Including up-and-coming talent.
This article was originally published in February 2022 and has been updated.
February is Black History Month. At FASHION, we celebrate diversity all year, but we’d like to take this opportunity to specifically highlight the exceptional talent of Black designers, who still face barriers to entry, marginalization and a lack of representation in the world of fashion.
It’s been more than two years since protests against policy brutality that escalated across the U.S. and around the world triggered change across many industries, including fashion. In May 2020, Aurora James founded the 15 Percent Pledge, calling on retailers to pledge 15 percent of shelf space to Black-owned businesses. A month after that, notable Canadian designer George Sully launched the platform Black Designers of Canada to feature and celebrate Black talent across the country.
And while we witnessed the overwhelming support of Black businesses at the height of the summer of 2020, our support must extend beyond a movement (or a month, for that matter). You’re probably familiar with a few of Canada’s renowned fashion figures, such as Kirk Pickersgill of Greta Constantine, Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Byron and Dexter Peart of Goodee (and formerly Want Les Essentiels), but there are myriad up-and-coming creatives that also deserve the spotlight. Here are some of our favourite Black Canadian designers to shop all year round.