Finding local luxury designers alone can be challenging. However, finding Black luxury designers can be even more difficult. It’s made worse for those in Canada who want to support local Black designers; not many outlets promote these designers. Due to this discrepancy, we at Malcolm’s Choice have decided to showcase a few local Canadian Black designers making waves in the industry.
George Sully is an Ottawa-born designer and the creator of the Black Designers in Canada database. He is also the co-founder of the footwear brand “House of Hayla.” Soon, “House of Hayla” will be available in the Canadian department store, The Bay. In creating The Black Designers in Canada database, he says its purpose is to “celebrate Black designers and offer an ongoing inclusive resource of Black talent supported and championed by fellow Canadian’s hungry for change.” According to Sully, many designers have received countless opportunities in film, TV, press, and fashion.
Andrea Dumebi Iyamah:
Andrea Iyamah is a Nigerian fashion designer and owner of Andrea Iyamah. Her eponymous line specializes in women’s resort wear, swimwear, and many clothing pieces such as jumpsuits, pant & short sets, amongst others. Operating out of Toronto, Lagos and New York, her website states that the brand is meant to cater “to females across borders who are confident, adventurous and unafraid of clothing designed with a statement.” Her pieces have been seen on celebrities such as Ciara, Gabrielle Union, Michele Obama, Kate Hudson, and Issa Rae. Moreover, her goal to be a leading brand in African brand in resort wear is taking place; one look at her pieces, and you can see her African heritage throughout her work, keeping her background alive and bringing these pieces to the masses.
Nana Boateng Osei & Nana Kwadwo Osei:
Nana Boateng Osei and Nana Kwadwo Osei are the designers behind eyewear brand Bohten. Bohten is an African-inspired eyewear brand blending contemporary looks with African nature, new aged fashion and overall deep-rooted culture. On top of running a fashionable brand, the Osei’s also focus on sustainability. Besides incorporating sustainable operations into their business, they also run tree planting programs in Ghana and Kenya to help with the rising deforestation. Overall the Osei’s want their eyewear to connect people with nature and themselves. Consider this brand the next time you are looking for a new pair of eye or sunglasses.
These are just a few of the many designers and brands out there. Be sure to check out The Black Designers in Canada database, for more designers in Canada to support.