Monday, April 15, 2024

25 Black-Owned Handbag Brands to Carry You Into 2023

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From the new handbags that hit the runways to the beautiful vintage, used designer bags passed down from your grandmother’s closet, we’re always looking to elevate how we accessorize. How you choose to carry your everyday essentials can make or break your outfit. If you’re looking for a new purse to add to your rotation this season, consider Black-owned designer bags as your must-have item.

New handbag styles and patterns from need-to-know Black designer bag brands are as diverse as the world we live in and reflect the values we share when we come together. Celebrate the holidays with fan favorites from Ciriaco and Anima Iris to bring inclusivity and diversity conversations into the new year with a new, ultra-chic flair (because supporting each other is always in style).

Many of your favorite retailers have joined the 15 Percent Pledge to reserve store space for Black brands, including Black-owned shoe brands and jewelry designers. Be sure to follow suit and make shelf space in your closet for the hottest handbags from Black designers. Below, check out our top selections here to add to your holiday wish list.

The Lagos-based accessories are made using sustainable leathers and farmed exotics with traditional techniques by local artisans.

Price: $$ – $$$$

What people are saying: “The quality of the craftsmanship was good when I started and has only gotten better with a remarkable attention to detail in the cut, stitching, and general finish of each product.”

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Designer Ashley Ciriaco focuses on timeless pieces that don’t adhere to trends. The asymmetrical designs are made of cruelty-free vegan leather with designs suitable for everyone.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: The bags just look so pretty, and the shades are giving!”

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Homage produces designs “charged with sociopolitical intention.” Each bag has its own poem written by creator Antoine Manning himself.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “I LOVE IT. It’s really sturdy and a great size. I can fit all of my essentials, and it matches everything.”

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For all of your practical, minimalist needs, look no further than Want Les Essentials. Since 2007, the Montreal-based brand has been committed to creating timeless (and genderless) backpacks, travel bags, wallets, and everything in between.

Price: $$ – $$$$

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With a contrast of hard lines and soft materials, the undulating silhouettes of these handmade bags make them works of art. Invest in one and be prepared to not only own it for life but also to be reeling in a lifetime of compliments.

Price: $$$$

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With everything made to order, the sustainable manufacturing system seeks to not only minimize waste with digital printing but to make items with biodegradable materials in factories that pay a living wage.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

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Founder Lola Banjo created styles that match her lifestyle, so her luxe travel and fashion bags are intended to be worn daily and last a lifetime.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

What people are saying: “I simply love this bag! From its details to its design, it is amazing! The quality of the leather is beautiful, and the inside is quite spacious. This bag has become my favorite executive bag.”

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You might know Brother Vellies for its beautiful shoes, but the brand’s unique and stylish handbags are not to be missed. These luxury handbags are an industry favorite, crafted with the goal of continuing African design practices. Backed by Aurora James, the designer is notable for creating economic equity for Black brands with 15 Percent Pledge, an organization that pushes retailers to reserve 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

What people are saying: “They have absolutely stunning designs! Their bags are on the pricier side, but they’re luxurious.”

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Look to Brandon Blackwood if you want tight, clean, and boxy silhouettes like our favorite style, the Arlen top handle. His bags continue to excite with each design being better than the last.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “I love this bag! This bag is so beautiful and very premium! Definitely a great price point!”

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We’ve sung the praises of Matthew Harris’ jewelry line Mateo before, but his expansion into handbags is not to be missed. His bags follow the same minimalist through-line of his architecturally-inspired jewelry in the form of embossed croc totes and ladylike box bags.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “This bag is absolutely lovely, and despite the size, it is fairly easy to style.”

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Handcrafted in Dakar, Senegal by seasoned craftsmen, this handbag line is the brainchild of designer Wilglory. Expect the unexpected with hexagon shapes, limited-edition metallic leathers, and more. If that‘s not enough, you can even customize a bag to suit your tastes.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

What people are saying: “They’re a work of art. The bags are so stunning, and I literally get stopped on the streets about my bag.”

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Luxe doesn’t even begin to describe Yvonne Koné’s aesthetic. Her supple leather goods are made in Italy, inspired by Danish minimalism, and infused with colors sourced from her Ivory Coast lineage. Bonus point: Her Instagram also doubles as a serious source for interior design inspiration.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

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Launched in 2014 by Ghana native Akosua Afriyie-Kumi’s, AAKS is a true labor of love that offers marvelously crafted basket bags (and home goods!). These woven beauties can be found in sixty stores worldwide, preserving traditional techniques while creating jobs in Africa.

Price: $ – $$

What people are saying: “They are art. Beautiful motherland drip.”

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Pronounced “agh-shya”, ASHYA was established in 2017 by co-founders Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece. Their collection of unisex travel accessories exudes the brand’s motto: “Ode To Exploration.” Ultimately, ASHYA wants you to be your best self navigating this world in chic leather waist bags and accessories.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

What are people saying: “These are my dream bags! Love their brand.”

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Cheyenne Kimora is taking the term “bling bling” to the next level in 2020. She is known for her signature crystal mini bags, but don’t sleep on her blinged-out hats, durags, and more one-of-a-kind denim pieces.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “Her stuff is gorgeous, and she’s amazing! I’ll be spending a little of my rent money.”

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Edas seeks to accommodate the everyday eclectic. Designed by Sade Mims, the brand’s sleek and feminine handbags stand out amongst the rest.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “They make amazing bags in small batch designs. They’re really cool looking.”

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Guided by an old Haitian proverb, “men anpil, chay pa lou,” which means “many hands make the load light,” Haiti Designs Co. focuses on making a lasting impact. Rooted in sustainable effort since 2014, the brand partners with and houses production teams that work with various artisans to create their leather handbags.

Price: $ – $$

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Caution: here’s your next bag addiction! Ethically handmade in Lagos, Jumz Accessories makes contemporary women’s bags inspired by African heritage. You can get it all here, from beaded clutches to woven basket bags and beautiful jewelry.

Price: $ – $$

What people are saying: “They make stunning beaded handbags that are built to last at affordable prices.”

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A week after learning to sew, Cortnie opened up her Etsy shop. Since then, she’s created statement clutches in various colors and textiles (our current fave is lime green calf hair), as well as crossbody, waist and bucket bags. A girl’s gotta have options!

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “Love love love my neon fringe bag!! Extremely pleased with my purchases thus far…already have my eye on another bag.”

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Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Mifland Leather Goods offers leather accessories that specialize in form and function. With architecturally inspired details, each bag is thoughtfully constructed to meet all of your needs.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “Love the colors! These are really nice.”

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Mowalola Ogunlesi was named design director of the upcoming Yeezy and Gap collaboration, but the designer’s own label is just as hot. Her eponymous label evokes that ‘90s cool— her always-sold-out Bundle Bags are a true testament to that.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “I would live in this bag. The minis are so cute.”

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Made locally in Lagos, Nigeria, Shekudo focuses on making wearable art while incorporating age-old techniques. Not only do their bags make a visual statement, but the brand aims to create a global sisterhood of Shekudo wearers, empowering and celebrating women across the world.

Price: $$ – $$$

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Affectionately known as the Bushwick Birkin, Telfar bags are not just for you, but for everyone. Seriously, the cult following includes New York Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Beyoncé. These bags are hot like fire, but if you don’t believe me, check out the brand’s bag security program.

Price: $$ – $$$

What people are saying: “I love the design. I especially love how simple they are. They can be worn with anything in that way.”

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Luxury handbags don’t get much better than Ree Projects. Handcrafted in Italy and founded in Amsterdam by Desiree Kleinen, Ree Projects’ sculptural bags are the type you Instagram on equally chic furniture.

Price: $$$ – $$$$

What people are saying: “I really, really love this bag. First off, I love the smooth, durable leather. It’s the same high-quality leather used on the mini Helene, and that thing held up like a champ.”

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Brooklyn-based Vavvoune, pronounced “vav-une,” is a whole mood. Behind these leather goods is Valerie Blaise, a self-taught designer convincing us that both lavender and pea green is a neutral.

Price: $$ – $$$

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Kia Goosby is a Fashion Editor for Hearst Fashion Group, who forever loves Atlanta, R&B music, believes butter with a side of bread makes everything better, and just so happens to cover all things in fashion for her main 9 to 5.

Justine Carreon is the market editor at ELLE.com covering fashion, Dutch ovens, and fashion again.

Karissa Franklin is one of the fashion assistants at ELLE Magazine.

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