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Brandon Blackwood is fighting systemic racism one handbag at a time.
The Brooklyn-native designer, who launched his namesake label with a four piece collection back in 2015, has quickly grown a contemporary leather goods brand, including everything from handbags, trunks, backpacks and wallets. The Jamaican-Chinese designer only uses ethically sourced materials, and works with craftsmen in Asia, Europe and the US.
His best seller? A $50 canvas mini-tote with a big message. Created in the wake of Black Lives Matters protests in 2020, the handbag reads “End systemic racism.” It quickly hit sell out-status, and garnered a lengthy waitlist. (Editors note: Luckily, I was able to get my hands on the pre-sale back in August.) A portion of proceeds from the statement-making bag, which is still available, “funds Pro Bono legal assistance provided by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.”
“I was stuck creatively and exhausted by the daily news. I had a pretty solid following and decided I would take this opportunity to make something that could have a direct impact against systemic oppression,” Blackwood told Teen Vogue in October about the viral handbag.
Spotted on Kim Kardashian West and featured in Forbes, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle, the bag proved Blackwood’s career is only just beginning. With more than half the styles on his website sold out, shop our favorite Brandon Blackwood bags.
Shop: Brandon Blackwood Jumbo Kuei, $300
This sleek tote features a hand-sewn double-stitched handle and comes with a removable cross-body strap for easy wear.
Shop: Brandon Blackwood Neema Key Pouch, $50
Shop: Brandon Blackwood Medium Kuei, $225
The best-selling Kuei bag comes in a range of sizes and colors. This sandstone hue is neutral enough to match with anything in your closet and special enough to stand out.
Shop: Brandon Blackwood Denim Kendrick Trunk, $150
This hand-dyed denim trunk style bag can be worn crossbody or with its top handle.
If you liked this story, you might like to read about this Black-owned brand that makes face masks for the entire family.
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