Fashion

10 Pieces By Black Designers Our Deputy Fashion Editor Wants This June

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It's been a week and 4 days since George Floyd was killed. As a Black woman, I've experienced the full range of human emotions since. I feel fear for a rise in hate crimes and the safety of protestors on the front line; anger at an autopsy that blames pre-existing conditions instead of the suffocation everyone witnessed; frustration over a media focus on destroyed property over the loss of Black lives; concern that the state-sanctioned killings of Black women like Breonna Taylor and LGBTQ people like Tony McDade don't get nearly as much attention as those of Black men; and a deep and profound sadness for the state of race relations in America.

But I'm also inspired to see people in all 50 states and around the world come together in a global display of solidarity. Through it, progress is being made — three officers were arrested, and officer Derek Chauvin's charges were upgraded to second-degree murder — though we have much further to go.

When coping with the plague of racism and COVID-19, which disproportionally impacts Black people, it's easy to feel helpless. But there are so many ways to resist, from donating to organizations on the front lines to supporting Black-owned businesses in your community and across the country.

No matter how you choose to fight back, make sure it isn't a one-time thing. Systematic racism exists in every corner of American society and is a reality Black people face every single day.

Police brutality is not new to us. I still shudder at the fact that Sandra Bland was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change and she died in police custody under mysterious circumstances. I'm infuriated that Michael Brown's body was left on the side of the street for four hours like roadkill. It haunts me that 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed in a park for having a toy gun and the police shot him just seconds after arriving on the scene. That sorrow is only compounded reading stories about white killers of mass shootings being given Burger King by police, or white people storming state capitals with AR-15 weapons to protest quarantine and making it home to have dinner with their families. This is a deep and all-encompassing pain that never leaves me.

I urge people to think beyond the current news cycle about how you can support the Black community in the long term. Below, I'm listing a few picks from Black-owned businesses I love, but I encourage you to frequent them regularly, even after police brutality is no longer making headlines across the globe.

Read on for 10 fashion and beauty products I'm shopping from Black-owned businesses right now, and get to know the brands I love to support, today and always.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Petit Kouraj

I first fell in love with this brand at a market appointment last summer when I met the designer, fashion stylist Nasrin Jean-Baptiste, in person. Her love for her craft and her heritage is palpable: She was born in London to Haitian immigrants, and Petit Kouraj means "Little Courage" in Creole.

Her bags are so unique and striking, they each feel like wearable art. They're all handmade in Haiti in partnership with D.O.T Haiti, an organization that provides artisans with professional opportunities, education and vocation training.

Christopher John Rogers

I practically gasped when I saw this look come down the runway at the Christopher John Rogers show. His use of color and volume is unlike anything I've seen in the fashion industry, and his point of view is refreshing at a time when much of New York can feel uninspired.

Rogers, who counts fans like Lizzo and Tracee Ellis Ross, hails from Baton Rogue, Louisiana, and he's said that his Southern roots often inspire his work.

Brother Vellies

These are the Brother Vellies shoes of my wildest dreams. The floral prints and dramatic ruffles demand a double take.

Founder Aurora James is a strong advocate both for inclusion and sustainability in fashion. The brand, which counts Meghan Markleamong its fans, uses by-product materials like soling from recycled tires and floral dyed feathers. And Brother Vellies practices fair labor practices, employing artisans in South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Haiti, and across the globe.

Pat McGrath

It's not hyperbole to say that Mother Pat McGrath is the greatest makeup artist of our time. Whether I'm backstage at a show or scrolling on Instagram, I always stop and stare, watching her mesmerizing looks come to life. She gives the average person access to that magic with her line — I can't tell you how many compliments I get on her concealer alone!

The Mothership VIII: Divine Rose II is her latest palette, and I can't wait to spend hours experimenting with the metallic Sextraterrestrial shade. Do yourself a favor and add it to your collection.

Liv Streetwear

My go-to brand for activewear you can wear every day — with a nod to '90s logomania — just came out with a face mask.

Created by head designer and founder Olivia Anthony, the mask has the same beloved retro vibes as the garments, and it offers an adjustable nose covering to fit the contours of your face. If you really want to make a style statement, add the matching bike shorts.

Pyer Moss

I love this turtleneck crop top so much, I already have it in every color. I have dreams of wearing these futuristic sneakers with a puff sleeve dress. Sadly, they're both sold out, but the logo leggings are just as eye-catching and they're still available. The fact that Pyer Moss pieces sell out so quickly is a testament to how much the brand is loved.

Not only are founder Kerby Jean-Raymond's pieces innovative, he's on the forefront of the fight for inclusivity in fashion, even designing an entire collection inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. He centers Black art and culture in everything he does.

Kashmir VIII

From notebooks to pillows to clutches & shirts, Kashmir VIII is my favorite haunt for items that celebrate Black art. This notebook inspired by the characters from HBO's Insecure is a favorite (and fun fact, a Kashmir VIII shirt was featured on the show).

I also love the Formation Clutch featuring an image from "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" Documentary," and the Easin' clutch I gifted my cousin. It's a nod to "The Wiz," which happens to be her favorite movie.

Hanifa

No one does knit dresses and skirts quite like Hanifa. I've been stalking their crop top and pencil skirt set since last summer. But beyond the must-have pieces, I love designer Anifa Mvuemba's innovative approach to fashion.

She hosted a virtual fashion show with silhouettes of 3D models on the runway that immediately went viral. Mvuemba was widely praised for her innovation and commitment to social causes, bringing attention to illegal Coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country which inspired her collection. Mark my words: Get ready for a slew of designers to copy (and hopefully credit) her for Fashion Week in September.

Oyin Handmade

I tried this product for a beauty awards feature years ago and I've sworn by it ever since. My hair gets super dry, but I've found using the whipped pudding — which boasts shea butter and organic aloe vera as key ingredients — helps it retain moisture. The line was founded by a lifelong natural Jamyla Bennu when she couldn't find organic products to care for her textured hair.

Telfar

I really treat accessories like artwork, and the iconic, instantly recognizable Telfar shopping bag is a masterpiece. It comes in every color imaginable, but I'm partial to the white and tan versions (the latter shown above).

Telfar is a visionary. His Western-inspired, Fall 2019 show — complete with chaps, fringe, leather and denim — was one of my all-time favorites.