Last year, at the start of fashion month in February, The New York Times wrote that black designers only made up 2.7 percent of the brands expected to show at New York Fashion Week. The stat was not only startling, but ironic, considering that here in the U.S., February is also Black History Month. The Times went on to state that the figures, in part, reflected the makeup of the CFDA, which only boasted 12 African-American members out of 470. But, things do seem to be changing.
This year at New York Fashion Week: Men’s, the CFDA backed emerging designers like Donrad Duncan for EFM in Dockers and AXE-supported shows. Other designers, like Maxwell Osborne of Public School, benefited from added visibility with his brand appointments as Creative Director at DKNY, alongside his business partner Dao-Yi Chow. These designers (and others) are changing the industry, not just statistically, but in the perspectives and viewpoints they represent.
In keeping with that forward momentum, here are five designers of color to watch who are changing the face of fashion.