Yesterday we covered wine and spirits companies owned by black people, so today we'd be remiss if we didn't let you know about some amazing black shoe designers. Whether your style is conventional or daring and your shoe budget is conservative or considerable, there's a designer who's in step with your preference. This is by no means a comprehensive list. However, these are a few of our favorites.
Popular among celebrities from Kelly Clarkson (which we covered here) to Gabrielle Union, London-based Marion Ayonote creates shoes and bags with timeless, independent women in mind. Her shoes are available at shops around the globe, and shoe prices tend to range from a little over $100 for flats to about $820 for booties. The above pictured "Conqueror" has been spotted on screens and red carpets quite a bit and can be purchased via the company's website. (Oh, and Issa Rae was recently spotted carrying one of her bags.)
We paired Becki Coakley's "Tanaia" sandals with a cocktail featuring her One80 Vodka (mentioned in yesterday's list) last spring, and we've been keeping an eye on her shoes since then. Her designs blend classic styling, high-quality leather and modern accents for a timeless look that exudes feminine confidence and uniqueness. Prices range from $407 to $574 and can be purchased here.
Feminine, flamboyant and fun, Heather Hightower Miami's shoes are made for the girl who makes an entrance. The brand's owner and designer, Heather, creates her collections with an eye on the trends and her mind on keeping things affordable for her customers. The above pictured "RiRi" sandal retails for $130, and prices top out under $200. Shop here.
Oklahoma native, Tiannia Barnes actually started her career in IT/ project management. However, having long loved fashion and sketching, she eventually left that industry in pursuit of a career in shoe design. In 2013 she attended shoemaking school in Cleveland, Ohio, where she studied footwear design and pattern development. Not long after, her namesake brand was born. Tiannia still encourages young girls' interest in math and science through her mentoring of S.T.E.M. programs. Tiannia Barnes prices range from $350 for flats to $595 for the above pictured "Jackie" fringe sandal (available here).
Professional dancer and shoe designer, Aminah Abdul-Jillil is a favorite among boldfaced names. She's not only toured the world with Janet Jackson and Britney Spears as a backup dancer, but also seen her footwear on the likes of Rihanna and Miss Universe. Her bow pump rose to street style fame (and unfortunately became fodder for the knock-off set). Abdul-Jillil's shoes range in price from $165 for flats (and $185 for the above "Love" sandal) to $385 for crystal-embellished pumps. Shop here.
So, did we miss your favorite designer? Is there someone we need to add to our list? Please feel free to let us know!
*All images courtesy images unless otherwise noted.