One particular sector of the market has surged since the COVID-19 pandemic began and Zoom meetings became an everyday activity: loungewear. As you continue to build out your comfy wardrobe, it's important to keep supporting BIPOC creatives every day and there are a number of Black-owned loungewear brands to choose from as you look for replacement sweats or a new cozy pullover.
Last March, Gap reported an upward trend in sales for its comfier, work-from-home-approved styles. But consumers are branching out by discovering designers on Instagram or supporting local small businesses in addition to major retailers. Kim Kardashian's Skims or Jacquemus' at-home collection are both examples that blur the lines between loungewear and everyday wear. Remember when you wore silk pajama sets or an oversized T-shirt at home and there was no in between? Brands deciphering the best way to communicate with consumers right now have even begun marketing already launched inventory as "lounge collections," bidding the question: When you work from bed or on the couch, what defines loungewear? The following black-owned brands identify as everyday wear, but with so much time and so few places to go, well every day involves lounging.
So, as you shop for these essential pieces, consider as the fashion community comes together to shed light on designers that have been overlooked, especially beyond the box of "streetwear." Part of uplifting black designers is challenging the stereotypical lifting them out of the box society has put them in, and allowing them to float wherever they choose to be.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: Tier
Tier is a New York-based brand that celebrates art, design, and community. It was started by three college friends: Nigeria Ealey, Victor James, and Esaie Jean-Simon. Their most recent collection, Project 3: Joy to the World, celebrated Black excellence and featured work custom-created by artist Pierre Jean-Baptiste. Tier, according to their website, "embodies and infuses art methods and techniques" into all of their pieces and shines a spotlight on the innovative potential of loungewear.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: K.NGSLEY
K.NGSLEY transcends the typical parameters of loungewear with an experimental selection that provides comfort and allows the wearer to move freely. According to its website, first-generation Nigerian-American Kingsley Gbadegesin founded the label with the goal of "[reclaiming] and [redefining] the Black, Queer, Femme body and to create the tangible, direct support communities need today." Cutout tanks, asymmetrical bodysuits, and funky beanies in K.NGSLEY's collection possess an edgy New York aesthetic that honors innovation and equity.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: Dayo
Dayo celebrates the joys of casual fashion and proves comfort never means sacrificing style. Founded by Yolanda White, the inventive label is known for its fresh takes on loungewear, like their free-flowing ponchos and stretchy midi dresses. Dayo also sells a self-love diary, perfect for filling out when you're lounging at home and are feeling reflective.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: Sweats by Sam
After founder Samantha Harper ruined her favorite white sweats in 2019, she tie-dyed them as a saving-grace effort in order to keep them in her cozy rotation. Her revamped sweatpants became her go-to pair and inspired her to create a loungewear brand that provides customers with pieces they can live in. Her versatile line offers typical athletic wear like sweat shorts and quarter zips, as well as flirty tennis skirts and short-sleeve polos.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: RE ONA
Re Ona celebrates subtlety and curves, without sacrificing comfort. Self-defined as “luxury, ready to wear essentials,” and characterized by an array of lightweight viscose and spandex pieces, their collection of crop tops and bodysuits are versatile and easy to style. Founded by sisters Christina and Philiscia Abayomi, the label focuses on simplicity for "the busy woman who loves a minimal but put together look." The end results are stretchy, flexible pieces — even dresses — that leave you questioning the fine line between lounge and otherwise.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: LOCAL EUROPEAN
Though Local European goes beyond cozy at home pieces, much of the label's selection fits the loungewear category, complete with an airy, effortlessly rolling out of bed fee thanks to materials like compression jersey fabric for cozy bottoms. The line is designed by Alexandra Bunch in Los Angeles, materializing the laid back, minimalistic and muted Californian aesthetic.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: LOVELLO ELIZABETH
Lovello Elizabeth is a Philadelphia-based brand, teetering the line between activewear and lounge, and redefining both. The label was started by Alnika Lovello in 2014, and has since become synonymous with clean cut, minimalistic lounge and activewear sets. Lovello told Essence that comfort is always a factor in the design process, and that she’s even delayed launches when a piece doesn’t meet her expectations. Lovello Elizabeth offers mix and match hoodie, shorts and jogger sets, making for a never-ending supply of Netflix-marathon ensembles.
Black-Owned Loungewear Brands: ACM
Due to an exceptional amount of time indoors recently, some have already resorted to finding joy in incorporating 2020 runway trends into their at-home wardrobes, in whatever way that may be. In the case of spotting sheer garments everywhere this year, perhaps the trend has simply found its way back to where it likely started — in the comfort of home. ACM’s signature-style top is the quickest way to rid your lounge collection of the repetition of the common tank top. Adding in their plunge neck catsuit, ACM sheds light on the fact that the possibilities for loungewear are broader than you may have thought they were.
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