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The Rise of The Telfar Bags and The Black Designers to Look Out For

When did you get your first taste of Telfar? Whether you saw the must-have handbags adorning the silhouettes of Beyonce and Tinashe or you’ve seen it on IG, this bold Black-owned brand is having a moment. But they’re not the only ones - Black excellence has officially hit the luxury handbag world in a big way and we’re so here for it.

Telfar
Chances are by now you’ve seen those iconic photos of Queen Bey with her ‘Bushwick Birkin’ (as coined by New York Magazine) but are you familiar with the brand behind the bag?

Hailing from Queens, New York, Telfar Clemens launched his visionary brand in 2005. His goal? To be “Michael Kors, but on purpose.” (via Dazed) 100% unisex before 100% unisex was a thing, Clemens’ brand was a hit among New York City creatives and fashionistas alike. The Telfar bag made its debut at the Telfar Autumn/Winter show in 2014. Add a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Award and a rework that would become the Telfar “Shopping Bag” and the rest is history.

Petit Kouraj
Haitian Creole for “little courage”, Petit Kouraj is the brainchild of Nasrin Jean-Baptiste. Born in London, Jean-Baptiste worked as an international fashion stylist before heeding an innate calling to create something meaningful. This calling led her to her ancestral home of Haiti in 2018 and it was after this pilgrimage that Petit Kouraj was launched. Based in Brooklyn and handmade in Haiti, Petit Kouraj offers vibrant knitwear pieces heavy on fringe, color, and pattern with a stand-alone style that adds flavor to any ensemble.

Brother Vellies
Honoring and sustaining African culture is what Brother Vellies is all about. Created with the mission of creating jobs for South African, Kenyan, and Namibian women, Brother Vellies is as fashionable as it is responsible. Another Beyonce-approved brand, Brother Vellies began being mostly known for their shoes but the transition into the world of bags was natural. From their meant-to-last-a-lifestyle billfold bags in crocodile and calfskin to their just-dropped cosmetic bags made in partnership with Sephora, Brother Vellies bags are the moment and beyond.

ROOP
Love handmade and vintage but also love all things luxe? You’re not alone. Natasha “Roop” Fernandes Anjo created ROOP to channel her love for old-school and handmade goods into a brand that utilizes quality and luxury. Each ROOP piece is meticulously handmade by Anjo with genuine vintage, remnant, and deadstock fabrics, meaning that ROOP’s wares aren’t just sustainable fashion at its finest, they’re investments in one-of-a-kind couture that no one else will have - making your pieces truly you.

Joanna Vanderpuije
She may be a relatively new name, but Joanna Vanderpuije is no stranger to the fashion world, having worked for designers like Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, and Eley Kishimoto. Her label launched in late 2017 and is true to the dreamy, often sparkly, and color-fueled brand, has spontaneous drops throughout the seasons, working entirely outside of the fashion calendar. Playful prints and innovative shapes are the name of the game, and each bag has its own visual story.

AmanyZ
Devoted to “creating something beautiful, eco-friendly and minimal”, Amany Zama grew up admiring and learning woodworking alongside her grandfather in Cameroon.

In love with the history and process of the art, combined with her passion for creating and love of design led her to create AmanyZ, a line of stellar and structured handbags handcrafted using the ancient art of steam-bending.

At once posh, classic, and distinctive, AmanyZ bags are in a league of their own. What bags are catching your eye this season?
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