Fashion design is not known for inclusivity: it takes phenomenal talent and tenacity to excel in a world defined by European standards. Today, we recognize four black women designers whose phenomenal work champions diverse standards of beauty and challenges the status quo:
Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs launched Cushnie et Ochs after graduating Parsons in 2008. Focused on clean lines and the perfect fit, Cushnie et Ochs has a reputation for design that juxtaposes sensuality and sophistication: Adriana Lima, Kerry Washington, Olivia Wilde, and Eva Longoria are devoted fans. NOTE: the pair recently split professionally, Ms. Cushnie remains at the line.
Toronto native and New York City transplant Aurora James is Creative Director for Brother Vellies. She has two goals for the line: to introduce the rest of the world to her favorite traditional African footwear, and to create sustainable work for artisans in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco. A member of CFDA since 2016, Ms. James won the coveted 2015 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
PS: You can shop many of these designers -and other lines that represent diverse talent- at Common Threads Boulder and Denver.