Black History Month is an initiative to support and honour the legacy of Black Canadians and is celebrated across the country throughout the month of February. With a number of events and festivities portraying the importance of Black communities in Canada, this is a month to really participate in this imperative cause. Here, we’ve selected 3 Black-owned Canadian fashion brands for you to check out and fall in love with.
February is known in Canada as the official Black History Month, celebrated each year with several events and festivities. Established in December 1995, after being unanimously recognized by the House of Commons, Black History Month originates from a motion introduced by Jean Augustine, the first African Canadian woman elected to Parliament. Moreover, in February 2008, another motion – the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month – was introduced by Senator Donald Oliver, the first black man to be appointed to the Senate.
During the entire month, people across the country gather to honour the heritage and legacy of Black Canadians, their communities, and the manner they have been shaping Canada’s identity and story. The celebration’s 2022 edition focuses on recognizing the contributions to the country made by Black Canadians. Therefore, the theme chosen for this year’s festivities is “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day”.
Having in mind how important Black culture is and how greatly it impacts our society, it is our duty to support Black-owned businesses all year long but especially during the month of February. To help you out with that, here are 3 Black-owned Canadian fashion brands you need to check out this Black History Month:
1. Kaela Kay: founded by Catherine Addai, with emphasis on the designer’s Ghanaian roots, her beautiful brand Kaela Kay specializes in creating feminine, classic garments with lots of colours and prints. Made in Canada and using Ankara textiles, this fashion brand’s mission is to ensure that every woman can find their personal style. Embracing the motto affirming that “life is too short to short to wear boring clothes”, Kaela Kay suggests adding some colour and vibrancy to all women’s daily wardrobes. Catherine’s fashion boutique opens from 12 pm to 6 pm every Tuesday to Saturday and it is located in Toronto at 857 Wilson Ave, North York.
2. Rahyma: this fashion brand was founded in 2010 by Nigerian-born designer Rahyma Awanife by mixing African and Western styles. Specialized in luxury African print fashion, Rahyma pieces are created in Toronto and sold online. On the brand’s website, customers can find anything from staple pieces such as t-shirts and jackets to more elaborate designs in dresses and head wraps, always very colourful and filled with beautiful prints. Rahyma emphasizes producing high-quality, versatile, unique styles ensuring the perfect fit.
3. Andrea Iyamah: founded by Nigerian fashion designer Dumebi Iyamah at the age of 17, the brand is strongly influenced by ethnic cultures, nature, and design elements. Inspired by a blend of African cultures and using vibrant colours and daring cuts, Andrea Iyamah designs are retro yet extremely contemporary at the same time. Based both in Ontario, Canada, and in Lagos, Nigeria, Andrea Iyamah specializes in lines including swimwear and resort wear, ready-to-wear, and even custom-made event dresses. This incredible brand appeals to confident, adventurous women who value culture, quality, detail, flattering silhouettes, and ethical practices in fashion.
Make sure to check those brands out and support Black History Month!
Published by HOLR Magazine.