Fashion | October 14th, 2020

Our BLM Movement is Boosting Black Fashion Brands

By: Tiara Williams
Our BLM Movement is Boosting Black Fashion Brands

It is no secret that Black Americans have been fighting a racial war since this country was founded. Although everyone knows that racism does indeed exist, in the past many were able to turn a blind eye to the issue. However, with the technological advances society has made, news travels much faster. Many vicious acts of racism have been captured, exposed to the public, and witnessed globally.

Within the past six months, Black Americans have faced grief, countless acts of police brutality, and inhumane, unjust treatment from those that vowed to protect and serve our communities. The deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in the hands of the police have caused an international uproar. Many have taken to the streets not only to protest the police but the businesses that fund them and brush aside the racial injustices we face. 

So what does this mean for Black-owned businesses?

As protests continue, many Black consumers have pivoted inwards to their community to purchase for all goods, especially those from the fashion industry. Black clothing brands and cosmetic lines specifically have been experiencing a surge of support from fellow Black people. These daunting times have allowed black businesses in the cut-throat fashion world to flourish and receive more exposure.

Tianna Osbourne, who is a self-proclaimed “kid from the Bronx trying to put her hometown on the map,” is a designer and business owner. She describes her brand as “a mix of art, individuality, and fashion which produces clothing that’s new and refreshing in an industry where everything is overused.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by by Tianna Osbourne. (@bytiannaosbourne) on

Osbourne has reflected on this movement from the fashion industry and has witnessed this turning point’s impact on her business.

“Racial tensions and the recent events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement have surprisingly helped my business and many other black-owned businesses grow,” Osbourne said. “With a surge of support for the Black Lives Matter movement came a surge of support for basically everything Black, especially Black-owned brands as Black people continuously create new fashion trends.” 

Whilst the Black Lives Matter movement helped shed light on Black-owned businesses, these business owners have also given back to the movement. 

“As a black business owner, it was nearly impossible for my brand to not support the movement. I designed a T-shirt that highlighted police brutality. Each one of those T-shirts was shipped with a pamphlet breaking down the movement,” Osbourne said. 

With this initiative, the Bronx native used her summer collection’s profit to donate over $1,000 to the Brooklyn Bail Fund, Minnesota Freedom Fund, the Innocence Project, Change the NYPD, and Gathering 4 Justice — all of which are organizations and funding programs that help mobilize the movement. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by by Tianna Osbourne. (@bytiannaosbourne) on

Tianna Osbourne is not the only business owner to be inspired by and give back to the Black Lives Matter Movement. Alexandra Rivera, the owner of Ethereal Makeup, has also been motivated by the movement. Rivera is also from NYC and is one of the youngest entrepreneurs to ever own and manage a cruelty-free and vegan cosmetic brand. On the topic of the recent events that have been taking place Rivera says, “I am glad people are more open to the conversation about race and equality.” 

There was once a time in which speaking on racial inequality was a conversation that many were afraid of having and did not want to engage in. Not only has the movement opened a gateway for conversation, but artistic creativity and freedom. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by alexandra💕🌈✨ (@alexxmulann) on

“As a makeup artist, I became so much more aware of amazing Black artists that were being shared by my mutual friends. Their looks were so creative and it inspired me to create more editorial content,” Rivera said.

Rivera adds that the Black Lives Matter movement has caused people to be more mindful of where they shop and has increased the support of small businesses, POC businesses, and Black-owned businesses. Rivera also notes that she supports the Black Lives Matter movement in its entirety, including the LGBTQ community.

“I used my platform to spread awareness on the Black Lives Matter movement, and donated to a black-owned barbershop that was looted during protests and to an organization protecting and supporting Black trans lives,” said Rivera.

The Black Lives Matter movement is much more than what is depicted on the surface and has impacted many aspects of our lives including where we shop. The fashion industry, in particular, has thrived this long majorly because of the influence of Black people and culture. 

We have devoted our creativity and culture to an industry in which we are often unappreciated and underrepresented. The Black Lives Matter movement has made sure not to count out the millions of Black-owned fashion and beauty brands. The immense support and attention that Black businesses are getting now are well deserved and long overdue.