We hear time and time again the age old moniker in the world of fashion: “ This is a make it or break it” industry. And we’ve seen plenty of designers live up to this statement. Leading Black designers like Patrick Robinson, Tracy Reese, and as of late, Cushnie et Ochs —who made dramatic entrances into the fashion world has shifted and morphed their designs to fit global markets. Yet there are those who barely scratch those surfaces. These designer establish elaborate fashion shows and then all but disappear from the catwalk seasons later with no reason or explanation for their departure.
And this isn't just for US fashion designers. Imagine the plateau, held high, for international designers, especially those who are Black.
International designers, especially newbies to the game, are a rarity in American wardrobes. Aside from the Chanel, Christian Dior and Gucci bags that adorn millions of women’s arms each year—there are many international designers who aren’t household names nor have access to sell their garments in US retailers. But there are some who have break from the mold and are on the rise. Thanks in part to social media. Projected by the year 2015, fashion bloggers – alone – will help propel online sales of designer clothes, jewels and luxury cars to more than 11 billion euros ($15 billion) per a report by Italian luxury foundation Altagamma in its "Digital Luxury Experience" report from 2011. Coupled with the sudden burst of entrepreneurship, we seen develop over the last few years as a result of the economic downturn, more independent international fashion designers are emerging—particularly Black designers. The new class of Black international designers have a savvy, sustainably living and sartorially-wise consumer base who at their heels.
Ranging from Ghana to Montreal, we’ve combed a list of the best international Black designers, who have the Web, mass retailers and magazine editors a buzz, anxiously anticipating their designs season after season.
Jared Michael Lowe is a fashion and lifestyle writer, and editor-in-chief of LoweFactor. Follow him on Twitter @jaredmichaelowe