11 Black Designers Who Influenced Fashion and Culture … Then and Now

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B. Michael America - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015

B. Michael

Michael’s keen combination of simplicity and glamour helped the launch of his couture line in 1999 to significant critical praise. This was a relief to the former Wall Street worker. Now, he’s a dominant force in the game, creating fashions for the likes of actress Halle Berry, tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and singer Beyoncé, among other celebrities whose fashion sense is highly respected.

russell-simmons

Russell Simmons

The rap mogul extended his brand into fashion in 1992 with Phat Farm, a line that was a symbol of the shift in urban fashion. Rappers went hard on Phat Farm; it was a sign of cool and success. Even more significant for the brand, Simmons executed a cross-culture plan that exponentially extended its reach and appeal.

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