Photo:Who What Wear
There’s an old adage around gifts that states, “It’s the thought that counts,” and in many ways, this holds to be both true and false. This year’s holiday season and gifts will (and should) be different, because around the world, in every industry, and every facet of life, we’ve seen inconceivable changes since the beginning of the pandemic. Anything we buy at this moment in time will directly affect the businesses we’re buying from, which is why it’s more important than ever to support Black-owned fashion brands and beauty brands.
The New York Times reported that only 12% percent of Black business owners received funding to help their business through this time. This fact doesn’t even remotely speak to how Black creatives struggle to break into and stay in the fashion industry. Just this year alone, as the world has grappled with systemic racism and police brutality, the industry has both grappled with addressing its lack of diversity while beloved brands have shuttered. As individuals, we may not be able to reform industries or financing, but we can support the brands that align with our values, and to practice conscious consumption. So ahead, you’ll find a few gift ideas that reinvigorate thoughtful gift gifting. If you are lucky enough to be able to give gifts to your loved ones this year, why not show some love to one of these 70 Black-owned fashion, beauty, and wellness brands?
For the art lovers on your list, we recommend giving them the coffee-table book, Young Gifted and Black by Antwaun Sargent.
For the minimalist in your life that loves a basic wardrobe piece, this turtleneck is the perfect gift idea. But what makes this piece even more remarkable is that it’s from a Toronto-based Black-owned brand, so you can feel good gifting with it.
It doesn’t get better for art, fashion, and home décor lovers than coffee table books, which is Nadine Ijewere’s newest photo collection ranks high on our list. She not only was the first black woman to shoot a cover for Vogue, but the London-born photographer showcases the beauty of the Black diaspora.
For the jewelry collector on your list, another small, New york-based jewelry brand to have on your radar is Serendipitous Project. Specializing in upcycled stylish pieces, gifting with anything from this Black-owned brand is a surefire way to impress.
For the niece or friend who follows politics and fashion, the best gift ideas touch both of her interests. And this sweatshirt from the Black-owned, Los Angeles–based clothing line Cise, is the perfect gift as the brand continues to donate to HBCU C.A.R.E.S. and the Anti-Racism Fund.
If you’re trying to nail down the cool auntie label, then gifting from the Amsterdam-based Daily Paper is necessary. The Black-owned and designed brand specializes in contemporary women and menswear pieces that range from classic to trendy, making it the prime place to find a present.
As the legalization of CBD and cannabis products continues across the country, it’s more important than ever to purchase from minority-owned companies, as people of color have been disproportionately criminalized in the marijuana and CBD industry. One brand you can shop for your CBD beauty and wellness needs is the female-founded wellness label Brown Girl Jane.
Be it your partner, your father, or friend, the one thing everyone can admit is that they’ve missed the ability to go frequently to their barbershop. If that’s the case for your loved ones, then giving them a shaving set from the Black-owned grooming company Bevel is a perfect idea.
Breaking into the fashion industry is no easy feat, which is why it’s crucial to support up-and-coming designers. One brand to keep an eye on is Bôhten. Founded by two Ghanian friends, the brand specializes in sustainable eyewear that any style-savvy person will appreciate.
One of my favorite jewelry brands, Omi Woods, specializes in ethically sourced gold and silver pieces ranging from demi-fine to fine karat count. You can feel good gifting with any piece of jewelry from the brand, knowing it’s a quality piece that can be handed down for generations to come.
You know the woman on your list who always looks like she could have starred in an episode of Girlfriends or Sex and the City? Well, gifting her with a pair of shoes from the Black-owned luxury footwear brand Chelsea Paris is bound to get you an invite to the next brunch date.
If you’re trying to attain those auntie vibes, then giving or getting the most sought-after, fastest-selling Telfar shopping tote is a surefire way to win big. I promise you this is a gift that the most fashionable person on your list will love (if you can get your hands on it).
Demi-fine and fine jewelry are not typical spaces you’d expect to see Black founders, but the New York–based couple and co-designers Kristin and Kofi Essel are changing that with their brand named Third Crown. Designing both men’s and women’s jewelry, they’ve been spotted on shows like Insecure and will be appreciated by jewelry lovers in your life.
Remember when Michelle Obama stunned the world with her Vote Necklace? That was Bychari. And it just so happens that you can give a little statement necklace to your loved one, too.
The best art comes from the most unexpected places, and that is very much true of the Jamaican-born founder and designer Matthew Harris of Mateo. Specializing in fine jewelry using diamonds and precious stones for men and women, this brand gives meaning to the phrase wearable art.
At the helm of leading change in the fashion industry, Brother Vellies designer Aurora James is someone you’ll want to watch (and support). She not only founded the 15% pledge, which is calling for more Black-owned brands to be supported across the fashion industry, but each piece created by her label is also handmade by African artisans.
You’d never guess that a political science major would be behind one of the most budding demi-fine and fine jewelry brands of the moment, but that’s Jameel Mohammed’s story. Founded in 2016, Khiry is a brand that creates the perfect jewelry for any occasion and can be found on DTC or Black-owned commerce sites like McMullen.
The best gifts often are handmade, like this bag from Anima Iris. The rising luxury Black-owned handbag brand is not only sustainable and operates off a zero-waste model, but each classic piece is also handcrafted by professionals in Senegal, resulting in a thoughtful bag from its conception to when you gift someone with it.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated