The Best Quotes From Black Fashion Designers

High school yearbooks, graduation speeches, panel talks, Instagram caption; the list can go on and on for occasions where a good quote can come in handy. In the world of fashion, key industry insiders from the late Karl Lagerfeld to the alive and still reigning supreme as top runway diva Naomi Campbell have left us with quotable gems that will live on forever. To add to the many fashion quotes found online we’ve started a list of quotes from Black Fashion Designers. Check out the first 12 below and stay tuned as we update this space.


GRACE WALES BONER, Wales Bonner

“There are no rules about how you represent yourself. My work is more an attempt to show a spectrum of myself rather than a certain way of behaving or looking.”

Source: numero.com

TELFAR CLEMENS, Telfar

“I mean however someone perceives me is how they perceive me. I can’t be like, ‘Oh, I’m not.’”

Source: wwd.com

STELLA JEAN, Stella Jean

"Fashion can be used as a cultural translator and a tool against colonisation; it re-establishes the balance between symbols, stories and different worlds through style."

Source: vogue.co.uk

KERBY JEAN-RAYMOND, Pyer Moss

“Every time American designers are brought up, they say the same four or five names: Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein. They always omit Cross Colours and FUBU, as if these brands weren’t grossing a quarter-billion to over a billion dollars a year. They were never given credit for being as influential as they are.”

Source: nytimes.com

MARTINE ROSE, Martine Rose

“You don’t want to have success to quickly because that’s a double-edged sword. Stick to it and know that in the beginning it is going to be tough, but you’ll be able to push through.”

Source: hypebae.com

VIRGIL ABLOH, off-white

“I take pride in the fact that there’s a kid who’s living in, you know, Alabama, who never thought something like this was possible for him, almost to the point that he made life and career decisions to find some other thing he was passionate about. But all of a sudden, because I’m here, he knows [he can do it too].”

Source: gq-magazine.co.uk

TRACY REESE, Tracy Reese

"I think as a woman of color and person of color, I have never sought out discrimination. If I want to do something, I'm going to figure out how to do it, and if you don't like how I look then that can't be my problem."

Source: fashionista.com

KENNETH IZE, Kenneth Ize

“…I’m not just interested in making something pretty, it has to be personal too.”

Source: anothermanmag.com

CARLY CUSHNIE, Cushnie

“I’d rather be in control, and know what’s going on in every different aspect of the business.”

Source: Elle.com

CHRISTOPHER BEVANS, Dyne

“Fashion has always been that vessel to express myself, be me and be fresh, and learn a craft that I could truly depend on if I could never find a real job. That carried me to where I am now.”

Source: thesource.com

ABRIMA ERWIAH, Studio 189

"What you wear matters? It affects other people; it affects what you put on your heart".”

Source: okayafrica.com

CHARLEY CASELY-HAYFORD, Casely Hayford

“I’m still a believer in learning and understanding what has gone before you, even if only to subvert it down the line or to understand how you don’t want to do things. Working for an established brand will always be an education for a young designer in one form or another, and sometimes it can give you a grounding that allows you to move a lot quicker within the transience of fashion.”

Source: thegentlemansjournal.com


RECHO OMONDI, Omondi

“There was no lane for me. There are no overnight successes if you don't start with at least $60,000. That’s what people don’t realize. To create a product in the world costs money, and the fact that I was able to garner enough money and investments to start this already makes me an anomaly.”

Source: refinery29.com

OZWALD BOATENG, Ozwald Boateng

The most important thing you have is your image. As a creator, you have to find your voice, communicate it and then have ownership of that.”

Source: drapersonline.com