Black Designers

From Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdez, who designed the iconic Playboy Bunny costume to '80s legends Stephen Burrows, Patrick Kelly and Willie Smith; from renaissance man Sammy Davis, Jr. (yes, that Sammy!), to Renaissance-influenced visual artist Kehinde Wiley for Puma; from cult favorite Montgomery Harris to contemporary supernova Stella Jean, Black designers have exerted indelible influence on international style.

At Material Life, we celebrate these style mavens and trendsetters by offering a highly selected inventory of never-worn and gently used pieces by our favorites, establishing their work within the overall context of Black excellence and creativity.

Material Life is the only retailer specializing in vintage Black designer items.

Products

Brother Vellies Multi Striped "Zanzibar" Wrap Sandals

Size

  • 36
  • 37
Multicolored lace up flat "Zanzibar" Brother Vellies sandals featuring striped straps; tie closure.  Comes with box and dust bag Multicolor | Made in Ethiopia | Textile, Leather | New in box Size 36 | Insole Length: 9.5 inches | Insole Width: 3.25 inches...
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Christian Robinson fabric
Children's book illustrator and Material Life favorite Christian Robinson has applied his talents to textiles (in collaboration with Cotton + Steel), and now we have even more reason to love him! We picked out a few for ourselves for some special...
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Duro Olowu Mixed Print Skirt
Another stunner by the undisputed King of Prints, Nigerian-born and London-based Duro Olowu. Silk & rayon | made in England | size 40 (P/S) | excellent pre-owned condition
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Duro Olowu Silk Blouse
The King of Prints. This gorgeous silk blouse is a masterful pairing of two unlikely and unique patterns in a perfect melange of high style. From the floral print it seems that this is from Olowu's Spring 2014 Pret-A-Porter collection. 100% silk...
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Mimi Plange Elena Blouse
A classic Plange silhouette, this is a beautiful fuchsia pink blouse with slightly cinched waist and balloon sleeves | Size: 2 | 100% Silk
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Patrick Kelly Atelier Velvet and Feather Gloves
From the Atelier of Patrick Kelly-Paris, though without labels. Stretchy velvet with ostrich and maribou feathers in yellow and black. It looks like they had buttons at the wrists, but have been closed by hand and the buttons removed. Fit small...
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Patrick Kelly Charcoal Gray Contrast Lapel Suit
Sharp, stylish Patrick Kelly charcoal gray suit with contrast top stitching and fully lined. Jacket has asymmetrical collar (one side notched, the other is shawl) and light shoulder pads and three silver ball button closures; pencil skirt with back zip closures. Even...
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Patrick Kelly Double-Breasted Jacket with Roses
"I want my clothes to make you smile," the late, Mississippi-born designer Patrick Kelly once said of his creations. Kelly was ahead of his time; the wit, whimsy, history, and humor with which he infused his designs in the 1980s...
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Patrick Kelly Leopard Print Bustier
"I want my clothes to make you smile," the late, Mississippi-born designer Patrick Kelly once said of his creations. Kelly was ahead of his time; the wit, whimsy, history, and humor with which he infused his designs in the 1980s...
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Patrick Kelly Paris African Wooden Face Pin/Brooch, 1989
"Reine Pokou" (a reference to the kingdom of Baoulé) was Mickaël Kra's first jewelry collection and was featured in Patrick Kelly's Spring 1989 collection.  This is from the private collection of Kelly's lifelong friend & model, Carol Martin. Martin modeled in the Patrick...
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Stella Jean Camoscio Giraffe-Print Blouse
Stella Jean adds to her line of high-impact prints with a giraffe-spot pattern produced in Africa in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative. This red and white printed cotton Camoscio top features a signature structured boat neck boxy shape and...
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Stella Jean Swallow wax print shorts
100% cotton with a contrasting waistband and zipper and button closure | Made in Italy | Size: 40 (XS) | Length from the top of the shorts to the bottom on the sides 10.25 inches | Width across the waist on front...
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Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced
In 2013, The Museum of the City of New York mounted Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, the first major examination of the work of the designer The New York Times called in 1977 the “brightest star of American fashion.” Through original sketches,...
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