I love fashion. So when I decided to become Vegan, it was a major shift in my life. I could no longer purchase fur, leather, suede, wool, silk or any clothing or accessories that used materials or products that came from animals. I made the decision without hesitation. But while it is worth it, I admit I do have to put in a little more effort into finding items that I love. (I will actually tell you more about how I shop for Vegan fashion, in a future blog post.)
The great news is that much like the Vegan food industry, Vegan fashion is growing in demand. As a result, more full Vegan brands are emerging into the mainstream. And established designers are including Vegan items in their collections. I can’t even explain how excited I get when I find a Vegan shoe, boot, bag or coat that I love. And you can double that excitement when I find that item is from a Black owned business.
In fact, one of my primary goals with Vegan Sexy Cool is to highlight Black Vegan businesses and the Black Vegan experience. That is why I wanted to make sure you are aware of 3 Black owned businesses that are making their mark in the fashion game.
Jo-Anne Vernay Shoes
I first caught a glimpse of these shoes on IG, while searching #veganluxury. I love the shape and colors of the shoe, and how it just popped with the leg of the brown skinned model. I instantly went to the website and discovered that the owner is sustainable stylist Dyandra Raye. She actually named the company after her mother, Jo-Anne and her late Aunt Vernay. The shoes are hand made in Italy from pineapple leaf fiber. I can tell you first hand these shoes look and feel like quality leather. I just got my first pair and they are just gorgeous and well made. Right now, the brand has one style of shoe in a variety of breathtaking colors. I am excited to see more styles in the near future.
Despite being celebrated as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things last year, many folks still have never heard of the Telfar Vegan ‘It’ Bag. I blame the pandemic. Even with that, the bag sells out not long after it hits the website. Designer Telfar Clemons says he wanted to create a luxury bag that was more attainable. In fact, the motto of the brand is “Not for you, for everyone”. The bag is such a hit, it helped land Telfar on this year’s Time 100 Next 2021 list. While all Telfar products are not Vegan, the Shopping Bag is. The bag is made of faux leather and comes in three sizes and a variety of colors. Demand is so high, that you have to sign up for an email notice or stalk their IG account for notification of when a bag in a certain color will hit the website. The bag usually goes on sale at 9 am. And depending on the color, it will sell out by noon if not earlier. By the end of day, no matter the color, the bag will sell out. It is worth noting that Telfar also has Vegan belts and hats, but those sell out pretty fast also. I do have the medium bag in oxblood and tan (got one for my mom). And believe me when I say, you need to be ready with a credit card or a Paypal account not later than 8:50 am ET if you want to secure this bag.
Voni is another brand I first noticed on IG. One of their bags caught my eye and then the fact that a Black model was holding it. That made me dig deeper and learn more about the company. I have not snagged a bag yet, so I can’t tell you what it looks like up close. But I plan to order one this week, so stay tuned for those details. Voni is a Vegan handbag line with a nice variety of faux leather bags to choose from. Owner Jevoni McAllister says the goal was to create an eco-friendly bag that celebrates the individuality of style. Jevoni is a registered nurse, who also cares deeply about saving the planet. Since discarded clothing and accessories are the second largest polluter of the planet, Voni is committed to creating a small collection of bags.
We are putting the finishing touches on revamping the Vegan Sexy Cool YouTube channel. When it launches, you will be able to see my reviews of my Vegan fashion items and so much more. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss the launch.