Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Where Are All The Black Female Fashion Designers?

  • Samii Kennedy Benson (Iowa State University)
  • Eulanda A Sanders (Iowa State University)


The fashion industry has been criticized in recent years for its lack of racial diversity. While there has been a major push to put more Black models on the runway, the inclusion of Black designers has been largely overlooked. Due to a number of factors, Black designers find it difficult to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry. Even with the odds stacked against them many Black female designers continue to choose entrepreneurship over employment. They are willing to endure the trials and tribulations of business ownership, and thus define success on their own terms. It has become increasingly necessary to bring awareness to the marginalization and rejection that Black female fashion designers face within the industry, increase their visibility and provide access and exposure of their work.

How to Cite:

Kennedy Benson, S. & Sanders, E. A., (2017) “Where Are All The Black Female Fashion Designers?”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 74(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2017
Peer Reviewed