It’s that time. Holiday season is upon us, yet again, and you’re wondering what to get for yourself. Why not some quality menswear that will look good in and out of the office? Maybe you don’t give a damn about the holidays and just want to find new Black designers to try out. In any case, look no further. I’ve taken the pleasure of curating the following Black-owned menswear brands that will have you looking and feeling great year-round.
1. Southern Gents (Clothing, Footwear, Accessories)
“Gentleman…One whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or appropriate behavior.” While I believe a gentleman is best defined by his character, there is, undoubtedly, a complementing image. One who is able to master the duality of being well-mannered and well-dressed. Polite and kind, while also neat and trim. Through their ensembles, Southern Gents captures and embodies the essence of a gentleman.
Southern Gents weaves the concept of chivalry into its menswear, and that’s why they come in at 1.
A favorite of mine, both for its affordability and quality, Southern Gents offers a range of menswear, in traditional, classic, and contemporary afro-modern designs. Browsing through their tuxedos section, you’ll find a variety of beautiful Ankara blazers, composed of stunning African wax prints, alongside more mainstream European styles. You’ll find footwear spanning from chocolate suede loafers, to cherry leather boots. In outerwear, you’ll discover everything from elegant three-quarter coats, to edgy leather jackets. The company even offers a wide selection of fedoras, pins, feathers, and other accessories. Southern Gents weaves the concept of chivalry into its menswear, and that’s why they come in at 1.
2. Albert 1941 (Clothing, Footwear)
Founded in 2016, Albert lies at the intersection where fine detail and luxury meet. So luxurious, in fact, that I have yet to purchase from them; however, they have been on my list for some time. Albert 1941, an East London-based brand, is the brainchild of Gabriel Akinosho. The vision of the brand, he says, was to “create a hub for menswear going against fashion and championing classic style.” When perusing Albert’s collections of handmade and ready-to-wear items, the vision becomes evident.
Many of the varied patterns, colors, and designs of Albert are quite unique, like the multicolor-striped Joseph Blazer; however, the classical influence can be seen in much of the construct of the clothing, such as the wide peak lapels that recur throughout. With Albert, the devil lives in the details. With a collection of shirts that would challenge the highest-fashion brand, you will see spread collars, point collars, club collars, beautiful butterscotch stripes, and timeless collar bars that rewind the clock. With an offering of fine suiting, tuxedos, outerwear, shoes, and more, visit Albert 1941 for your luxury menswear desires.
3. G + Co. Apparel (Accessories)
G + Co. (short for Gentlemen & Company), is self-described as a fashion brand that “brings distinguished looks, affordable pricing, and a community of resources to help our customers become and stay fashion forward and stylish.” They pride themselves on 3 pillars: community, fashion, and collaboration. To honor their community pillar, a portion of proceeds from each sale goes towards an in-house scholarship fund for first generation students in underserved communities; while the collaboration pillar is lived by partnering with a Black-owned business each month for their Debonair Box subscription. G + Co. specializes in accessories for the modern gentleman: ties, pocket squares, lapel pins, tie bars, cuff links, and grooming/lifestyle products (like beard oil and money clips). However, the real service lies in the Debonair Box subscription.
Through it’s Debonair Box, G + Co. curates 5 to 7 fashion and lifestyle items, monthly, in accordance with a theme. As a subscriber, myself, it is insanely convenient to receive new socks, ties, hankies and other accessories each month. Not only does it keep my wardrobe invigorated with bold, quality items, but I also don’t have to give much thought to buying accessories, since I receive 5 to 7 each month. This more than makes the monthly $28 fee worth it, in my opinion. I’m actually still using a lovely, citrus and basil-scented beard elixir from Perfect Blue Alchemy that I received in a Debonair Box nearly a year ago. It also helps knowing that my Black dollars are being recirculated into other Black businesses and bodies. I highly recommend G + Co. Apparel for quality, convenience, and value.