Fashion Month is in full swing! New York Fashion Week kicked it off and right after, models, editors, designers, and fashion enthusiasts headed over the pond to continue the events. Shining a light on Black designers is our specialty, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the Black designers at NYFW. Now, we’re tracking the shows in London to keep you up to date on the Black designers that presented.
Organized by the British Fashion Council, this season LFW ran from February 18 to February 22. The schedule was filled with physical runway shows, showrooms, cocktail events, digital presentations and more. From tailoring and outerwear, to streetwear and elevated basics, to innovative silhouettes and shapes, these Black designers have their fingers on the pulse – get to know a little about them and see their latest collections ahead.
Ahluwalia was launched in 2018 by Priya Ahluwalia. The label combines elements from the designer’s dual Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots, and often experiments with sustainability through applying various techniques to vintage and surplus clothing.
Ahluwalia has been recognized by many distinguished, industry platforms as a leader of change for her efforts in diversity and sustainability. The brand’s latest collection, “From Bollywood to Nollywood”, explores Ahluwalia’s cross-continental heritage and the films that informed her youth.
Maximilian, founded by Maximilian Davis, presented at London Fashion Week for the second time in the Fashion East runway show. Last collection, Davis designed with a vibrant color palette to represent his Carribean background, along with constructing new iterations with his signature Harlequin print.
This season, he leaned to pastels and darker tones for his new collection, “Drayton”. The inspiration was drawn from Davis’ childhood and his experience with uniforms and religion while attending Catholic school.
Labrum London, founded by Foday Dumbuya in 2014, is a contemporary menswear brand that is inspired by West African and British culture. “Labrum” is the latin term for “having an edge”, which describes the brand’s designs precisely. Dumbuya uses an utilitarian approach for his garments and utilizes British tailoring with a touch of West African aesthetics to create innovative collections.
“Poetics of Movement”, Labrum London’s AW22 collection, is an ode to movement. Dumbuya returned home to Sierra Leone and the city of Freetown to work with local craftspeople to develop fabrics by artisans in brilliant oranges, ocean greens and vibrant yellows. Nomoli figures from the Mende and Kissi tribes of Sierra Leone are featured on some of the dresses and denim jackets in the collection. Dumbuya also explores real examples of movement through the cities and people of the Diaspora to represent movement in life and movement as life.
Nicholas Daley, a Central Saint Martins alum, launched his eponymous label in 2015. Since then, Daley has been recognized and received awards for his menswear designs from LVMH, GQ, and the British Fashion Council. Being of Jamaican and Scottish descent, Daley often includes details that reflect his heritage. He cherishes craftsmanship and works with local artisans in the UK and Japan to create innovative textiles and fabric finishes for every collection.
This season, Daley presented his AW22 collection, “Dark Haze”. As a continuation of the designer’s previous collection, he explored the energy, aesthetic and attitude of Black rock, punk and funk. Throughout the collection, you’ll find exciting menswear that doesn’t shy away from prints or patterns, along with wardrobe fit for the stage.
Feben Vemmenby, who is a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins and also the founder of Feben, checked off her second presentation on the official LFW schedule. Vemmenby celebrates and champions the power of femininity under her eponymous label. She was also one of the talented designers that worked on Beyonce’s visual album, Black is King.
Due to her multicultural background, Vemmenby draws inspiration from her upbringing and offers a fresh perspective on fashion. The brand’s collections and campaigns are usually vibrant and moody, and it’s safe to say that theme continued with its latest collection, “SKY”, but in a more subtle way this time around. Satin tailoring, exquisite draping and unique floral prints can be found within the collection amongst more.