This Small, Black-Owned Brand Created Your Next It Bag

Add it into your purse collection.

Originally Published: 
Anima Iris bags
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If overhauling your wardrobe was one of your fashion resolutions for 2022, you’re likely looking for ways to diversify the brands in your closet. One of the easiest ways to do this is by shopping new and emerging labels, especially from minority-owned businesses. You will not only find the most unique items, but also show support to a fresh generation of designers. To help expand your shopping repertoire, TZR asked nine Black stylists to share their favorite small, Black-owned brands. The industry’s fashion gurus always keep an eye out for prominent and noteworthy labels. As such, they are the most in tune with who is currently making the proverbial waves in the field.

For many stylists, including Scot Louie (who styles Keke Palmer and Kehlani), an obvious mention was Christopher John Rogers. “[He] has quickly become one of my favorite designers and brands to watch overall,” Louie tells TZR. “The clothing is bold, the look books are exciting, and the muses are well thought-out and inventive, and [his] use of color and play with the silhouettes is always moving.” When it comes to smaller, up-and-coming brands, Patti Wilson (who has styled multiple Vogue shoots) calls out Esenshel, which she loves for its “fabulous hats.” (An Esenshel piece recently appeared in an episode of And Just Like That...) Meanwhile, Zerina Akers, the founder of Black Owned Everything, highlights ANIMA IRIS, which she refers to as “one of the It bag [brands] of this generation.”

Without further ado, scroll ahead to discover the small, Black-owned labels you should shop from in 2022 (and beyond).

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Zerina Akers

ANIMA IRIS is one of those brands people don’t [realize] they’ve been waiting for. These chic and extremely refreshing handbags are distinctly shaped and so fun to style. Definitely one of the It bags of this generation.”

“What I love about Tori Soudan is that there is something for women of all [life] stages. There are open-toed flats, classic pumps, and artistic stiletto boots — all beautifully crafted in Italy. There’s so much to applaud about a brand that serves various demographics within its niche.

Patti Wilson

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“Rodney [Patterson of Esenshel] makes fabulous hats with such great shapes. I always love his creations and try to incorporate his hats into my styling as much as I can.”

Sunni Sunni is a small men’s shoe company here in New York. They do incredible boots and mules for men with beautiful shapes and embellishments like chains and hardware.”

Scot Louie

Bianca Saunders is the answer to menswear; [she makes pieces] that feel smart and wearable. Her recent Fall 2022 collection was filled with vibrant colors and unique style lines.”

Sergio Hudson embodies femininity in a bold way. He uses monochromatic hues and expert style lines to drive home his message. His brand feels appropriate for every woman.”

Ugo Mozie

L’Enchanteur is my favorite jewelry brand. [Its founders] Soull and Dynasty Ogun mix style, luxury, history, and alchemy to make their masterpieces.”

I.N Official is my favorite [menswear] brand made by a Black artist, the Lagos-based Ifeanyi Nwune, who [bridged the gap between the city’s fashion] and the pop culture world. His work can be seen on [celebrities like] Diddy and Stevie Wonder.”

Telsha Anderson-Boone

“Edvin Thompson’s designs for Theophilio showcase his Jamaican heritage on a level that is pleasing to his consumer base and [offers] a fresh perspective on the fashion landscape.”

“Designed in LA, Bephies Beauty Supply is one of my favorites! I’ve been shopping from the brand since 2019, and seeing its evolution [throughout the years] has truly been an honor.”

Jordan Boothe

Courtesy of Jordan Boothe

Martine Rose. I love her playfulness and willingness to challenge style.”

Thebe Magugu is a new, fresh voice to fashion. [He has] a rich, clear focus on cloth and aesthetics.”

Courtney Mays

“I am always inspired by female designers [like Desyree Nicole of TODD PATRICK], who mastered the art of menswear. With attention to detail and fabrication, each collection is always the perfect combination of classic tailoring and cool street style.”

“The nostalgia of [Blackstock & Weber’s] penny loafer is unmatched — I could wear a pair every day! I love how this brand takes this classic silhouette and gives it a bit of edge with bold colors and fabrics. The cognac and white are my absolute favorite.”

Mickey Freeman

“Jovana Benoit [of Jovana Louis] has established her presence in modern-day fashion. Combining her Caribbean heritage with the vibrant aesthetic of French and Asian couture, her fierce pieces embody the essence of women from [the world over].”

Sheron Barber is a designer and creative director who has a unique and cool design aesthetic — a mix of luxury, street, and sport. Also well-known for designing custom leather goods for the top luxury fashion houses and top celebrities, Sheron is one-of— kind and a fashion force to be reckoned with.”

Altorrin McIntyre

“My personal wardrobe is bursting with [Moshood Creations]. [The brand’s founder Moshood Afariogun] personifies the pride of African design and has been a Brooklyn staple since the ‘80s by way of Lagos, Nigeria. His expertly tailored pieces mixed with my western streetwear always make for an unforgettable visual.”

“Bobby West of Bobby Day has something to say, and I want to hear it all. His designs represent the culture in a loud, booming voice of the future — unpredictable, raw, and rooted in individuality.”

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