Designer Brandon Blackwood talks about normalizing black luxury in fashion and building a $ 30 million brand
Brandon Blackwood, 29, thanks the cover of Awareand who’s better than the new-age fashion designer making waves in the name of black luxury.
Blackwood’s popular “End Systemic Racism” handbag made it a viral sensation in the fashion world. Talk with Aware‘s Consulting Editor at-Large Elaine welteroth, Blackwood explained how he’s built a cult following among Gen Z and Millennial consumers who help co-create his pieces.
“I call my followers my cousins,” said Blackwood. “I’m like, ‘Hey cousins, I’m trying to do this and this and that.’ And some of my best colors, textures [and] things like that have been suggestions from my community.
“I used to post my samples from the previous season and say to myself, ‘Okay, everyone, pick them up.’ Let’s find it. ‘”
Posing with one of her mini blue Kendrick tote bags, Blackwood shows an assortment of her handbags which have been worn by Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian and many more. Before the age of 30, Blackwood built a handbag empire that is on track to generate $ 30 million in revenue, Business intern reports.
“I think after college, when I learned that I could do things on my own and that I had control over my own life, that’s when I started to do my own thing, ”he said of starting his fashion company. “I think when everyone couldn’t necessarily control me, that’s when they started supporting me.”
As one of the pioneers of black luxury fashion designers, Blackwood remembers not associating luxury with black culture as a child.
“Growing up, personally, I didn’t have real examples of black-owned luxury brands,” he admits. “Whenever I thought about luxury, it was always a white person in a white advertisement for a white company; it was luxury for me ”
“I think the idea of a black person sort of occupying that space and having luxury as a narrative is very, very different and a little wild for people. That’s why we need the Kerbys, the Auroras and the Christopher John Rogers, ”Blackwood continued. “And I think it’s really cool to see this movement of blacks in luxury, making things happen, making things relevant. This is what the standardization of black luxury means to me. It just takes up space in this market.