In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of the leading Black wedding fashion designers and brands in the wedding space.
Though we’ve mostly focused on Black wedding dress designers, we’ve sprinkled in a few options for those who may want something a little different from the black wedding design community.
Simplistic styles are everywhere now, but designer Amsale Aberra was ahead of her time when she launched her brand. For decades, brides have coveted its modern, streamlined pieces. In addition to a digital tool, AMSALE X You, which allows brides and bridesmaids to mix and match pieces to create custom dresses, the brand also offers maternity bridesmaids’ dresses and eveningwear. As a black wedding fashion designer she has made a huge mark on the industry.
Though Andrea Pitter offers a mix of styles through her brand, she tends to favor classic, curve-enhancing silhouettes that are often dripping with intricate beadwork. Additionally, her “little white ensembles” are perfect for pre-wedding events, like engagement parties and bachelorette nights out.
Many designers take their craftsmanship seriously, but bespoke wedding dressmaker Cynthia Grafton-Holt takes it to whole new levels. The vintage romance vibe of many of her designs is complemented by her advanced techniques. A member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen, she’s previously applied her skills at Mulberry, Victoria Beckham’s label and more, and she’s had her creations donned by celebrities such as Linda Evangelista.
For Nneka C. Alexander, it’s all about giving brides choice, and her preference is for anything that sparkles. Brides turn to her for showstopping couture dresses with luxurious fabrics and authentic Swarovski crystals. For those local to Atlanta, where she’s based, Alexander also offers white-glove styling service for the Big Day.
Known for providing women of color with dresses that offer flawlessly matching illusion tulles, Gbemi Okunlola creates designs that are form-fitting yet voluminous. She always seeks to honor and enhance the female form with her made-to-order and custom pieces.
The handmade dresses offered by Belgium-based designer Valentine Avoh are perfect for the bride who prefers to “highlight their femininity without compromising ease.” Her latest 2022 collection features contemporary designs that give classic items such as lace, pearls and the bustier new life.
The ready-to-wear gown collections by Nigerian designer Yemi Osunkoya are inspired by everything from ballet to paintings. And even when he’s designing with practicality in mind, like he did for his collection of gowns with detachable pieces, a celebration of womanhood still shines in his creations. Brides can also have Osunkoya dream up a one-of-a-kind piece just for them.
Primarily a clothing and resort wear designer, it comes as no surprise that Andrea Iyamah’s limited 2022 selection of bridalwear feels ocean-inspired. For those searching for something other than the traditional wedding dress, Iyamah’s two pieces with seashell shapes, ruffles and bubble sleeves, or a jumpsuit with flowing fabric may be just the thing.
Amid all the practicalities of getting married, this brand wants your dress to be one of the dreamiest parts of your wedding. Its ethereal gowns, which are made-to-order, feature details such as regal, oversize sleeves and high necklines. The company also offers short dresses that are equally the stuff of fairy tales.
For an updated, classic look, this designer infuses traditional wedding dress elements, like beads and lace, into more modern designs. A lifelong appreciator of the power of sewing and creativity, Jean-Ralph Thurin offers collection dresses via his flagship store in New Jersey and custom gowns via his store and website.
If you want drama and glamour, this brand has it. Its collection and custom-created dresses incorporate vintage, African and contemporary European influences, and the designer’s noteworthy detailing. Named after its founder, Esé Azénabor-Grembowski, a self-taught designer who shunned a traditional career in pursuit of her passion, the brand offers its dresses at its Dallas store and a Virginia retailer, but it also holds pop-up trunk shows.
If a dress, jumpsuit or two-piece set isn’t your thing, or you’d like to suggest something to your fiancé(e), consider a statement tuxedo by Miguel Wilson. Shoppers can select from tuxedos featuring rich jewel tones, lavish prints, bold colors, updated takes on the classic black-and-white color scheme, and more. Each option is sharp and offers plenty of personality.
For accessible yet upscale “ready-to-wed” options and custom design services, turn to Laurie Underwood. She skillfully uses billowy and silky fabrics to create dresses that exude softness but are simultaneously sophisticated.
This Lagos-based brand has made a name for itself by offering modern yet unique and attention-grabbing made-to-order and custom dresses. The brand’s Ara Iyawo collection incorporates touches of more avant-garde shapes into traditional bridal silhouettes.
The first made-to-order collection from this longtime bespoke-only designer celebrates confidence and features minimalist looks with playful sheers, a new take on the corset and more. True to her love of the design process, Naomi Deru offers high levels of customization for her collection creations.
A plus-sized woman herself, Leah Nicole Langley-McClean wants fellow full-figured women to feel as beautiful as ever on their wedding day, and she ensures her dresses look great on every size. Her custom couture and collection designs strike a balance between modern and sleek, and sexy and romantic.
Imagine getting a custom bridal dress in two months or less! Jalona Marie Falkner’s brand says it can do it. Jalona Marie Bridal offers affordable and quick custom designs, and it guarantees you’ll love it, or it will buy the piece back. Plus, every dress comes with a tiara or veil.
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.
Founded by designer Madelange Laroche, this brand offers stylish tuxedo rentals and bridal party dresses in addition to wedding gowns that come in a range of styles. If nothing you see suits your fancy, the company will work with you to design your own wedding dress. It also offers cleaning and preservation so you can continue to enjoy your piece after the Big Day.
Known for his haute couture designs and timeless, bespoke and ready-to-wear pieces and custom wedding gowns, says weddings allow him to take his pieces to the next level.
Sabina Motasem is an award-winning bridalwear designer who created a ready-to-wear range, The Green Collection, of sustainable and luxurious dresses in her signature style that is available to be shipped to the United States. The Green Collection is made of eco-friendly vegan fabric that has been certified by the Global Recycle Standard. The RTW gowns are made in the same ateliers that make her namesake couture dresses, and the quality isn’t compromised.