Following the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, hashtagging Black Lives Matter or only celebrating and advocating for Black Lives during one month is simply not enough. To show true allyship in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism takes much more work and research. This includes protesting, donating money to local and national organizations, calling and writing your elected officials, voting in local elections, signing petitions, and educating yourself on the racial injustices the Black community faces every day. Outside of this, one small way you can directly support the Black community is to shop at Black-owned businesses, many of which have also been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
A study at Stanford University showed that Black business owners have less access to capital compared with their white counterparts. And unlike larger conglomerates, many Black-owned retailers don’t have a safety net to fall back on while sustaining their business during this time. Telsha Anderson, the founder of New York–based boutique T.A., had to quickly pivot her business from a brick-and-mortar launch to online to sustain her business that opened during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Just six months ago, Aurora James, the founder and designer of Brother Vellies, created the 15 Percent Pledge as a call to action to major retailers like Target, Whole Foods, and Sephora to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses as a way to better represent overlooked talent. Since then, more than 15 major corporations have signed the pledge, including Sephora, CB2, and Vogue. Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the power you hold in your wallet and the impact your dollar can make. One thing we can do right now is be more intentional about how and where we’re spending our money.
Below, 17 Vogue editors weigh in on their picks from five Black-owned retailers that you can shop now, tomorrow, and forever. And if you don’t have the funds to give monetary support right now, you can always support Black-owned businesses by following, sharing, and amplifying their platforms on social media and through word of mouth.
Oakland-based concept store McMullen, founded by Sherri McMullen, is a one-stop shop for luxury, high-end womenswear from emerging brands such as Christopher John Rogers as well as established designers like Proenza Schouler.
Alexis Bennett, Commerce Writer
To me, McMullen is an online shopping heaven with a thoughtfully curated collection of luxury designers. Not only does it carry those beloved, established brands, but it has also become a go-to place for discovering brilliant, emerging designers across the fashion, beauty, and home categories.
Willow Lindley, Accessories Director
For me, now is the time to be more conscious with my buying power than ever—from supporting retailers and brands that I really believe in to investing in pieces I know will have longevity both in style and construction. I love McMullen for being a one-stop shop for home, fashion, and accessories from brands I know and brands I’m just being introduced to. I really trust their buy.
Steff Yotka, Fashion News Editor
I have never met a ruffled and pouf-sleeve black dress I didn’t love, and I’m very grateful to McMullen’s Sherri McMullen for introducing me to a new brand to obsess over, Kika Vargas. Sherri has such an exciting edit of fashion, home-wares, and accessories on her site. I find myself browsing for hours on end, hopefully soon with one of these teal wine glasses in hand.
Rickie De Sole, Executive Fashion Director
What’s not to love about these sculptural Khiry gold jug drop earrings? They are minimal enough for everyday wear, but equally suited for an evening out—a versatile accessory that is sure to stand the test of time.
Founded by Kai Avent-deLeon, Sincerely, Tommy is a Brooklyn-based brick-and-mortar and online concept store focusing on emerging womenswear and lifestyle brands from the newest talents in fashion and art.
Julie Tong, Senior Commerce Editor
I’m fortunate enough to be within walking distance from Sincerely, Tommy’s Brooklyn location, but lately I’ve been happily perusing the shop’s online store to update my winter wardrobe (which up until now has largely consisted of sweatsuits and T-shirts). Nowadays, even when it comes to small, short outings, I looked forward to dressing up. These sleek, croc-printed vegan leather boots make me feel like it’s actually Fashion Week—even if it’s just me strutting around the block. And at under $125, these certainly feel like a steal.
Allie Michler, Director, Fashion Development
Madeline Fass, Market Editor
This pair of lug-soled loafers and fuzzy flower power fleece jacket from Sincerely, Tommy are my ideal snowy-weather winter uniform.
Akili King, Beauty Assistant
These days, I’m loving statement earrings for Zoom meetings and interviews. Above-the-neck glam is a major mood boost during this time, and unique earrings always elevate any look, even if I choose to wear little to no makeup. I love these Soko Kanza Horn Threader earrings for that reason. They’re elegant with a twist.
I’m also trying to up my handbag game and experiment with different colors. I’m a huge fan of Edas and I’m loving this earthy green color of the Yshaia bag. Even though I’m not going many places these days, it’s still nice to be able to dress up for myself every now and then…and I might as well do it in style and rock a cute, sustainable brand while I’m at it.
Christian Allaire, Fashion and Style Writer
I love what Orange Culture is doing. Adebayo Oke-Lawal is the designer in Lagos, Nigeria, and he’s doing stellar menswear pieces. I’m eyeing this pleated, swirly shirt for the spring.
Alexandra Gurvitch, Market Editor
I recently have been getting into wearing more jewelry, especially necklaces. I love this Third Crown necklace. It is a chic twist on a classic chain.
Rachel Besser, Fashion Market Editor
T.A. is a buzzy new luxury concept store by Telsha Anderson that quickly pivoted in the wake of the pandemic last March from a brick-and-mortar launch (in New York City’s Meatpacking District, no less) to an online shop. Anderson’s beautiful store is now open, and well worth a visit. Even if you don’t live nearby, you can still shop the careful curation of pieces sourced from current and future It brands from all around the world online.