Style

Support These Minority-Owned Style Brands This Holiday Season


OXDX

It’s easy to support big companies over the holiday season. Shopping trips through Amazon Prime’s sales sections, online department stores, and even classic trips to the mall tend to lean heavily towards the known commodities. That’s cool… for a benign gift given to a vague acquaintance. For something personal, you need to go the extra mile and the big hitters are too generic to help you with that. Even Supreme has sold out at this point.

This year, it’s time to dig deeper — by getting the style heads in your life a gift from minority-owned streetwear and fashion brands. The below labels are wholly unique. They mash up modern aesthetics with a real sense of political awareness via fashion and art. More than that, buying a gift from one of these minority-owned shops is a statement that you’re plugged into the arts, politics, and fashion of marginalized people. Better still, it shows you’re willing to support them with your dollars. That’s how you give a special gift.

The NTVS Clothing

The NTVS Clothing is one of the freshest Indigenous clothing lines today. The label utilizes the work of artist Steven Paul Judd and brings his art to life via dope shirts, killer swag, and full-on pieces of art.

There’s a deep love of American pop culture in the line that’s balanced with political wokeness. Buy this stuff. Seriously, it’s some of the coolest gear you can wear from the Native community. -ZJ

The Hundreds

The Hundreds is in its 15th years of dopeness — after two law school students who just so happened to be hypebeasts took a chance and created a t-shirt line. Inspired by streetwear brands like Supreme, Stussy, and Alife, owners Bobby Kim and Ben Shenassafar put an LA twist on the popularity of New York’s streetwear scene to create not only a clothing line but an online community (via Kim’s blog) of people who want more from the brands they rock than a cool graphic tee or a hoodie decked out with illegible graffiti.

Both of the owners are also very transparent about their lives and political views, namely, being very vocal about buying from ALL minority-owned suppliers. The Hundreds defines “doing it for the culture.” -HC

FourTwoFour on Fairfax

Guatemala-born designer Guillermo Andrade’s store, FourTwoFour on Fairfax, has become a Los Angeles powerhouse of street style since it opened in 2010. A mixture of his own designs and curated pieces from other young, rising-star designers, his collection is filled with bold colors and statements of political resistance.

Once an undocumented immigrant, Andrade is the true definition of the American Dream realized — entering into American culture and embracing it while, as an innovator, also shifting it and reinventing it, working to make it better for everyone with wildly successful results. -AS

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Online this week ARMES424

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B.Yellowtail

B.Yellowtail is re-imaging American style and fashion through an Indigenous lens. The label is a collective of Indigenous American artists and designers who’ve come together to create a style ethos that supports and highlights Natives across America.

There’s a sense of history and culture deep in the tissue of B.Yellowtail’s designs. Ledge art dresses cut deep into the reservation existence, alongside pan-American designs that highlight cultures across the continent. The clothes and accessories are some of the most unique American styles you can find today. -ZJ

Ray Darten

I’m not usually into African prints. It just seems to not make sense to me, because I have no idea which tribe or culture I’m wearing, so I just end up feeling weird. Ray Darten changed my mind. The brand’s owner, Yetunde Olukoya, is a doctor-turned-designer. She’s also a woman, unlike the label’s name might suggest (it’s a fusion of her children’s Yoruba names).

All of the pieces are richly colored and each is meant to tell a story about Nigerian culture as well as give back to their home country, as all fabrics are sourced from Nigeria and all of their clothes are handmade there. -HC

Rabble and Rouse

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United, we stand. #giveallthedamns #rabbleandrouse

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Designer, Vanessa Toro’s brand motto is, “Give All The Damns” and her clothing is the literal manifestation of that mantra. These are protest tees but they’re cool, made with soft, well-shaped material, and kick-ass messaging and slogans. Her brand is all about positivity, showing up, doing better, and recognizing that we’re all part of the problem. But we can also be part of the solution.

If you need any more convincing (their dope designs should do that), 20 percent of the profits from her small Atlanta-based store go to nonprofits that do things like defend reproductive rights, help refugees, and support minorities. A Rabble and Rouse shirt is a Christmas gift you can feel great about giving in literally every way. -AS

OXDX Clothing

OXDX is Indigenous street style brand with a good dollop of political activism thrown in. Dine artist Jared Yazzie has been working hard to create a fashion line that has meaning for both the Indigenous community and America as a whole.

The label’s “Native Americans Discovered Columbus” t-shirt was an instant classic. The shingle is more than just a t-shirt, though. There’s a real sense of Indigenous identity at play here from rad wool blankets to artfully created workout gear. -ZJ

Brain Dead

Kyle Ng’s Brain Dead is like an artist’s psychedelic fever dream come to life. It’s vibrant skate culture streetwear that pushes style boundaries to create its totally unique vibe. Brain Dead is borrowing from the street style super brands that came before it while also making new, fresh looks that propel the style forward, and that has us totally loving it. -AS

Kosmios

If your motto is “modest is hottest,” Kosmios is right up your alley. All of the clothes have a grown and sexy vibe to them – a fully-covered fashionista’s dream. The brand’s name (pronounced caus-mi-ahs) is the Greek word for “modest,” as the owners – who formerly worked in a club – found faith in God and decided to dump most of their Miami-based store’s inventory and find a new vibe in Houston that better represented their new beliefs and convictions. We ain’t mad at ’em.

Their clothes are killer and reasonably priced, with entire outfits only costing around 40 bucks. -HC

C. Holy Bear

C. Holy Bear is taking beadwork to the next level. Her line of amped-up Vans are some of the dopest shoes you’ll ever own. Holy Bear’s work goes beyond just making Vans even better. Her line of beaded accessories, hats, and bags are masterpieces in the technicolor medium of the bead.

This swag pops. Hard. -ZJ

Mija Cultura

What I’ve learned from my Latinx friends, family, and coworkers is that there are Latinx specific jokes and phrases that I will literally never understand. That’s fine, though. Mostly because the jokes are made in a language that is not native to me, and because, well, FUBU.

Mija Cultura is a unisex clothing brand that is full of those culture-specific vibes (some of which anyone would understand) and features a swagger that only Southeast Texas could pull off. There’s not much in the inventory now (mostly because the dopest items sell out fast), but we’re excited to see this brand grow one time for la raza. -HC

Nubian Skin

HEAR ME WORLD: The word “nude” as it pertains to colors should NOT exclusively refer to something with a pink tone! Nubian Skin founder, Ade Hassan, understood that and decided to make the change in the lingerie world that women of color needed. Ranging in colors from “cafe au lait” to “berry” (probably because the blacker the ______, the sweeter the juice), the website provides a color chart that includes makeup shades women with those colors of skin might wear to make sure they get a perfect match before purchasing. Genius.

The brand offers hosiery, lingerie, and shoes in nude colors — whichever color nude a woman may be — all at the same high quality as other, more generic brands. The brand name “Nubian Skin” may reference Nubia, but women of all ethnicities are encouraged to buy from the UK-based brand (with affiliate retailers in the US), no matter their level of melanin. -HC

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