21 Black-Owned Handbag Brands to Know and Shop in 2022

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21 Black-Owned Handbag Brands to Know and Shop in 2022
(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

The importance of supporting Black-owned businesses is not limited to Black History Month. It's critical to continue supporting Black designers, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs for years to come. Every single one of us can create positive change in this space by including Black-owned businesses in our mental lists of go-to retailers. As for us fashion editors, it's up to us to bolster Black-owned brands by including them in the work we publish.

There are so many talented and amazing designers out there—some you might have heard of, and others you should keep your eye on—so we rounded up a few of our favorites, with more to come, below. Be sure to bookmark this page and refer to it going forward, whether you're buying a gift or just looking to treat yourself.

If you're curious about the issue, we encourage you to look into Aurora James, creator of The 15 Percent Pledge. The idea behind this pledge is that, since Black people make up about 15 percent of the American population, retailers like Sephora, Macy's, and other corporate giants should also be devoting at least 15 percent of their shelf inventories to Black-owned brands. Makes sense, right?


ASHYA

We love this up-and-coming brand owned by Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece, who promise to deliver well-made, utilitarian pieces like their sleek Leather Bolo Bag as well as their innovative take on the fanny pack, the Cedar Valley Multi Belt Bag.

Plus, Michael Kors just released their ASHYA x MICHAEL KORS Collection, so if you're a fan of Michael Kors' classic style and you want to support Black-owned businesses, this is a fabulous opportunity to take advantage of.

CISE

Everybody loves a statement bag, and CISE's "Protect Black People" and "Protect Black Women" collections make the best kind of statement there is. Other CISE collections incorporate swirls, creative strap placement, and their minimalist gold logo. 

BruceGlen

BruceGlen was founded by twin brothers who design the most vibrant, party-ready bags we've seen in quite some time. Our favorites include the Fuschia Sparkle Can Crossbody Bag and the Micro Leather Grenade Bag.

Sarep + Rose

Robin Sirleaf founded Sarep + Rose in honor of her Liberian roots. Everything in the line, from crossbody bags and fanny packs to footwear, is handcrafted in Liberia or Kenya. Sarep + Rose artisans combine traditional weaving and leather working techniques with contemporary minimalist design, making each bag a wholly original work of art.

AAKS

These bags' vibrant colors and meticulously woven designs make them perfect for a vacation getaway or simply for a low-maintenance trip to the market (think: Jane Birkin's signature basket purse, but far more fun and original). 

What's special about AAKS, which was founded by Ghanaian native Akosua Afriyie-Kumi in 2014, is that all the pieces are hand-woven by women (who are paid fair wages, by the way) in Ghana using locally, sustainably harvested materials. It takes around a week to make each bag, so you know you're buying a lasting, high-quality item when you purchase one. 

Eager to shop? Us, too! The great news is that in addition to buying directly from AAKS' site, you can also check these accessories out at Anthropologie and Bloomingdales

Telfar

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Say the name "Bushwick Birkin" around a group of fashion lovers, and they'll immediately know the brand. The now-iconic logo bags have been spotted on the arms of celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion, Vanessa Hudgens, Tinashe, Zoë Kravitz, Beyoncé, Gabrielle Union, and many, many more. 

Telfar's bags are constantly going out of stock (so act quick!). Dying for a bag now? Me, too. If you can't get your hands on one of their classic designs, shop around the site for its jewelry, apparel, or its collaborations with Converse and Moose Knuckles.

Joanna Vanderpuije

London-based designer Joanna Vanderpuije has a number of fashion credits under her belt, having worked for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, and Eley Kishimoto. She launched her eponymous label in late 2017, dropping a variety of playful, screen-printed apparel and accessories. Everything in her collection is either hand printed and/or painted, adhering to her ethos for slow, sustainable fashion.

VAVVOUNE

This brand offers sleek leather handbags that are designed in Brooklyn and constructed in the Garment District (talk about NYC local!). According to VAVVOUNE's site, its accessory designs are framed around "moods, moments of nostalgia, and functionality" (sing it with me: "These are a few of my favorite things"). VAVVOUNE is doing its part to help the earth, too, by donating workable scraps of leather to art programs across the country.

Petit Kouraj

You won't find fringe handbags like these anywhere else. Founder Jean-Baptiste created Petit Kouraj as a way to showcase "a love of knitwear, sculpture, and identity." Each bag is handmade using organic cotton and 100 percent leather handles.

Petit Kouraj also works with D.O.T Haiti, a women-lead organization that works closely with artisans to provide free education, vocational training, and accessible healthcare to low-income people in Haiti.

Peju Obasa

These handmade crochet bags are easily recognizable. The brainchildren of London-based knitwear designer Peju Obasa, they're made with 100 percent recycled jersey yarn and come in a multitude of colors. Obasa says she draws design inspo from her Nigerian roots, travels, and food, so check out her stunning creations for the best vicarious travel opportunity this side of the Atlantic.

Kintu New York

Since its 2015 inception, Kintu has gained renown for its durable, 100 percent vegan tanned leather goods. Made in Italy but designed in New York, these posh-looking bags will definitely give any outfit a polished, regal look.

Helejané

Helejané was launched in 2018 by Nigerian-born fashion designer Dolapo Deji-Torey with a focus on timeless designs and excellent craftsmanship. One of our favorite things about this brand, though, is the way it's organized: Its collections are distinguished by vibe, so you can shop "casual," "diva," "glam/party," "work," and so on. Finally, an online store that understands us.

Love, Cortnie Handbags

Fashion should be fun, and that's exactly what this brand's accessories are about. Founder Cortnie Elizabeth learned to sew from her grandmother, taking three hours to make her very first clutch. From there, the rest was history: In addition to clutches, she started creating, totes, waist bags, and more. At this point, she's made over 200 styles of handbags!

Now, Cortnie has her own website from which you can buy one (or several!) of her fun, inspired designs. Happy shopping!

EDAS

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If you're looking for innovative, sustainable handbags turn your attention to EDAS. We particularly love their Yshaia bag , which, like many of EDAS' designs, has an adjustable wide buckle detail on its handle. We also like the wide array of mini bags on their site.

CheyenneKimora

CheyenneKimora launched in 2015 and has become well-known for its durags and its mini crystal handbags, known "blunt bags." They come in many colors, though our favorite is this one). They're the perfect bag for those who prefer something on the smaller side, and they can take any daytime outfit into night. If you're wondering where, exactly, you should flaunt the bags, the product description cheekily reads: "dinner date, on your ig, and to casually stunt."

Yvonne Koné

Founded in 2011, Yvonne Koné produces bags that blend muted Danish minimalism and colorful African vitality. In addition to handbags, Koné offers matching wallets, bag charms, footwear, and leather insoles. Let this brand be your new one-stop-shop for accessories!

Brandon Blackwood

Jamaican-Chinese designer Brandon Blackwood launched his first four-piece collection of leather handbags back in spring 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. Since the launch, the brand has experimented with a variety of styles, from shearling to animal print to mesh. Relatively affordable, by luxury standards, these items sell out quick, so get yours ASAP!

Silver and Riley

Founder Lola Banjo's hectic travel schedule during her time as a strategy consultant inspired her to create functional, versatile leather accessories to suit a variety of needs, including travel, work, and pure fashion-statement. This unisex (!!) line ranges from carryalls to totes to top handles, like the Dubai Crossbody, shown above.

AmanyZ

Amany Zama's passion for woodworking stems from her grandfather work as a carpenter in Cameroon. Zama particularly recalls him using an ancient process of steam bending wood—the primary inspiration for AmanyZ's incomparable structured, geometric purse designs. 

Anima Iris

Anima Iris founder Wilglory Tanjong is such a cool person. After earning a degree in African Development from Princeton, the Cameroonian-American creative travelled through Africa, where she took drew inspiration from each country she visited. Transfixed by the innovative textiles she found there, she decided to celebrate her African heritage through design, coming out with the unique shapes, colors, and textures that Anima Iris is now known for. Her bags are also fair-trade (handcrafted in Senegal by artisans) and zero-waste. Win-win-win!

Voni

Voni was founded by Jevoni McAllister, a registered nurse, who noticed a lack of diversity in the marketing of luxury handbags and decided to take matters into her own hands. This Los Angeles-based brand ranges from shoulder bags to cross-body styles. And the best part? Nothing exceeds $150.

christian wijnants backstage paris fashion week womenswear spring summer 2020

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Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, where she covers celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducts original interviews with industry insiders.