Black Designers Who Have Shaped Fashion (Part 2)

By Veselina G. 

In our previous article, the team at Repurpose highlighted several black designers who have made significant contributions to the world of fashion. Building on last week’s post, we continue to celebrate black designers whose courage, vision, and talent have made a strong impact on the fashion industry

Dani Evans

Photo from Monrowe Facebook page: September 25, 2020.

Dani Evans is an American model who became the winner of America’s Next Top Model in 2006. Inspired by the legacy of her grandfather, Dani created Monrowe – a unisex brand of ready-to-wear hats. The style of her line incorporates nuances from the 1940s and 1950s Jazz Era blended with Western shapes and modern elements. Dani’s grandfather was a jazz musician from the American south who performed in speakeasies. His unique style and self-expression are channeled into the aesthetics and creative vision for Monrowe.

Nicole Zizi

Photo by Christopher R. Hart (

Nicole Zizi’s line, Nicole Zizi Studio, is all about progressive design. The gender-free premium streetwear brand has a strong focus on sustainability and innovation. The collection features items made with natural, recycled, and alternative materials, which reduce the negative impact on the environment. Nicole Zizi Studio carefully select their manufacturing partners, and only collaborate with those who also maintain high ethical standards. Supply chain vendors are thoroughly vetted to ensure that they provide safe, healthy, and equitable working conditions. Nicole also places a strong emphasis on utilizing sustainable materials. The streetwear brand invests in alternative fabrics to reduce the impact on the environment. Organic and natural textiles are also prioritized, and synthetic fabrics are occasionally used in case they offer better longevity or performance benefits. Nicole Zizi Studio is quite innovative in their approach to sustainability, utilizing recycled Japanese denim, recycled polyester, cactus leather, and algae ink (in fact, this is the first streetwear brand to use algae ink on graphic shirts).

Jason Rembert

Photo by Michael Stewart/Wire image

Jason Rembert is a highly respected fashion stylist whose editorial work can be found on the pages of Vogue, Ebony, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and other big magazines. Jason is very innovative in his approach to styling, often blending classic and elegant designs with more contemporary and unique elements. He launched his own line, ALIÉTTE, which is a modern luxury women’s brand. Inspired by the women in his life, Jason’s collection features vibrant colors, innovative designs, and feminine silhouettes. The designer’s mother was a strong influence on his creative work. The idea that beauty, grace, and strength can coexist in one powerful person is what ultimately inspired the creation of ALIÉTTE. 

Anifa Mvuemba

Credit: Zara Israel

Anifa Mvuemba created her line Hanifa to celebrate women’s journey to a life without limits. Her collection features unique designs, bold colors, and feminine styles that highlight natural curves. The brand celebrates the female form and offers sizes ranging from 0 to 20. The designer made headlines in 2020 when she launched a virtual fashion show on her Instagram. The clothes from her Spring-Summer 2020 collection were 3D modeled using special technology. The collection itself was inspired by Anifa’s Congolese heritage, featuring colors, motifs, and silhouettes that pay tribute to the women in Congo.

Mother and Daughter Duo Akua Shabaka and Rebecca Henry of House of Aama

Photo by Jordan Tiberio for BLOODROOT Collection

House of Aama is a lifestyle brand that draws its inspiration from the culture of the African continent and diaspora. The brand is the joint effort of mother and daughter duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka. In 2013, Akua was frustrated with the inability to find clothing that resonates on a cultural and aesthetic level, and with the help of her mother, started designing her own clothes. Rebecca and Akua soon discovered that there’s a market for modern, culturally inspired fashion and founded House of Aama the following year. In 2017 House of Aama debuted the Bloodroot Heritage Collection. The designs are reflective of the PostBellum Southern United States - a time period which Rebecca and Akua find inspirational due to the tremendous importance and critical role it plays in Black culture. The collection aims to convey the resilience and strength of African people in the Southern United States. The Bloodroot clothing line has been covered by major publications such as Vogue, Okay Africa, and Glamour.





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