Right now, it’s more important than ever to support black-owned businesses. Here are 10 of our favorites that deserve your attention.
There are many ways to be active in the fight against inequality, including donating, protesting and listening. For us at TMM, activism also means supporting black-owned menswear brands around the world.
This is an area that we know we need to improve upon, and that starts with this article: a spotlight on 10 of the most refreshing and exciting black-owned men’s fashion brands.
Whether you like artisanal Italian shoes or smart casual streetwear, you’ll find something on this list for you.
10 Fantastic Black-Owned Menswear Brands to Support
In no particular order…
Post-Imperial’s website describes the company as “a menswear brand with a strong sense of optimism for the future and a focus on color, pattern and process.”
That ethos is evident in their vivid, unique offerings.
Their clothes are familiar yet somehow exotic, and there’s a good reason for that: they treat their fabrics using a process called Adire, which is a method of hand-dyeing that originated in Nigeria. (Their about page describes this fascinating process, so definitely check that out.)
Combine that process with designs inspired by African culture, and you get authentic clothing that provides insight into black heritage. Post-Imperial excels at combining native African design philosophies and modern menswear, and they absolutely need to be on your radar.
2) Wales Bonner
Designer menswear often consists of pieces no man would actually wear. (Think brands like Bobby Abley.) These clothes definitely turn heads on the runway, but most men wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them.
Enter Wales Bonner, a designer brand that melds high fashion with everyday basics. You’re not going to find any outlandish capes or onesies, but you will find interesting button up shirts, trousers and even outerwear.
Designed by the brand’s namesake Grace Wales Bonner, these clothes are thoughtful and stylish. Every garment has an identity of its own, but you can also tell it’s a Wales Bonner piece.
Of course, these clothes also carry designer price tags, but they’re also really high quality. If you’re after a designer brand that has distinct yet practical clothes, Wales Bonner is absolutely worth a look.
3) Armando Cabral
Chances are you’ve heard the name Armando Cabral before. You might even already be familiar with his brand.
That’s because Cabral has made serious waves in the fashion world. While he’s worked with all kinds of companies from Louis Vuitton to H&M, Cabral is perhaps best known for his eponymous footwear brand.
Cabral is a lifelong traveler––his bio states that he was born in Guinea Bissau, grew up in Portugal, went to school in England and currently lives in New York. That worldliness is clear in his shoe designs, which are all incredibly refined and mature.
From sophisticated derby shoes to high top
LAVATI offers Italian-made shoes that combine luxury quality with casual silhouettes. Their current lineup consists of
LAVATI shoes are made from some of the best materials money can buy, such as waterproof suede and calfskin leather. The way LAVATI pairs their silhouettes and colors is just fantastic––it’s clear the brand has an eye for shoes.
5) Harrison Blake Apparel
Many of the brands on this list skew more casual, so let’s take a look at a more formal menswear brand: Harrison Blake Apparel. Established in 2014, Harrison Blake provides made-to-measure formal wear, custom shoes and accessories like ties and pocket squares.
Harrison Blake draws from classic menswear trends while still keeping it fresh with modern fits and styles. Their MTM suits, shirts and overcoats are all made from premium Italian and English fabrics. And since Harrison Blake is such a small family-owned company, you can bet on an excellent customer experience.
They also offer custom shoes that feature full grain leather, Goodyear welting and a handmade patina finish. This is a nice option if you’re after formal shoes but can’t find any that fit you well and look nice.
Finally, don’t overlook the accessories. Harrison Blake has a wide range of neckties, pocket squares, socks and even lapel pins. (They also have an amazing collection of authentic vintage silk scarves that add a nice flair to a suit.)
6) WANT Les Essentiels
Montreal-based WANT Les Essentiels wants to help you travel in style. The brand makes bags, accessories, footwear and clothing all designed for travel, but even those of us who just travel to our desks and back can benefit from some of their sleek yet functional products.
For a brand focused on travel, WANT Les Essentiels makes some versatile clothes. From their half-zip pullover sweaters to their wool t-shirts, the brand’s clothing is minimal and stylish.
Design-wise, it’s similar to brands like Everlane and Save Khaki. However, WANT Les Essentiels makes their clothes in Italy from select materials like 100% fine merino wool and pure 12gg Biagioli cashmere.
WANT Les Essentiels is also doing some amazing things for the environment. The brand is big on upcycling and reusing.
Many of their shoes’ soles are made from industrial production waste, and they regularly use salvaged fabrics in their products. On top of that, they use sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and regenerated nylon.
Calling A-COLD-WALL* a “streetwear” brand is kind of missing the point, according to founder Samuel Ross, who sees streetwear not as a label of class but as an opportunity to break down barriers. Fittingly, even when A-COLD-WALL* gets ambitious, Ross’s working-class roots keep things relatable.
And for the most part, A-COLD-WALL* isn’t a typical streetwear brand (although their Corbusier padded shirt is perhaps the one exception). There are no huge logos or excessively baggy fits. Instead, the brand offers minimal knitwear, unique graphic tees and sleek shoes.
While A-COLD-WALL* is on the pricier side, it’s also self-aware. That’s why Ross started POLYTHENE* OPTICS, a companion brand that offers more affordable clothing.
Ross founded A-COLD-WALL* in 2015 when he was only 25, but he’s already made it big time, collaborating with the likes of Kanye West and Virgil Abloh. Even so, there’s no doubt that A-COLD-WALL* is just getting started.
8) Fear of God
Another brand that puts a mature spin on streetwear is Fear of God, an undeniably authentic label that’s influenced by a little bit of everything, from varsity sportswear to classic Americana workwear.
Founder Jerry Lorenzo is one of the most influential streetwear designers today, having collaborated with celebs like Justin Bieber and Kanye.
At the same time, Lorenzo clearly has a heart for the community. For example, in 2016, Lorenzo and his staff handed out two trucks’ worth of shoes and clothing to homeless people in LA’s Skid Row neighborhood.
Fear of God’s collections feature vintage-looking denim jackets, oversized vests, suede
9) Union Los Angeles
Union was originally a NYC shop that curated unique and artistic clothing for the Soho community. Today, while Union is located in LA, it still adheres to its original mission statement of providing an alternative to huge department stores.
Union stocks many popular menswear brands, such as Adidas, Noah and Kapital, along with streetwear mainstays like Comme Des Garçons and Brain Dead. (They also stock A-Cold-Wall and Fear of God.)
While Union leans toward streetwear, they have many options that are perfect for almost any guy’s closet. It’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind pieces.
10) Michael Ferrera
Michael Ferrera is a “bespoke custom clothier for business professionals, athletes and entertainers.”
Mr. Ferrera (founder) has a background in business and fashion, and he’s the author of The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide, a best-seller on Amazon.
Custom suits are Ferrera’s bread and butter. In a world of cheap online made-to-measure options, this company offers a more premium and personal one-on-one experience.
Whether you’re suiting up for a wedding or red carpet event, or you just need a go to suit for work, Michael Ferrara can help.
The LA-based brand also sells accessories like ties and handmade pocket squares.
While buying from black-owned businesses is just one piece of the puzzle, it’s still an important way to show support.
And whether or not you end up buying from any of these brands, you can also help out by spreading the word about them. Something as simple as sharing an Instagram story or commenting on a post can go a long way.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of black-owned menswear brands, so if we missed any good ones, make sure to let us know in the comments.