Black Designers Are Rarely Featured in Top TV Shows and Movies — But That’s About to Change

One woman has made it her mission to connect Black-owned brands with today’s top costume designers.

Sex and the City made Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo household names, and, everyone knows what “an AlaÏa” is — and that the couturier is a “totally important designer” — thanks to Clueless. Even when a brand isn’t name-dropped so bluntly, the impact of a pop-culture appearance can be a major launchpad for success. 

As a recent example, after Emily in Paris premiered on Netflix last fall, the titular lead’s green python-print mini-skirt by Ronny Kobo sold out, while search for the New York-based Israeli designer increased by 22% on global fashion shopping platform Lyst, and interest in skirts by French label Ganni jumped a whopping 289%.

“TV and film have a huge role in both cultural currency and the visibility of designers for both emerging and established brands,” explains Amiyra Perkins, Director of Mindset for trend forecaster WGSN, via email. She cites loads of Barbour in The Crown and the now-Instagram-ubiquitous Marine Serre moon print in Beyonce’s Black is King. “Consumers continue to discover brands and track down the items of their favorite characters or artists merging imagined worlds into real life.”

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