Back the designers that will boost your wardrobe and the growing UK Black economy
This coming Saturday is Black Pound Day: a solution-based approach to support the burgeoning UK Black economy. After a launch by racial equality campaigners in late June, on the first Saturday of each month we're encouraged to buy from Black-owned brands, and thus help to address the economic imbalance with consistent, ongoing support.
In fashion, that imbalance is glaringly pervasive. From big fashion houses to runways to campaign models to publishing and advertising, fashion has always been, and remains, majority white, and deeply unrepresentative. What's more, opportunities for Black people are few and far between, with many facing ingrained prejudice, discrimination and alienation in an industry dictated by a Eurocentric ideal of mainstream beauty and luxury. As a result, Black people face racism – both overt and subtle – at every turn, trapped under a well-documented glass ceiling as white peers ascend a staircase that was never built to be shared.
That must change. And swiftly. Elsewhere, Black creatives are breaking barriers in fashion: Virgil Abloh as the first Black man at the helm of Louis Vuitton men's; Balmain's Olivier Rousteing launching the hallowed maison to newfound popularity and profits; Dapper Dan's custom work for Gucci at his Harlem atelier. And within the UK, a wealth of Black talent is on the ascendance, running homegrown ventures that command more attention and more applause with each passing season.
Which is where the wider community comes in. Paying attention to Black talent in the industry isn't enough. We have to endorse it, and support it, buying directly from those brands and wearing allyship in the form of some really great clothes. Change is afoot, and for it to be fully effected, it needs everyone to take part.
Here are some of our favourite Black-owned menswear labels to support on Black Pound Day, and every other day.