fascinating pieces.
Eugene Taylor, founded by designer Letesha Renee in 2015, brought NYFW 22 a tribute to the legendary Diana Ross. “I am Diana”, according to the brand, is a tribute to the designer’s muse who, “…paved the way for women artists, creators and thinkers, giving little Black girls hope to dream big.” With 70s silhouettes and fluffy tulle, as well as the dreamy lighting in her product shoots, Renee ensured that her work honored her influence.
Drawing inspiration from the 1996 film “Romeo and Juliet,” Who Decides War showcased its interpretation of “angels of war,” honoring those lost members of the community, such as Virgil Abloh. Distressed pieces contrasted crisp suits draped with feathers symbolizing angel wings, and models posed in front of a candle-lot altar.
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