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The 25 Greatest Black Fashion Designers

Edward Wilkerson

Design Credits: Donna Karan; Lafayette 148

After cutting his teeth at Donna Karen and Calvin Klein, Edward Wilkerson has positioned himself atop multi-million dollar women's sportswear brand Lafayette 148. Wilkerson's insane work ethic and persistence is what carried him to the top—while he was in school he literally went block by block in the garment district looking for job opportunities—but it was his personal traveling and discovery in throughout Africa where he truly secured his vision.

Taking inspiration from his time in Kenya, Morocco, and other countries, Wilkerson has stuck to his original philosophy of creating stylish basics while infusing a bit of flair and excitement. Even though he, like Drake, started from the bottom, he advises African-American designers who still have to fave barriers and prejudice to "Start at the top. The bottom is always going to be there."

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