What was once an industry that only correlated luxury with white-owned or foreign brands, has now shined a spotlight on Black designers. It’s been a long time coming and Brooklyn-bred designer Brandon Blackwood has found himself on the tip of everybody’s tongue.
Brandon is not new to the bag game, he’s true to it. In a statement on his website, Brandon explained his passion for fashion. “In the past 6 years, Blackwood has focused on creating bags, totes and accessories that are trend-forward yet lasting. He produces pieces that he and his customer will love.”
His patience and persistence is his winning combination for success. That commitment has snowballed into a fashion phenomenon, thanks in major part to his July 2020 release of the End Systemic Racism miniature leather tote just at the height of Black Lives Matter. The bag was seen on the arms of some of the most notable celebrities and tastemakers in the industry who loved the message and the design.
With such a vested interest in Brandon Blackwood bags, his designs have quickly become a fashion staple. Featuring prices from $70 to $8,500, there is a design made to fit every budget. So naturally, the demand for Brandon Blackwood designs has skyrocketed. And that demand has come with a few hiccups. Some customers on Black Twitter were upset to find that their bags were damaged. However, it’s important to note that mistakes can happen during production for any brand. But, just like how we give grace to other brands, it’s important to keep the same energy with Black creatives as well. After all, supporting Black brands is an absolute must.
While Brandon Blackwood’s popularity continues to grow, there are still a few things that people may not know about his creations. So, in an effort to keep you in the know, here are four things about Brandon Blackwood bags you may not be aware of.
1. Brandon is currently working with 200 bag styles, but he first started out with four designs.
With the launch of his brand in 2015, Brandon started out with four designs named after his close friends and brother: The Morell, The Camille, The Sophia and The Tristan.
2. The ESR tote was much more than a silent protest via fashion, it served as a way to give back to the community.
Long live the ESR tote. Although Brandon decided to bid the iconic design farewell with a final drop consisting of 37 colors and textures, the bag served its purpose. Not only was the design monumental for the brand’s exposure and taking a stand against racial injustice, Brandon decided to pay it forward by donating the proceeds to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, which provides pro bono legal assistance — per Business Insider. He also donated proceeds to Black youth-based organizations.
3. The ESR tote went viral on social media with the help of Kim Kardashian.
It’s no secret that Kim Kardashian is committed to using her platform for justice reform. Brandon took a chance and reached out via DM to ask the star to support the cause and the brand, he recalled in Teen Vogue. And much to his surprise, she quickly obliged. Once Kim posted a photo with the neutral ESR bag in October 2020, it was the seal of approval that took the brand to new heights.
4. Brandon Blackwood is not just a direct-to-customer business.
Setting alarms to catch Brandon Blackwood releases is no easy task, especially since fashion lovers are racing to purchase their favorites before resellers snatch them all up. Now, Brandon has now been able to expand the reach of his designs by partnering with a variety of retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Kith, Bloomingdales, ShopBop, and Selfridges.