Gone are the days when location impedes our ability to shop Black produced or owned fashion items and goods. With the advent of the internet and its impact on commerce, Black people are revolutionizing how they participate in the global market—and making it easier to recycle our dollars. Here’s a list of four Black-owned e-commerce shops that are not only exceptional at curating and selling Black produced goods but are also standing out in their own unique ways.
The Folkore is owned by Amira Rasool, an entrepreneur and writer based between New York and Cape Town. multi-brand concept’s primary mission is to supply the world with access to luxury goods from Africa and the diaspora, by means of using ethical and curated manner. The platform also allows designers and creatives to share their stories with new and wider audiences. Their carefully curated product line reflects the diversity of Africa’s contemporary urban landscapes and design aesthetic.
They have apparel, accessories, shoes, bags, and homeware that can live in cities around the world, and be enjoyed by men and women who appreciate luxurious, thoughtful, clean and boundary-pushing design.
Exclusivity is key in Folkore’s product selection process, by selling a limited stock of products that are curated specifically for globally recognised designers.
With brands like Tokyo James, Atto Tetteh, Simon & Mary , Loza Maléombho , Gozel Green and many more.
The Folklore platform is determined to give African designers the chance to monetize their brands.
Jendaya which means “Thankful” in the Zimbabwean Shona language is an online marketplace housing the next generation of luxury brands in Africa and beyond.
Founded by an investment banker turned fashion entrepreneur, Ayotunde Rufai, Jendaya offers shoppers from all over the globe a curated exhibition of luxury fashion brands produced by both African and Western talents. The site boasts a tasteful luxury collection of both men’s and women’s ready to wear designs, beauty products, jewellery and other accessories from African designers like Christie Brown, Orange Culture, Torlowei, Imad Eduso, and AAKS.
Their commitment to positive luxury and sustainability is reflected in the made to order designs that are encouraged on the platform helping to combat fashion waste whilst promoting a more sustainable fashion production process.
Jendaya is also standing out by providing excellent business-friendly debt solutions to designers that are featured on their website. They are truly showing that they’re “thankful” for the amazing fashion talents on the African continent.
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Founded by Samuel Ade, an entrepreneur, and Borislava Bozhikova, a Bulgarian fashion designer, Ilana is where luxe African fashion meets the global market, creating the perfect online marketplace for Black fashion designers.
The concept for this e-commerce site is coined from the meaning of its name “Ilana” (pronounced Eleanor) which is translated in Yoruba as “a pathway”. With the genesis of the store following the story of Samuel’s mother, a designer who aspired to have her items sold worldwide, Ilana just like the meaning of its name is all about being a pathway. It is creating a pathway for emerging talent across the African continent and diaspora to learn, develop and scale into global brands.
Since its inception in November 2020, Ilana has been housing designs from various Black designers. Brands like Fruché with their artisanal and fun approach to fashion, Larry Jay’s nature-inspired ethical designs and Atto Tetteh’s bold menswear pieces are just a few of the many lines on the e-commerce site. Unlike other curated online stores, Ilana is making the difference by giving back to the designers through a fashion scholarship funded by a percentage taken from all sales on the platform. By doing this Ilana is truly achieving their purpose of being a pathway that leads to the success of Black designers regardless of the exclusivity and elitism in the industry.
Adorn Me, Africa
This e-commerce site is a passion project gone right, started by Elorm Praise Dela-Seshie; an entrepreneur, Adorn Me Africa is an online marketplace and subscription box, highlighting amazing designs and products from mid to high-end designers on the African continent.
Adorn Me Africa is a greater call to the global market, calling them to be adorned with goods produced right here in Africa. The site offers contemporary African ready to wear apparel and accessories from the curated products.
On there you will find designs like the Threaded Tribe’s signature mud cloth pieces, colourful pastel metallic Myth House purses, minimalist billowing gowns from the 1964 Brand and beauty products like toxic-free nail polishes made by Pretty Black Hands, a range of shower essentials by Kaeme just to mention a few.
Aside from this, Adorn Me Africa brings a new spice to the table of the emerging black-owned e-commerce stores by using professional stylists who curate different subscription boxes for subscribers based on their individual style profiles every month.
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Ekow Barnes is a culture writer living in Accra, Ghana. His writing has appeared in CNN Style, Essence, Vogue Italia, Vogue Business, Dazed, i-D, and more. As a writer & producer, he specializes in producing content in Africa. Ekow Barnes has a diverse portfolio of clients both internationally and domestically. His focus is on pushing emerging talents and showing their works to the rest of the world. I love to write and also producing authentic stories.