The bridal marketplace can be an overtly white space, even down to the traditional dresses created for the customary celebration.
We’re here to speak out against that and celebrate diversity and the color we bring to the mainstream wedding space. In honor of Black History Month and beyond, join us as we pay homage to the Black designers who have innovated, paved the way, and brought style, panache, and vibrant aesthetics to the whole wedding industry. Here are our top picks of dress designers so you can find a way to look amazing on your special day, dressed to the nines or inspired by a Black designer of your choosing.
Contemporary wedding dress design might not be what it is today were it not for Ethiopian designer Amsale Aberra. In 1985, when she couldn’t find a sleek, modern gown for her own wedding, she designed her own dress and began a new, timeless trend in the industry. Her aesthetic is contemporary, elegant, and delicately handmade.
Andrea Pitter of Pantora Bridal
Pantora Bridal creates and curates relatable wedding day glamour. Expect an indulgent appreciation of curves, glitz, and sophistication from this size-inclusive bridal brand.
London-based bridal designer Cynthia Grafton-Holt studied bespoke tailoring at the renowned London College of Fashion and has worked with the likes of Mulberry, Victoria Beckham and Alexander McQueen.
British born and of Nigerian parentage, designer Gbemi Okunlola taught herself to sew at an early age and pursued her passion to create Alonuko, a luxury bridal line intent on producing the perfect fit.
Nneka C. Alexander
Atlanta-based Nneka C. Alexander is the vision behind design house Brides by Nona, known for its innate creativity and intricate detailing. Alexander’s first client was her twin sister. Today, she designs couture and formal dresses for brides worldwide and celebrities, including Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Cynthia Bailey.
Jalona Marie Bridal
Jalona Marie Bridal is committed to giving customers the look they want at prices they can afford. The designer’s custom process offers design to delivery in 60 days or less, with a 100% dress buy-back guarantee. Sounds like an incredible deal for brides seeking a custom fit for less.
Barbadian bridal designer Jaye Applewaite gives brides bespoke wedding fantasies. Her modern, feminine gowns involve elaborate beadwork, with pearls and crystals, and they are scrupulously fit to perfection for her customers.
Trained at the Parsons School of Design, Jean-Ralph Thurin produces luxury bridal gowns with sensual details, sparkle, mesh and memorable embellishments.
Chicago native Leah Nicole Langley-McClean is the passionate designer behind elleNelle Bridal, Nashville’s premier custom prom dress and bridal design shop. She is known for catering to brides of all shapes and sizes, offering modern, high-fashion looks for all.
If you dream of an over-the-top fantasy of a wedding dress, look no further than Odylyne the Ceremony by Stephanie White. Her work is ethereal, romantic and adorned with whimsical detail.
Based in Brussels, designer Valentine Avoh creates magnificent bridal confections with French lace, feathers and refined silk.
Paris-based designer Violette Tannenbaum designs custom bridal gowns that are worthy of dreams. All handmade, the gowns are made with the finest lace and refined fabrics she is able to source in France.
For more than 27 years, New York-based Nigerian designer Yemi Osunkoya has been creating incredible couture gowns with a focus on finer details, like corsetry and boned bodices, to ensure an ideal fit for each customer. His brand, Kosibah, was named after his mother and translates to mean a baby girl born on a Sunday in Benin.
Nigerian fashion designer Andrea Iyamah has always had a passion for fashion and the arts. Her couture bridal line is made-to-measure, and each year it does not disappoint with its collections of modern, classic, and sophisticated dresses.
In 2012, without any financial assistance, Nigerian-born Canadian transplant Esé Azénabor left college for the world of fashion with the launch of her self-titled line. Today, she dresses brides and celebrities worldwide and is known for her hand beading with fine crystals, stones, and pearls, and her hand embroidery on fine French lace and tulle.