I’ve curated a list of the most unique Black-owned minimalist brands as we update our style for summer and fall.
Shopping Black-owned stores matters now more than ever, as does paying attention to where and how our clothes are sourced, sewn, and distributed.
Check out our style picks below and how to buy from these stores.
How I selected these Black owned fashion brands
These are not just any random brands. When I engage with clients in my image consulting services, I focus on three important factors in building a wardrobe:
- Minimalist fashion that means smarter choices, not just fewer
- Classic pieces that will build a capsule wardrobe
- Timeless items that will hold up over many years without going out of style
After working in the fashion industry for over 15 years, I’m VERY selective about the brands that I put my clients in and even recommend publicly (no sponsored posts here!)
These brands below offer high quality items, unique product that you can’t find anywhere else and are timeless.
“Brett designs for a new kind of international man,” according to his website.
With an eye on Italian fashion, Brett seeks out top of the line textiles, fibers and leathers from Italy to create quality clothes that will last. He calls it a “cocktail of equal parts American eye and Italian hand.”
His spring and summer 2020 line features crisp white polos, linen blazers, and lots of layers with cool pastels, such as a tailored white pant combined with a mint polo and light gray long blazer.
I also love his Fall/Winter items too, notice the textures, beautiful fabrics and great fit. This line is for a sophisticated guy that wants to create a truly effortless style.
Brett follows all of the rules I recommend with clients, such as focusing on core colors then pairing with tonal and brighter colors for accents or pops of color.
He has locations around the world, including Austria, Italy, Ukraine, and others, and New Yorkers can check out his flagship on Mercer St.
Mateo offers upscale bags, candles and jewelry, and has been featured in Vogue, Elle, InStyle, and The New York Times Style Magazine.
The Jamaican son of a seamstress immigrated to the US as a teenager and built his business from the ground up as a self-taught designer.
Originally focusing on men’s jewelry at the 2009 launch, the company evolved to offer women’s accessories focusing on “simplicity and minimalism.”
All pieces are made from 14K gold and are inspired by modern art, their website explains.
Earrings range from subtle gold hoops to statement pieces like the Eve Baroque Pearl Earring, inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s The Sleeping Muse.
Their flagship store is in SoHo, and is sold globally at retailers such as Bergdorf, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and others.
These twin brothers from Montreal strive to create universal pieces that are both beautiful and functional for both of their fashion companies (they recently opened an additional e-commerce platform to connect “conscious consumers to with ethical makers”).
They own Want Les Essentials and the Want Apothecary, which has a beautiful location in New York City.
The accessory brand with a goal of combining function and minimalism, will have you thinking wow, that item would actually be really useful in my wardrobe.
I recommend this brand because the items are high quality investment pieces, timeless and versatile- because it’s all about creating more outfits with less stuff in your closet.
From leather slip on shoes for women that will have you forgetting about your stilettos all summer to unique finds like this men’s utility belt bag (aka the fanciest updated fanny pack around).
To shop in person you can visit NOMAD in New York on Broadway.
Hassan, like many women of color, struggled to find nude bras, hosiery, swimwear and lingerie, so she decided to start a company featuring “a different kind of nude.”
The London-based line boasts a solution to those women looking for the right undergarments for a stunning white halter dress. She tells her story in a Ted Talk called “The Reality of Reaching Your Goal.”
Customers can select garments by matching their makeup shade (listed in a variety of brands on Nubian’s site), using their skin tone guide which ranges in colors from “berry” to “cafe au-lait.”
Shopping this Black-owned brand means you will never feel like your skin color is a barrier to succeeding at developing your own personal style.
Nubian’s only showroom is located in London.
Glenn has been “infatuated with denim for 30 years,” he explains in his personal story.
At 62 he started his first collection with two partners from Brooklyn Tailors, perfecting the art of denim which he calls the “perfect blank canvas to express oneself.”
The company’s collections are inspired by the 70’s and 80’s in New York City when punk and radical culture was emerging.
Jeans from this brand, the site says, are proudly American made and “steeped in the DNA of the country where denim was born.”
Jeans are the main focus of Glenn’s business, as well as custom services, which is something that I’ve seen greatly benefit my clients.
Custom is also a good option for those that want something different than what’s offered in the main line and are ready to make the investment.
Products are available online, as well as in person at multiple stores in New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Illinois.
Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals.
Next Level Wardrobe has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Today and CNN. See here.