Telfar, Brandon Blackwood and 25 Black-Owned Handbag Brands We Can’t Get Enough Of
No matter the occasion or season, there’s always more room for another handbag in your collection. From designer totes to trendy baguettes to the smallest purses we’ve ever seen, the possibilities are endless. So, it’s no surprise a few brand names have been floating around this year that are on the top of our wishlist. From Telfar to Brandon Blackwood, Black-owned businesses are dominating the handbag space, which is why we gathered 25 of our favorite Black-owned handbags brands to check out asap.
This brand’s name was inspired by a mythical creature found in a book called Book of Imaginary Beings. Designer Gina Love saw the peryton as captivating, functional and unique, three characteristics that have come to define this leather goods company. It develops minimal yet striking pieces while sourcing from exotic skins around the world. But one thing the brand doesn’t rely on is trends or seasons to inspire their style. The site states, “We are not a fashion brand. We do not create on the basis of trends or seasonal obsolescence. We make leather goods for people who crave special pieces with amaranthine qualities.”
In 2010, this Black-owned business meshed fashion and social justice together. Their first collection displayed important messages of protecting and fighting for the Black community. Eleven years later, the Los Angeles-based company continues to be vocal and lend their support to important causes. A popular pick is the “Protect Black People” handbags that are both chic and impactful. Plus, a portion of the brand's proceeds go toward the Anti-Racism Fund and supporting other Black creatives.
3. Ree Projects
Founder and designer Desiree Kleinen launched Ree Projects to inspire and empower all women. The brand’s mission statement reads, “I want to create pieces that resonate with who I am and the world around me in a genuine way. I love to empower and inspire all the women around the globe to be herself and emphasize her strength, her pure beauty and personality.” The luxury brand provides the finest Italian leather while sourcing locally to keep up with their sustainability promise.
4. Petit Kouraj
Petit Kouraj, which means “Little Courage” in Haitain Creole, was founded by stylist Nasrin Jean-Baptiste, whose extensive background in the fashion industry motivated her to start her own luxury bag line. Each item is inspired heavily by her Haitian heritage, plus, the bags are made in conjunction with D.O.T Haiti, a women-led organization that works closely with artisans to provide opportunities, education and training.
5. Anima Iris
Anima Iris’s core mission is to redefine luxury by putting African cultures at the forefront of the conversation. Focusing on fashion, sustainability and social responsibility, founder Wilgory Tanjong launched her bag line to bring together the continent’s rich history and traditions. The brand’s name, inspired by Tanjong’s mother and closest childhood friend, honors family and heritage—especially her Cameroonian roots.
If you want your bag to make a big statement, look no further than BruceGlen. Twin designers Bruce and Glen Proctor went from interning for Beyoncé’s fashion brand (yes, Queen Bey herself) to working with other brands (like Nicki Minaj, Diddy and Tommy Hilfiger) until they finally launched their own company in 2019. Since then, they continue to produce striking mini bags worn by celebs like Maluma, Keke Palmer and Jackie Aina.
7. Brandon Blackwood
At only 29-years-old, designer Brandon Blackwood has created a multi-million-dollar brand in under six years. The handbag that brought him on the map raised awareness at a pivotal time. Back in 2020, Blackwood launched the “End Systematic Racism” tote bag that not only gave a portion of proceeds to Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (a pro bono legal assistance program) but sold out within hours. Since, celebs like Kim Kardashian, Doja Cat and Jessica Alba have promoted his brand. While the bag that started it all has been discontinued, there are still more handbags that have become just as popular as the original.
8. Mateo New York
While Mateo New York is predominantly known for jewelry, their handbags hold a special place in customer’s carts too. In 2009, Matthew Harris launched the brand with men’s jewelry, but decided to rebrand five years later with women’s jewelry, accessories (aka bags) and candles. From bucket bags to leather crossbodies, each piece is minimalistic yet stylish.
10. Agnes Baddoo
In creating her brand, founder and designer Agnes Baddoo was set on creating bags that were fashionable yet functional. Her goal was to create an everyday tote that can last for a long time. Inspired by a bag that once belonged to her mother, she wanted to create pieces inspired by the hustle and bustle of cities like New York and Los Angeles. It’s the reason why the most popular pick—Sac 1—has been such a big hit.
In 2017, co-founders Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece launched Ashya. The unisex accessories brand strives to “exist as a vehicle to diversify cultural perspectives through broadly researching narratives and design.” How? By developing multifunctional pieces for the modern traveler. The New York-based company sells crossbody bags, belt bags and passport holders to prepare you for your next destination.
12. Cheyenne Kimora
If you’re in the market for a mini bag, check out Cheyenne Kimora. The crystal-covered bags are a nod to both Baroque art and hip-hop. Describing the aesthetic, Kimora told Hypebae, “I find tones of nostalgia, which relies heavily on just being Black and my Black experiences. So I would say my pieces are definitely extravagant, luxurious and inspiring.”
Designer Sade Mims launched Edas as a sustainable accessories line for the everyday woman. From micro bags to jewelry, each piece is uniquely tailored and crafted to elevate any look. “I definitely feel like I always find that I'm looking at old styles and old silhouettes to bring new life to them,” Mims told Harper’s Bazaar. “In my mind, I design for someone who appreciates nostalgia. I design for those types of people who can identify, ‘Oh, this reminds me of the '60s. This pop of color that you added here reminds me of that era.’”
14. Homage Year
Few contemporary brands have bags in such distinct shapes as Homage Year. These pieces feature striking bright colors, vegan leather and a curved shape that you can’t find anywhere else. But for founder Antonie Manning, the bags are so much more than an accessory. On the site, Manning writes, “Every piece, accessory, and object we create is charged with sociopolitical intention. Each creation is an activation, an HOMAGE to our people, our culture, to our environment, and acknowledging where we stand in the midst of all of that.”
15. Kintu New York
Kintu New York is a melting pot of cultures funneled into chic, leather bags. The New York-based company relies on ideas, craftsmanship and resources from all around the world. From the Italian leather to the global artisans from India and Kenya, the bags represent international influences and styles. Some of the biggest sellers are crossbody bags that feature pastel and floral prints great for warm weather.
16. Love, Cortnie
When Cortnie Hutchinson asked her grandmother to teach her how to sew, she never knew one clutch could flourish into the accessories brand we know today. In 2011, she opened a shop on Etsy with only three bags. Now, her brand produces more than 200 styles, which she sells on her own site. “I wanted to create something that everyone could enjoy but couldn't necessarily be found just anywhere,” she says. “With every piece handmade by me, I believe I have achieved that.”
18. Peju Obasa
London designer Peju Obasa is all about color and texture. Hence why you see a mix of bold and neutral tones with a distinct knitting technique on all the belt bags. The brand represents both Obasa’s Nigerian roots and the cultures she’s encountered through her travels. Plus, sustainability is a huge part of the whole process, with all bags being crafted from eco-friendly materials like 100 percent biodegradable raffia.
Shekudo started out as a women’s clothing brand and soon expanded to bags, jewelry and shoes. At the core of the brand is Akudo Iheakanwa’s heritage, life experiences and her love for wearable art. So, it only makes sense that every collection relies on traditional and contemporary techniques as well as locally sourced raw materials.
Honestly, we couldn’t make this roundup without mentioning Telfar. Though the brand is 16 years old, it exploded a few years ago with its signature logo bags (also known as the “Bushwick Birkin”). These bags sell out in literally seconds, and the limited drops make it all the more exciting to grab one (or two) whenever you can. Nowadays, the brand—which was founded by Telfar Clemens—is collaborating with other major brands like UGG and Moose Knuckles, so make sure you’re signed up for Telfar’s newsletter to be notified about new items.
For founder Valerie Blaise, fashion and style have always been important parts of her life, but it wasn’t until she brought her very first vintage bag that she wanted to start designing and creating pieces for herself. By 19, she was teaching herself to sew through YouTube and courses at FIT and in 2015, she introduced Vavvoune to the world. When asked about her brand, she told Yahoo, “I see Vavvoune being like, out there. Like in artful spaces and spaces that tell stories. The way that I design is always going to be exciting. And it’s always going to be spontaneous and it’s always going to be experiential. Without curiosity, Vavounne wouldn’t be in existence.”
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi had one goal in mind when creating Aaks: to introduce world to the weaving techniques of women in Ghana. According to the brand, the design philosophy touches on telling “a different story through detail, colour and shape.” It’s why the mix of raffia and leather blends modern and traditional methods together for a signature bag to wear anywhere.
24. Want Les Essentials
This Montreal-based label wants to simplify and elevate your everyday. The bags are minimal, functional and gender neutral. While they’re design is mainly for traveling, you can (and should) wear them for just about any occasion. Like the brand’s motto states, “This is our pursuit to WANT less, WANT better.”
Creative director Zainab Ashadu combined her background in architecture, acting, fashion styling and art curatorship to launch Zashadu. While her love of bags started at a young age, it wasn’t until 2010 that the brand was born. The sustainable luxury brand prides itself on locally sourced materials, Nigerian artisans and a dash of glamour.