Forbes includes Jamaican-American, Brandon Blackwood, designer handbags on list of Top 8 Black-Owned Brands
The Forbes magazine article on fashion accessories, which it describes as an easy way for fashionistas to add their own personal touches to their everyday style, cites the handbag as one of the more practical ways to accessorize and has compiled a list of the best handbag options available. black-owned brands.
Among the eight brands presented is that of the American-Jamaican designer Brandon Blackwood. Forbes featured Blackwood’s mini leather shoulder bag, featuring an adjustable shoulder strap, as representative of her work. The bag is available in several variants, including one in pink shearling; the brand offers more than 300 models in all shapes and colors for all imaginable occasions.
Blackwood, 29, has successfully grown her brand into a multi-million dollar entity in less than six years. He came to public attention in 2020, when he launched his “End Systematic Racism” tote, donating a percentage of the proceeds of his sales to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, a pro bono legal aid program. The tote sold out within hours, and having celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Doja Cat and Jessica Alba promoting his brand brought him instant fame, and predictions said he would make 30 million dollars in revenue in 2021.
Blackwood was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. His parents thought he was studying for a degree in neuroscience at Bard College, but he secretly pursued a career in fashion. He interned at Bergdorf Goodman and Elle Magazine, working the whole time with a manufacturer to create custom handbags for himself. When the title of her thesis was announced on graduation day, her parents were expecting a neuroscience topic, but heard the actual title of the thesis, which was “Diane von Furstenberg: Feel Like a woman, wear a dress”.
He moved back to Brooklyn after college in 2013, working as a buyer at a consignment store. Then people started complimenting the backpack he had designed for himself and asking where they could buy one. That was it, and Blackwood set out to create a brand that people would be proud to wear. He trademarked his name and saved $7,000 to officially launch his brand in 2015. Initially, he gave away four handbags named after his brother and a few close friends; he couldn’t get his products into stores because no one knew who he was and no one was looking for black-owned brands at the time, he said. That all changed when he turned to Instagram to connect with customers, and his designs achieved cult status.
In 2020, his brand really took off when he released the ESR (end systemic racism) tote with an initial collection of 500 bags in 37 colors and made of various materials. When they sold out in two hours, Blackwood knew it was “more powerful and necessary” than even he expected. He now sells his handbags in prestigious stores at prices ranging from $70 to $8,500.
Photos – Brandon Blackwood GI