October marks Black History Month, a time to reflect and learn from history. However, FROW would also like to take this time to celebrate the Black fashion & beauty community, through sharing some of our favourite Black owned brands. As we celebrate the exciting future of fashion; we must acknowledge the importance of supporting these brands, not just through Black History Month but every month.
April & Alex
UK based womenswear brand April & Alex was founded by British/Nigerian journalist and Creative Director Didi Akinyelure. Inspired by her grandmother’s fashion choices and her mother’s tailoring business in Nigeria, Didi showed an interest in fashion from the early age of 8. April & Alex aims to emphasise boldness and shining a light on the empowerment of women through creating contemporary womenswear. These high quality, modern pieces inspire women to be fearless, willing to take bold risks without being afraid of the unconventional.
“We create pieces that are in-your-face, out-there; fashion that turns heads when a confident woman walks into a room, and at a contemporary price point.”Didi Akinyelure
Aissata Ibrahima is a luxury ready-to-wear brand creating clothing to be worn beyond the seasons. The high quality clothing brand aims to narrow the divide between masculine and feminine fashion designs with a distinctive design style, including draping and contrasting elements. The designer launched her debut collection titled ‘Lovers’, featuring timeless and classic silhouettes, masculine-inspired tailoring with subtle feminine details. The collection narrates the struggles of the modern dating scene.
Social and environmentally sustainable independent streetwear brand, Shahini Fakhourie explores the past to create a collection, reflecting the inspiration behind it. After being founded in 2017, the Miami-based designer released her first capsule collection in 2019. Fakhourie aims to illustrate social inequality, femininity and sexuality, to create a consistent yet fluid brand. The streetwear brand sticks to its sustainable ethics by producing clothing with sustainable and vegan fabrics, in a zero-waste factory in New York.
MY By Mahina Makeup
Founded in 2019 by professional makeup artist Mahina Makeup, MY By Mahina Makeup features a collection filled with luxurious beauty products. Mahina, from Nigerian heritage, has over 8 years of experience in the industry and is known for her celebrity clientele – from Cardi B and Ella Mai to Hailey Bieber and Jordyn Woods. From high shine lip glosses to false eyelashes, the brand is committed to creating cruelty-free products that are simple to use and effective, whilst still being affordable.
House of RG
British/Nigerian Fashion House, House of RG creates luxury custom pieces for women – with a unisex blazer garment. The eye-catching collection are handmade from plush velvet, Austrian crystals and silk satins for that ultimate wow factor. The brand encourages individuality and aims to provide high quality investment clothing. Dorothy Ogwuru established the luxury contemporary fashion house in 2017, she designs her pieces with seeps of her rich African culture.
I believe every piece I make should magnify the luxury of time that went into making it, the true intricate handcraftsmanship of spending up to 560 hours on one piece is totally worth it, if it means transforming someone’s lookDorothy Ogwuru
ButtaBoxx is a premium plant-powered skincare and beauty subscription box, helping their customer discover authentic and independent brands. The box aims to introduce natural and organic skincare and beauty brands, allowing subscribers test new products. The box contains a mixture of well known brands and those more lowkey brands, with many rooted in or inspired by African culture and traditions. Founder of ButtaBoxx, Marian Okogwu faced many skincare issue growing up such as hyperpigmentation, Eczema and inflammation, leading to her to feeling insecure and conscious.
I want every unboxing to be a magical and memorable moment for each customerMarian Okogwu, founder of ButtaBoxx
AloNuko is a luxury British fashion label specialising in bridal gowns, evening wear and empowering corsetry. Gbemi Okunola, who has been designing since the age of 11, has now established the brand with all items made bespoke in London. AloNuko has dressed many celebrity faces including Maya Jama for the 2020 BRIT Awards. The brand aims for all women to feel empowered in their own skin, with the belief that ‘Nude’ is not just one colour.
YAA YAA LONDON
Jewellery brand, YAA YAA LONDON creates pieces with colourful semi-precious gemstones. YAA YAA LONDON was founded in 2017 by former Legal PA, Yvonne Asare, who’s family originate from Ghana. Her individual patterns and designs pay homage to her family’s roots, fused with Yvonne’s passion for gemstones. From stunning rings statement earrings and necklaces, and at such an affordable price point, there is something for everyone.
Colourful jewellery makes everyone happy.Yvonne Asare, Founder of YAA YAA LONDON
Pls London is an affordable and inclusive extension brand founded by Rachael Nsofor and her two daughters Amiyah and Eleanor. With wigs and weaves, tapes and clip ins, Pls London offers a large range of faux and real hair for all hair types. The hair accessories label has a diverse range of length, textures and colours on their site, inspired by influencers such as Cardi B and Kylie Jenner who switch their hair up regularly.
Creating cheaper options will turn extensions into a fashion accessory which will resonate with those in their teens and twenties wanting to emulate their favourite chameleonic influencers like Cardi B and Kylie Jenner who regularly switch up their hair styles and colours with wigs and extensionsRachel Nsofor, Co Founder of Pls London
Ruba Beauty is a cruelty-free, vegan beauty brand founded by Banke Olowu, aiming to embrace all form of beauty and making the most of natural features. The brand offers premium handmade makeup brushes, using hypoallergenic synthetic fibres. Each brush has lightweight head shapes that are multipurpose for every inch of your face. The brand also offers latex reusable beauty sponges, to help you blend and contour like a professional.
Creating Cairo’s Creams throughout the boredom of lockdown, 11 year old Cairo Barrett used his entrepreneurial skills to create a range of skin and hair creams – free from chemicals. Aiming to hydrate and rejuvenate dry and sensitive skin and to soothe any irritation, the handmade range is suitable for all skin types, made with organic shea butter and essential oils. Leeds-based Cairo has shipped his products to international customers in America and Europe.
I would love to see my products in mainstream retailers so everyone can access them. I would also love to document and personally go out to Ghana to follow the journey of the shea butter and let everyone know what work is involved in the entire productionCairo Barrett, CEO of Cairo’s Creams