Browse Tag

Fashion - Page 4

/

Black Owned Footwear Brand Blends British and Jamaican Culture

Uptown Yardie is a Black owned footwear brand that makes you stop and stare. Ever since we discovered this brand, we’ve been in awe of their bold and unique styles.

We decided to chat with the owners, husband and wife team, Rohan and Natasha Clarke to find out more about their brand.

black owned footwear
Rohan and Natasha Clarke, owners of Uptown Yardie

What inspired you to start this business?

The designer behind the brand is Rohan Clarke. He trained at the London School of Fashion Cordwainers and had worked for several shoe companies. But the one thing that frustrated him was being told that his designs couldn’t be made.

black owned footwear

He knew that this wasn’t true because not only does he design shoes he also makes shoes. He was disillusioned, but his wife convinced him that he could do this himself and so with some gentle persuasion this husband and wife team started Uptown Yardie.

black owned footwear

How did you come up with the name Uptown Yardie and what does it mean?

Uptown Yardie is a British company inspired by Jamaican heritage, selling a lifestyle, captured through shoes and clothes.

The name is inspired by a Bob Marley quotation “me ah bring downtown uptown” meaning he is bringing the man dem from the ghetto to where he was living uptown at the time. The original uptown yardie is someone who comes from the more affluent parts of Jamaica.

For us using the term Uptown Yardie is about reclaiming the name from a negative association to a positive. To the true meaning of the word “yard” which to a Jamaican means home. For instance, “nowhere nah better dan yard” mean nowhere is better than home.

black owned footwear

What separates your brand from the numerous other shoe brands in the market?

The Uptown Yardie brand creates for a progressive man or woman who does not follow fashion. We design for people like us who have a passion and love for things that are well crafted and that has more longevity than one season.

We believe that a shoe should have a distinctive and individual character that is shaped through the ideas and vision of its designer and craftsman who are united and driven by a common goal, a common spirit to create the most beautiful shoes.

Each piece has been carefully selected by our team to ensure it embodies the qualities of style, elegance, and exclusivity synonymous with the Uptown Yardie brand whilst reflecting the unique philosophies of design and craftsmanship for which Rohan Clarke the designer is renowned.

What has been the most challenging and most rewarding part about owning your own business?

The most challenging part of owning your own business is realizing that you have to have many strings to your bow, you have to be more than a creative to make it work.

What we mean by that is the creativity of what we do is our passion but we need to be able to market what we do, we need to be able to understand how to maximize our online sales, we need to be social media experts.

All of these things take skill, expertise, and time. Juggling this, whilst maintaining creative time is a constant challenge. But we are learning and we are pulling in people who do have that expertise.

The most rewarding thing about owning your own business is loving what you do, seeing your passion come into fruition. In the past when we’ve worked for other people they want to be safe, they want to follow the crowd, it stifles innovation.

black owned footwear

Where do you see your brand in 5 years?

That it has an appeal to a diverse audience across the globe. Although the brand is inspired by our Jamaican heritage, Uptown Yardie is created to appeal to people that think outside the box.

It is a brand that crosses boundaries, ages, and races. Ultimately if we can do that and make the brand self-sufficient that’s where we want to be in 5 years’ time.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Be prepared to put the work in. Owning your own business is not a 9-5. The other important aspect is to know your business inside out, costings, business forecasts, risks, and opportunities.

If you’re a creative, this isn’t the sexy stuff but it’s vital if you want what you to do to be more than a hobby. Ask yourself “If I was standing in front of a group of potential investors and they put me on the spot.

black owned footwear

How confident could I answer questions about my product and my business model?” If you’d struggle, then there is some homework to do. We did it, wrote a business plan with costings and forecasts. It was long, believe you me but we are more confident about exactly how much it costs to manufacture every aspect of a shoe, what the wholesale cost is, and the retail price based on a formula.

black owned footwear
Besides the above, if you have a dream and want to do it. Go for it. Don’t listen to the naysayers. You never know your idea might be the next big thing.

-Tony O. Lawson


 

Related: Black Owned Men’s Shoe brands

Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook and Instagram (@shoppeblack)

/

Black Owned Dapper Brands You Should Know

Dressing dapper means many things to many people. Depending on who you ask, it could mean anything from wearing a freshly starched button-down to a three piece suit with a top hat.

Thankfully, there are several Black owned dapper brands that offer options for perfecting your personal style.

Black Owned Dapper Brands

WELTHĒ Clothing

black owned dapper brands

Koshie O

 

Ruth Nathan’s

Sharp Crisp Clean

Maurice Sedwelldapper

Connaisseur Paris

The Kente Gentleman

Haute Butch

FlameKeepers Hat Club

black owned dapper

William Malcolm Luxe Collection

Harrison Blake Apparel

Atafo

Eaden Myles

Frère

Don Morphy

Tony O. Lawson


Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter


 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!

/

Black Owned Ethical Fashion Brands from the Continent

In response to growing demand from socially conscious consumers, ethical fashion brands are popping up around the world and established brands are developing eco-friendly lines. The brands below are just some of several that are empowering economically disadvantaged artisans in communities across several African countries.

Ethical Fashion Brands

The Haute Baso vision is to promote Rwanda’s ability to produce high-end and functional products that are able to compete on local and international levels.

12347649_423030851241108_5805599414640411456_n

Anita Quansah creates unique and stylish one-off pieces of clothing with matching neckpieces using vintage and recycled materials which beautifully meld into a look of classic sophistication.

ethical fashion

 

KIKI Clothing is the brainchild of Titi Ademola, a fashion designer who is devoted to creating ready-to-wear collections that are meticulously made in Ghana.

14358959_1195665703830041_6273106777562087375_n

Améyo is a Ghanaian womenswear clothing brand founded by Klekleli Dzidzienyo. The brand is inspired by the natural diversity in culture with exotic playful and sublime aesthetics.

13483125_978290888957713_1207239635428025277_o

Sonia Mugabo is a Rwandan fashion brand that was born out of founder, Sonia Mugabo’s strong interest in design; and the desire to tap into the existing local artisan talent to make high quality men and womenswear.

2_3-930x524

Studio 189 is a fashion brand based in Ghana created by Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson. It provides a platform to promote African brands through worldwide distribution and manufacturing of their artisan produced collection.

13932723_1132054710200835_8715305053848065499_n

U.Mi-1 (pronounced you.me.one) is a contemporary brand that appeals to people who judge luxury from the finishing inside to the detailing on the outside.

13102642_1001221333298071_2868699724111648855_n

Sophie Zinga is a Senegalese fashion brand. The collection features exquisite and the finest materials and fabrics namely silks, hand made Senegalese cloth and semi-precious stones.

black owned Ethical Fashion

Duaba Serwa is a Ghanaian womenswear brand founded by Nelly Hagan-Aboagye.  Initially starting as a jewelry designer, Duaba Serwa then developed its trademark of applying jewelry to clothes.

duaba-serwa-8
ZikoAfrika is a contemporary accessories brand. Each product is handcrafted in Kenya and reflects both European and African design aesthetics for a modern take on traditional forms and materials.

tisket_stack_black_product_shot_copy

Mimi Plange is a modern women’s wear brand launched in 2010 by American-Ghanaian designer, Mimi Plange. Lost African civilizations inspire the Mimi Plange clothing and give the collection depth of meaning.

black owned Ethical Fashion

Mina Evans is a Ghanaian womenswear brand that designs a cool, playful and colorful collection. Mina Evans also designs a menswear line.

black owned Ethical Fashion

-Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter


 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!

/

Black Owned Plus Size Brands You Should Know

A study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, suggests that “the average woman now wears between a size 16 and 18, which corresponds to a Women’s Plus size 20W.”

Before this study, most believed the average American woman was a size 14. This, however, is outdated information from over a decade ago. According to the study, “In light of this overlap in sizing classification, frequent reports of female customers being frustrated about the general fit and sizing of clothing is understandable.”

This report (and common sense) inspired us to provide you with a list of Black owned plus size brands.

Black Owned Plus Size Brands

JIBRI 

black owned plus size

Feminine Funk

black owned plus size

Chic And Curvy

Bella Rene

black owned plus size

Curvaceous Couture 

Olivias Bridal House

Fenty for Men

 

Savage x Fenty Vol. 3 Did That! Shop The Best Looks From The Show | The  Curvy Fashionista

Eleven60

Monif C. 

Nakimuli 

12743666_10153908820856530_5086210003187668705_n

Rebdolls 

My Beautiful Fluff

Fluffy Since Birth Plus Size Curvy Cut Shirt My Beautiful Fluff

Christian Ome’Shun 

black owned plus size

Dear Curves

Kin By Kristine

Shavonne Dorsey 

Ayamani Design Co

Pop Up Plus

Zelie For She

May be an image of 1 person, standing and outdoors

Courtney Noelle

Gwan By Charon

May be an image of 1 person, standing and footwear

Lavenders Jungle

Phat Girl Bouteeque

Diva Kurves

Image of Grey BODY Sweatshirt (Multi-Color)

House of Fashun By Shun Melson

Turtleneck Sets Plus Outfit Sets Shun Melson 1x denim blue

Curve Athletics

Jolie X Noire

May be an image of 3 people, braids and people standing

 

Tony O. Lawson


Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram Twitter


 Visit the SHOPPE BLACK store!

/

African Fashion Brands to Keep An Eye On

This month, Fashion Week events will be taking place in New York, Paris, London and Milan. Now more than ever, you can expect the presence of dope African Fashion brands or designs influenced by African culture.

Here are just a few established and up and coming fashion brands on the Continent that you should get into:

African Fashion Brands

MONAA  (Ghana) is a luxury footwear label that pays homage to the founders regal Ashanti heritage.

shoppe black

Galago (South Africa) sources beautiful leathers and vibrant fabrics and allows you to combine them to make your own bespoke sandal.

11012136_845151692206115_8906717418521001373_n

Uzuri K&Y Designs (Rwanda) is a shoe and bag brand based in the country of a thousand hills.

12189393_407492612753014_74579718481684174_o

ENZI (Ethiopia) is a footwear brand committed to the highest levels of quality in production, design and materials while maintaining a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

black owned

Hesey Designs (Nigeria) is a fashion brand that specializes in the designing and production of handcrafted bags, shoes, fashion accessories, corporate gift items with African, continental and a variety of materials.

hesey-designs-002bellanaija-june-2016_

MaXhosa Knitwear (South Africa) celebrates the rich heritage of the Xhosa culture through providing traditional clothing for Xhosa initiation rituals.

shoppe black

Lukhanyo Mdingi (South Africa)aims to show a sense of cross cultural influences of traditional designs; reflecting on a contemporary outlook of African aesthetics and heritage.

12790897_1692307564368046_2703348395355590840_n

Lanre da Silva Ajayi Couture (Nigeria) creates clothing for the woman who is naturally classy but doesn’t shy away from her sensual side.

shoppe black

Loza Maléombho (Côte d’Ivoire) is a fusion between traditional cultures/ sub-cultures and contemporary fashion.

slide2-1

Taibo Bacar (Mozambique) is a burst of wholesome energy for all women who identify themselves with eclectic style where the silhouette plays a central role.

Taibo Bacar

Christie Brown (Ghana) is a women’s apparel and accessories line with pieces ranging from bespoke gowns, practical yet statement pieces to innovative accessories all inspired by the African culture and art.

5

JZO (Nigeria) is a menswear brand with a distinct taste for style and details for the simple and Elegant man.

shoppe black

Thula Sindi (South Africa) is a clothing brand that cuts across the vast discrepancy that exists between unrealistic high-end designer haute couture, and everyday retail chain/bargain bin clothing.

African Fashion Brands

 

-Tony O. Lawson

/

Black Owned Businesses in Paris You Should Know

We’re back at it with another guide to shopping Black in the Diaspora. This time, we’re highlighting Black owned businesses in Paris.  Let’s show some love to our brothers and sisters in the “City of Light”.

Black Owned Businesses in Paris

Café Dapper by Chef Loïc Dablé  is located a stone’s throw from Champs Elysées. The restaurant Café Dapper Loïc Dablé is set in Dapper Museum, a place dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and its diasporas. black owned businesses in paris

FASHION

Natasha Baco

black owned businesses in paris

Sakina M’sa

black owned businesses in paris

Adama Paris

black owned businesses in paris

BaZara’pagne

black owned businesses in paris

Nefer 

black owned businesses in parisHOME DECOR

Myriam Maxo tells a story through fabrics with abstract patterns and wax that provide a touch of fantasy with contemporary design.

black owned businesses in paris

TRAVEL

Visiter L’Afrique or “Visiting Africa” ​​is an interactive digital platform dedicated to tourism and culture on the African continent.

BOOKSTORE

Présence Africaine is a pan-African quarterly cultural, political, and literary magazine, founded by Seneglese-born Alioune Diop in 1947.

black owned businesses in paris

 

 ART

Alexis Peskine is a Parisian resident who is renowned for his work on race and identity issues in France.

black owned businesses in paris

 


Follow us on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter


Get your SHOPPE BLACK apparel!

/

20 Black Owned Businesses in the UK

By now you must have seen our first list of Black Owned Businesses in the Diaspora. On that list, we mentioned several Black owned businesses based in the UK. This time, we are showing even MORE love to our brothers and sisters across the pond with a new list of dope businesses you should most definitely check out and support from your country or when you visit the United Kingdom.

20 Black Owned Businesses in the UK

Home Decor

Eva Sonaike is a lifestyle company that produces luxurious home décor, fashion accessories and textiles.

Black Owned Businesses

 

Fashion

Uptown Yardie is a British company inspired by Jamaican heritage, selling a lifestyle captured through shoes and clothes.

Black Owned Businesses

Afrination is an urban clothing brand inspired by African culture and tradition.

Black Owned Businesses

Dionne Gooding is a footwear designer that combines the latest London styles and soft leathers and suede with jaw dropping fabrics from West Africa.

Black Owned Businesses

Tsemaye Binite  is an award winning contemporary fashion label characterized by exquisite clothing encapsulating a love of luxury and innovative design.

Black Owned Businesses

 

Duro Olowu is impressing the right people with his vibrant mix of African prints, seventies tailoring, and unlikely color combos.

 

Hair/Skin Care

Hug My Hair

Curly by Nature

Almocado

Root2Tip

JGI1-just-grow-it-600x600

Jewelry and Accessories

Mya and Joe il_570xN.811655049_1uq8

Afro Deco 

4622599013

MaroonDawta

path4720

Sapelle 

Turquoise_Multistrand_necklace_grande

Food

The Black Farmer

pagehead_eggs_0_0

Check out our most recent list of Black owned businesses in the UK !

Follow ShoppeBlack and The Busy African  Instagram!

/

Black Owned Businesses in the Diaspora: Buying Black Across The Globe

For the past few years, there has been a battle cry in our community to spend our dollars with Black owned businesses, as opposed to the usual suspects. Well this year, we’re inviting you to take Black Friday a step further.  We created a list of Black owned businesses from various parts of the African Diaspora that would welcome your support, no matter where you are on the globe. Take a look at our selection of some of the best of what the international Black community has to offer.

Black Owned Businesses in the Diaspora

 

1. The Continent

10480688_807247679300051_2016536656776590204_n

  • KenyaTheMaasaiShop:  Handcrafted beaded jewelry
  • EthiopiaZAAF: Luxury apparel and leather accessories produced in Ethiopia.
  • GhanaHeel The World: Bespoke shoes and leather accessories crafted in Ghana.
  • South AfricaM’hudi Wines: Family operated a wine farm located in the Cape Winelands.
  • GhanaChristie Brown: Show-stopping fashion and accessories for women.

2. The United Kingdom

10384684_784006898304457_8280575825256773268_n

  • Ohema Ohene: African inspired fashion brand for Men and Women
  • Bespoke Binny: An eclectic range of home furnishings.
  • Lela Bag: An exciting new character brand offering adorable Backpacks & Tees for girls.
  • Showerella: Uncommon party supplies and activity kits for bridal showers, weddings, parties, and events.
  • Sheabutter Cottage: Award winning, fair trade natural skincare products.
  • Crown Rose: Afro-contemporary Swimwear and loungewear brand.
  • BeUNIQUE: Natural hair care products.

3. Canada

custom eyewear

  • Bohten: An eco-friendly, luxury eyewear line.
  • Style Me Ankara: An online retail store that sells handmade  African inspired clothing for men and women.
  • Earthtones Naturals: Premium natural hair and body products.

4. The Netherlands

Amsterdam

  • Nomi by Naomi: Surinamese owned Dutch-wax fashion line for men and women.
  • Amsterdam Slavery Heritage Guide: Companion guide for the Black Heritage Amsterdam Tour, packed with amazing historical tidbits and research. A perfect book for your next European getaway to Amsterdam.
  • Maisa en da maan (Miesha and the Moon): A Black children’s book in Dutch about Sickle Cell. This a great opportunity to learn a new language and teach your child too!
  • Ubuntu-Wear: Culture inspired urban wear

5.  And last but not least, the good ole U.S. of Black A.

Bow Tie

Black and Sex

-Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter


 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!