NYFW felt slightly like pre-pandemic fashion weeks of the past with more shows scheduled for in-person presentations and full mode street style looks being served. And it seems black designers are getting more support and recognition than ever before in New York from the fashion scene, and rightfully so.
Here are five emerging black fashion brands from NYFW Spring/Summer 22 I predict to be household names in the future and worn by your favorite influencers and celebrities.
Who Decides War
Who Decides War is a denim brand created by designer duo, Everard Best and Tela D’Amore. The brand specializes in distressed detailing, patchwork, oversized silhouettes, and deconstructed fabrics.
After spending previous seasons showcasing the collection in Paris, Who Decides War designers returned to New York City to show their fourth collection. The SS 2022 collection was heavily inspired by each designer’s family background: church, and the military. Everard Best family was raised in the church and Tela D’Amore’s grandfather was a First Lieutenant in WWII. The combination of inspirations resulted in patchwork arched prints reminiscent to that of stained-glass windows you’d often see in churches and military, utilitarian sweater vests, and denim jackets. And with the supporter of fellow fashion designers like Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, I wouldn’t be surprised if the brand becomes the next “it” streetwear brand of this decade.
House of Amaa
House of Amaa was birthed by a mother-daughter fashion duo, Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka. Their products are 100% produced in Los Angles, California, and are all about the Black experience, folkways, and timeless garments according to the brand’s Instagram page. The brand was established in 2015, however, this is the debut collection at NYFW.
The SS22 collection is called “Salt Water” which is an ode to, “the Africans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and survived the middle passage to the Americas.” This collection tells the story of black beach resort destinations and how Black Americas created their own communities to enjoy. The unisex collection delivered a nautical aesthetic, cut-out swimwear, and historical storytelling elements about Black Americans’ experiences. I’m excited to see how this mother-daughter duo continues to tell Black Americans’ stories through their designs.
Jonathan Hayden combined his background as a musician, and his inherent mixed cultural identity, to create his namesake label. Jonathan Hayden’s collection was created with original prints showing bucolic scenes, nouveau graphic feathers inspired by Aubrey Beardsley, and 60s wallpapers reworked for today as referenced on the brand’s website.
Jonathan intends to dress modern-day women, and this collection embodies just that with tailored suiting, printed trenches, and floor-length flowy gowns.
Connor McKnight created his label in 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in his Brooklyn Bushwick apartment. Connor set out for his collection to be well crafted, yet comfortable, minimalist, and most importantly wearable. Connor delivered a gender-neutral collection and the outcome was filled with sweater vests, knits, sweatpants, and cropped jackets, which are the essentials every fashionable New Yorker keeps in their wardrobe in heavy rotation.
Sergio Hudson has been winning since the day the world was introduced to him on America‘s version of the reality competition show Styled to Rock, where Sergio won the $100,000 grand prize competition. Years later Sergio has gone from reality television to NYFW and being part of arguably one of America’s most fashionable inauguration ceremonies and designer behind former first lady Michelle Obama’s look, whose outfit broke the internet.
Sergio’s latest Fall 2021 collection was inspired by black women that represent timeless, Hollywood glamour. Icons Diahann Carroll, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, and Naomi Campbell were the driving force for this collection’s inspiration. Sergio delivered bold, vibrant colors, textures, monochromatic printed looks, and phenomenal tailoring.
These emerging designers are giving us a glance at what the future of fashion is, so take notes as this is the beginning of the next generation of designers everyone will grow to love.