ComplexCon returns to Long Beach Nov. 6 - 7 with hosts J. Balvin and Kristen Noel Crawley, performances by A$AP Rocky and Turnstile, and more shopping and drops.

Secure your spot while tickets last!

As consumers, the dollars we spend everyday makes a huge impact on the businesses we see tomorrow. Following the increase in protests against systemic racism and police brutality spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement last year across the country, many major brands and companies have committed to investing more money into Black-owned businesses. This led major fashion retailers and brands such as Kith, Moda Operani, Gap, and Matchesfashion to take the 15 Percent Pledge—an initiative which calls on major retailers to commit a minimum of  15% of their shelf to Black-owned businesses. 

While these efforts are well and good, the events of 2020 also shined a light on the countless number of fashion brands that profit off of Black culture, but lack diversity in their offices or have failed to speak out on these issues head on. While the influence the Black community has on streetwear is undeniable, independent Black creators are still often overshadowed by others in the space.

The 2010s have seen notable strides forward. Virgil Abloh was appointed as the first black creative director of Louis Vuitton Men’s in 2018. Brands like Abloh’s Off-White and Heron Preston’s eponymous label receive investment from New Guards Group. Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God has been a face of the streetwear-meets-luxury fashion metamorphosis. 

Although these are some of the names at the forefront, there’s a lack of Black ownership in streetwear. So it’s up to us as consumers to celebrate and promote the work of Black designers. And even if the 15 Percent Pledge is targeted towards large corporations, individual consumers also have the purchasing power to dedicate at least 15% of their own monthly budget to supporting black-owned businesses. While the total number is not limited to what is listed here, we have decided to highlight 55 Black-owned fashion brands that should be on your radar the next time you dip into your funds for some new pieces to add to the closet. Consumers could also familiarize themselves with resources such as Black Fashion Fair to find even more Black-owned brands to support. Check out more details on our selects below.