The fashion industry has historically been male-dominated. Big designer brands like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, YSL, Balenciaga — all founded by, you guessed it, men. (And white men at that).
But women have finally started to break into the industry. White women have carved out their place over the last few decades and women of color over the last few years.
And thankfully, celebrities are embracing these incredible Black and brown female-owned brands. There’s no better exposure than seeing Beyoncé or Selena Gomez rock your dress on Instagram.
Below, we rounded up some of the trendiest brands founded and owned by WOC that celebrities have been rocking recently.
NOIRANCA is a vegan leather designer handbag brand that’s all about female empowerment and sustainability. The start-up creates sleek, architectural bags for women of all colors and complexions. The bags are designed in one-of-a-kind silhouettes and are made from 58% recycled materials. Their current collection features seven designs in timeless colors like dusty rose, brown, olive green, and maya blue.
The brand is also dedicated to eco-friendly practices and uses PETA-Approved vegan leather as well as materials like microsuede made of recycled plastic water bottles. It’s no wonder The Hills alum Whitney Port is such a fan!
On top of their bag line, NOIRANCA also recently launched a new campaign called Black Salon, which hopes to change the conversation around Black hair and to celebrate afro hairstyles as a form of joy and empowerment.
Started by Anifa Mvuemba, Hanifa features bold, bright colors and designs inspired by her Congolese roots. Hanifa is one of the few luxury brands to go up to size 20 since “illuminating natural curves” is an important part of Hanifa’s ethos. Some of Hanifa’s fans include Beyoncé, Zendaya, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
3. Stella Jean
Stella Jean is a self-taught Haitian-Italian designer whose eponymous brand focuses on sustainability and multiculturalism. The brand aims to raise the standards in the fashion industry by providing fair and inclusive work opportunities for people around the world. Both Yara Shahidi and Selena Gomez have been spotted rocking Stella Jean.
lemlem is an ethical and sustainable fashion brand that is completely made by artisans in Africa. lemlem was founded by former model Liya Kebede in an attempt to create opportunities for traditional weavers in her native country of Ethiopia. The result is a beautiful ready-to-wear collection of resort-wear with swimsuits, dresses, and kaftans at the heart. The brand even collaborated with H&M to create a limited-edition collection in May 2021. Admirers of lemlem include January Jones and Whitney Port.
5. Fe Noel
Fe Noel was founded by Brooklyn-based designer Felisha “Fe” Noel. The line is inspired by her Grenadian heritage and her love of glamour, travel, and bold, vibrant patterns and prints. You can catch celebs like Selena Gomez, Mindy Kaling, and Beyoncé rocking Fe Noel on the reg.
Leset is all about stylish, sophisticated basics. The brand creates pieces that are meant to be worn in or out and don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion. The brand was started by Lili Chemla in October 2019 and has quickly become a favorite for celebs like Selena Gomez, Kacey Musgraves, and Kylie Jenner.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.