Black Influential Designers
by Alexandra Phanor-Faury
In celebration of both Black History Month and New York Fashion Week, Essence.com is paying homage to the great designers of the past, present and future whose unique perspective has helped shaped the fashion landscape.
Inspired by Josephine Baker, the women of the Civil Rights and Black Panther movement, designer Maya Lake has given birth to a collection of vintage pieces in a sorbet of African prints called Boxing Kitten. Lake, who started designing at ten, constructs the kind of nostalgic silhouettes you’d see on a voluptuous secretary on “Mad Men,” if transported to Nigeria in the 70’s. The Pin-up girl jumpsuits and 1950’s sheaths are not for the wallflower, the vibrant prints are sure to have the wearer stand out among the ubiquitous sea of black. Which is why fashion daredevils like Erykah Badu, Solange Knowles and Jack of J*Davey all have been spotted stealing the spotlight in Boxing Kitten pieces.