In honor of Juneteenth, we’re taking cues from the #NewBlackFriday initiative, which encourages buying products or services from Black-owned businesses to help tactically address systemic economic inequality. Our niche has always been to bring our readers the latest in style and shopping, and with many of us being a bit more thoughtful about where our dollars go, we thought we’d share some of our favorite Black-owned fashion boutiques so you’re well equipped to shop with purpose. So whether you're looking for a wardrobe pick-me-up in the form of some joy-sparking shoes or a deliciously comfy dress, scroll on for some wonderful options to support today and in the future. And just in case you're feeling especially inspired to flex that retail muscle, please check out our features on Black-owned fashion brands, beauty brands, products, and retailers, too.
Sincerely, Tommy is a Brooklyn-based concept store by Kai Avent-deLeon that stocks the coolest emerging brands, often at rather accessible prices. New drops are going fast, so it's a good idea to sign up for the brand's newsletter. And just in case you needed more to fall in love with, the store also houses a coffee bar, and the brand is opening up a boutique hostel and vegan eatery.
T.A. is a brand-new NYC-based concept store owned by Telsha Anderson. Due to COVID-19, the shop has not opened its doors yet, but thankfully for us, we can shop the tightly edited selection of indie brands online. You'll find some fashion-girl favorites like Ellery alongside new brand discoveries such as Gauntlett Cheng.
Union first opened in 1989 in NYC to "showcase what the local community of kids were up to with music, art and fashion," according to its website. The store now has a Los Angeles location helmed by Chris Gibbs and his wife, Beth Birkett, that stocks a standout mix of streetwear pieces and luxury brands. Even though the store is geared toward menswear, there's plenty of discoveries for anyone to delight in.
The Folklore is an NYC-based online store that stocks Africa and the diaspora's contemporary designers, such as Third Crown, pictured above. Perusing its site is an exercise in delight and discovery, and it's smart to act quickly, as some of the pieces are exclusive and even one-of-a-kind.
Founded by Sherri McMullen over 12 years ago, the namesake Oakland-based boutique (now with a Palo Alto location too) is credited with helping bring global luxury womenswear to the area. Whether shopping online or IRL, you'll find emerging designers alongside your well-established favorites, as well as a selection of African and African-American apparel and home décor designers, such as Khiry, shown below.
Lait de Coco offers handmade pieces and vintage finds that feel like a delightful escape to a very stylish island. If you're interested in a slice of the tropical life, make sure to follow the brand on IG, as it does weekly sales where you can DM to purchase.
Well(un)known is an L.A.-based boutique and online shop founded by Aneesha DuBois and Chris Taylor that aims to highlight fashion creatives and their artistry. As the name indicates, the curation is aimed for shoppers to discover designers that they may not be know (yet) such as Mara Paris and Valas Los Angeles.
If you've ever thought vintage shopping takes a fair amount of work, then Thrilling might just be your solution. The digital marketplace sources from shops around the country, so you can support America's small vintage businesses all from the convenience of one well-curated site. It's just a bonus that many of the picks feel like those once-in-a-decade special finds.
Make sure to follow Elia Vintage on Instagram to get alerted of new drops because her vintage curation is so on-point that it sells out almost immediately. If you're into a minimalist '90s aesthetic and scoring deals that are often under $100, this one is for you.