This past year has been one of turmoil for both the fashion industry and the Black community alike. Following the protests raised by the Black Lives Matter movement in the face of a global economic crisis, the world—especially the U.S.—had to face its own reckoning and come to the realization that so little had fundamentally changed since the last Civil Rights movement.
Some luxury brands were called out for being blatantly racist, others began to address issues of inclusivity and diversity in fashion business more heavily, and numerous organizations like the Black in Fashion Council and the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers (NAFAD) have solidified their purpose of holding the industry more accountable and promoting equal opportunities for Black designers in America.
Throughout history, Black fashion pioneers and African-American designers like Zelda Wynn Valdes and Stephen Burrows used their talent to make a name for themselves in a highly competitive Eurocentric and predominantly white industry. Today, Black creators continue to influence global fashion and raise awareness about BIPOC opportunities in the industry.
On the first day of Black History Month, L’OFFICIEL honors 30 Black designers who helped shape the narrative of fashion as we know it today.