The undeniable impact of Black creators on fashion has often been overshadowed by non-Black creators. Despite progress, such as Virgil Abloh’s appointment at Louis Vuitton, the lack of Black ownership in streetwear persists. The fashion world is now witnessing a new era of creativity and innovation, driven by trailblazing Black-owned streetwear labels that are redefining the industry and paving the way for the next generation of Black designers. These brands not only produce trendsetting designs but also embody a powerful message of empowerment and social consciousness. In this article, we celebrate and shine a light on the top seven Black-owned streetwear labels that are making waves in the fashion scene and shaping the future of the industry.
Black-Owned Streetwear Brands
Corteiz debuted in 2017 with a limited selection of screen-printed tees and crewnecks featuring the Alcatraz logo, representing founder Clint’s rebellious message. The brand functions like a private club, with exclusive drops and a password-protected online shop to uphold its values. Today, Corteiz reflects London’s youth culture, where sportswear is both a symbol of status and a uniform of rebellion against tradition.
Barriers’ designer Steven Barter believes that clothing is not just clothing, but a tool for teaching and sharing untold Black histories with today’s youth. His streetwear line includes hoodies, tees, and sweats that showcase bold and eye-catching collages and portraits of historical topics or figures including Malcolm X, Miles Davis, and Martin Luther King Jr., making them easily digestible for the younger generation.
Josué Thomas created Gallery Dept. in 2017 by combining his love for vintage clothing and art. The Los Angeles-based brand transforms vintage pieces, such as workwear pants and denim, with hand-painted alterations. Thomas brings his rebellious spirit to every piece, reimagining fashion as a creative medium.
Denim Tears is an artistic clothing label founded by Tremaine Emory, a designer who focuses on iconography with a meaningful background. The brand raises social awareness around racism in America through its strategic designs and collaborations with Levi’s and Converse. Emory, who is also the creative director of Supreme, specializes in cotton-based clothing and aims to reclaim the negativity associated with cotton’s racist past by turning it into art, such as featuring cotton wreaths in his pieces.
Daily Paper is an Amsterdam-based fashion and lifestyle brand that blends contemporary streetwear with African heritage. Founded in 2012 by three childhood friends, the label pays homage to African culture with modern designs and classic menswear staples. The brand has since expanded to include a womenswear line and collaborates with storied brands, including Adidas and Havaianas as well as modern artists.
Worn by the likes of Stormzy, Meek Mill, and Anthony Joshua, Benjart is a UK-based premium fashion brand that has been producing quality items using the finest craftsmanship for over a decade. Their limited release collections add to the exclusive nature of their products, which transcend the rules of style and streetwear. Benjart’s design philosophy combines the heritage streetwear culture of Britain with high-quality European fabrics, making it more than just a clothing label.
Golf Wang, a brand created by Tyler, the Creator in 2011, offered higher quality clothing than their regular merchandise, which consisted of basic Gildan shirts with graphic prints. The brand maintained the group’s youthful style with bright colours and playful graphics. The line has since evolved to include more mature cut and sew items, but still features some of its iconic playful pieces like neon cheetah print socks and signature flame-covered clothing.
These seven Black-owned streetwear brands, along with many others, continue to showcase the immense talent, diversity, and innovation within the Black design community. By highlighting their work and supporting their businesses, we can celebrate their achievements and contribute to a more inclusive future for the fashion industry. Join the conversation and let us know if there are other Black-owned streetwear labels you admire, or if you’d like us to explore more brands in a follow-up article.