Should Black celebs shout out more Black-owned brands instead of ‘mainstream’ labels?

Claire Sulmers, CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily, talks with theGrio's Natasha S. Alford about what it takes to support Black fashion designers and brands in an industry that often struggles with diversity.

Chances are you have heard the names of high-fashion labels in a rap song before you ever went out and purchased a piece of their clothing: Versace. Gucci. Louis Vuitton. Balmain. These are all brands that get love from Black hip-hop artists in popular music, and even Black celebrities on the red carpet.

But what would happen if Black celebrities and influencers with major platforms showed just as much love and brand loyalty to Black fashion designers and Black-owned brands?

Telfar Clemons is a rising star in the fashion industry. Black celebrities like Beyoncé have been seen wearing his bags.
Fashion designer Telfar Clemens poses backstage at the Telfar fashion show during Fall 2016 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on Feb. 16, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)

When Beyoncé wore a Telfar bag and Issa Rae included a cameo by Black designer Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss in season 3 of “Insecure,” everyone took notice. Could there be even more influence to tap into that will only help brands have more longevity?

On the latest episode of theGrio Weekly, we spoke with celebrated author, fashionista and CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily, Claire Sulmers, about supporting Black-owned fashion designers and brands for the long haul.

Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily talks about Black owned fashion brands and Black designers.
Claire Sulmers breaks down why Black fashion designers and brands are having more than a moment, and deserve widespread support.

“It’s important for our leaders and our true influencers in our culture to really get behind this,” Sulmers tells theGrio. “If Black celebrities, or celebrities in general, made it so that every single time they stepped outside of the red carpet they have an opportunity to support these designers, I think that that can keep it going.”

Sulmers personally knows the hustle it takes to navigate the fashion industry, having created Fashion Bomb Daily as an independent brand 17 years ago after graduating from Harvard University. She advises Black creatives with innovative ideas to be “persistent and consistent.”

“I did start out as an outsider,” Sulmers tells theGrio. “I actually did start out as a journalist wanting to work specifically in fashion and just kept hearing ‘no’ from traditional media. So I decided to start a blog.”

Claire Sulmers CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily says it's important to support Black designers and Black owned brands.
Claire Sulmers attends as Christian Siriano celebrates the opening of THE COLLECTIVE WEST on July 12, 2022, in Westport, Connecticut. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Christian Siriano)

“I used the resources that were available to me… Now it’s going on 17 years now. With determination and adherence to whatever mission you have in mind, continuing to evolve and diversify your offerings, I think that anything is possible.”

Watch the full segment with Claire Sulmers above, and tune into TheGrio Weekly each Friday at 6 a.m., 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on theGrio’s mobile streaming channel.