This September, New York City sprang to life for its eponymous, New York Fashion Week. Twice a year, the fashion elite from across the country descend on the city for a full week sprint to experience a first look at next season’s collections through runway shows, showrooms, events, and more.
This Spring/Summer 2022 New York Fashion Week made history! The amount of black designers and other designers of color is up significantly from any previous New York Fashion Week season.
“The official calendar [was] almost 30% representation of people of color and over 20% Black designers,” said the Council of Fashion Designers of America president CaSandra Diggs. “It’s really important that we recognize this development because it’s a lot of the work that the CFDA is doing.” The board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America released a statement promising to “create systemic change within our industry.”
This change also shows up when it comes to castings, with more than half of the models at the Spring 2022 shows being people of color. Despite this increase, there’s definitely still a long way to go, especially when it comes to inclusivity regarding ableism, ageism, plus-sized models, and the LGBTQ+ community. Nonetheless, change is coming slowly but surely.
The official New York Fashion Week September calendar featured more than 110 designers who showed their collections across Manhattan from September 9 through September 14. Check out a full list of all of the black designers that showed this season at L’Officiel! Here are some of my favorites below:
No Sesso, the genderless, LA-based brand founded by Pia Davis, presented its FW22 collection, “The Girls With Dolphin Earrings”, a collection designed by Davis and Autumn Randolph.
Advisry, founded by Keith Herron, debuted its FW22 collection “Sometimes Dancing” – a display of finding Black joy in the midst of chaos and trauma.
The Brooklyn-based designer and founder of his eponymous brand, A.Potts, designs modern, genderless clothing with billowing silhouettes.
Chelsea Grays describes herself as a political designer, continuously striving for change within the sociopolitical atmosphere, and desires to creatively spread awareness through her designs.
House of Aama
House of Aama is a Los Angeles-based brand dedicated to sartorial storytelling. Inspired by the Black experience, the brand utilizes a very nostalgic approach to design.
Jameel Mohammed, the young designer behind KHIRY, makes Afrofuturist statement pieces in bold, chunky and shapely silhouettes inspired by the African diaspora.
Oak & Acorn
As the first sustainable denim brand in Harlem, Oak & Acorn is a pioneering concept that hopes to pay tribute to the enslaved Africans who contributed to the manufacturing of denim in the United States.
Who Decides War
Co-founded by Ev Bravado and Téla D’Amore, the denim brand, Who Decides War, aims to raise awareness on current events and the conflicts going on in the world.
Designing women’s clothes, Laquan Smith has been supported by the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga.
Sergio Hudson is a luxury women’s ready-to-wear label based in Los Angeles, combining staple pieces as well as statement clothing. Hudson’s name made a big splash at the beginning of 2021 when Michelle Obama wore the designer to Joe Biden’s inauguration and now has a ready to wear collection in collaboration with Target.
Let’s support these black owned designers year round! I look forward to seeing more as New York Fashion Week and these incredible designers continue to evolve in the coming seasons.