In this series, Man Repeller shines a light on standout independent, Black-owned fashion labels we think you should know about (and shop from!). And in turn, they’re passing the baton and spotlighting a handful of businesses and brands they know and love. Today we have Carly Cushnie, CEO and creative director of CUSHNIE.
CUSHNIE, a luxury women’s ready-to-wear and bridal collection.
If we drew a three-adjective Venn diagram, Cushnie would sit in the center of:
Diaphanous, liquid, asymmetrical
You’re planning a wedding and you’ve been scanning resale sites for months, trying to manifest the lush garment in your mind’s eye. For inking the deal at City Hall, you’ve been dreaming about a stark white blazer, equal parts tailored and gauzy, paired with split-hem pants that feel fancy. The party part comes a few days later, in a friend’s backyard. You’d like your festive dress to meet one, sole criterion: It must be so unfussy that it only has one zipper, and no other accoutrements. Ideally it’s something drapey in a seafoamy color, something with sleeves in the color of your favorite leafstalk, or a shock of Talenti sorbet pink that you can shimmy into and forget about for the rest of the night. One night, a few weeks before the decisive matrimonial moment, you stumble across the Cushnie website, and you can’t believe your luck.
Black entrepreneurship in Cushnie’s words:
“I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished over the last 12 years of having my business. Especially because when I was coming up in the industry, there were very few Black role models for me to follow and learn from. I am sad that it has taken all of this protesting and loss of life for people to really stop and pay attention to Black-owned brands, but I can only hope that this is one of the first steps in making real progress in acknowledging Black talent and our contribution.”
Want more? Check out MR Market Strategist Elizabeth Tamkin’s database of more than 600 Black-owned brands, along with some of her personal shopping recommendations. If you have a suggestion that you think should be added, please share it in the comments.