In New York City, summer time is less than two weeks away and everyone is excited to be back outside and semi-retiring their loungewear looks.
And in true NYC fashion, everyone’s out and about wearing the trendiest styles and latest “it” designers. And one of the newest sought after brands everyone wants to add to their wardrobe is Brandon Blackwood.
Accessory designer Brandon Blackwood was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He created his namesake label in 2015 after saving up $7,000 and designing four bags named after his close friends and brother.
In the earlier years, Brandon’s namesake brand didn’t make enough sales to enter into retailers and ecommerce sites, so Brandon utilized his Instagram account to connect with his consumer, often asking his followers for feedback on what style and colorways were preferred. This daily interaction with his following help build a strong fan base for the brand and provided steady sales.
Fast forward to 2020, when the pandemic hit and soon after the uprising and Black Lives Matter movement occured, Brandon found himself frustrated with the injustice he saw and wanted to do something for the movement, express his support, and combine his creativity with a statement he strongly believes. Brandon knew he wanted to merge fashion and politics to take a personal stand against systemic oppression. And from there, the “end systemic racism” aka ESR tote was born.
The mini style tote bag became an instant favorite amongst everyone, fashion lovers, influencers, and celebrities included. The bag sold out and to Brandon’s surprise was now a new highly sought after “It” fashion item, which has also been featured in my previous column “The top “IT” Fashion items by Black Designers that everyone is wearing”. In addition, he donated the proceeds for the ESR totes to Black youth-based organizations.
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Since the success of Brandon’s meaningful and powerful fashion handbag, the ESR tote bag has been discontinued. Now with an even bigger fan base in 2021, Brandon has created new silhouettes, many available via a preorder and selling out quickly. Now products are sold in huge department stores and e-commerce retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Shopbop in the United States.
If you’ve missed out on getting your hands on the ESR, you can check resell sites like Poshmark, Ebay, or Mercari to buy for a slightly above original retail price or snatch up one of Brandon’s latest styles including two of my faves for the S/S 21 collection, the Kendrick trunk tote or Arlen bag.
With the newest styles Brandon has designed and the affordable price range- handbags starting at $200- I’m certain the brand is going to continue to grow and build a cult following. I personally love a designer that provides great quality products, value, substance, and affordability, and Brandon Blackwood’s label has the complete package.