In just 10 days of nationwide protesting, we’re beginning to see radical changes as leadership in multiple states have begun discussing the very policy reforms we dreamed of seeing when the Black Lives Matter movement first began. And for those protesting with their dollars, we’re also seeing tremendous change as Sharon Chuter, Founder of Uoma Beauty, has challenged fashion and beauty brands to pull up or shut up when it comes to being transparent about just how much they support Black Lives internally and externally.
At MadameNoire we’re continuing our commitment to highlighting brands specifically owned and operated by Black women. Click through to see 10 shoe brands that are run by us.
Salone Monet learned the art of shoemaking in Brooklyn, which is where she made her first pair of nude heels from scratch. But it wasn’t until the Communications grad started working at a shoe store in D.C that she turned her post-graduate gig into a thriving enterprise. Noticing the store only sold one shade of nude, Salone decided she could do better for brown girls and her line of nude heels made in Italy by expert Italian cobblers war born. To date, the brand has been worn by a number of celebs including Yonce herself.
Aurora James launched Brother Vellies in 2013 “with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. Today, artisans from Nairobi to New York handcraft the one-of-a-kind sandals, mules, boots, heels, and flats sold by the brand.
Third-generation entrepreneur Kendall Miles started Kendall Miles Designs as a passion project in her apartment. After teaching herself how to design footwear, she attended accessories design university, Ars Sutoria, in Milan for formal training before beginning to sell her line of statement footwear which is manufactured in Florence, Italy.
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu created soleRebels “as a way to blend her Ethiopian community’s creative artisan talents with the traditional ‘barabasso’ (Ethiopian recycled tire) shoe.” The brand’s sustainable shoes are ethically handcrafted in a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and ship to every country in the world. soleRebels also reinvests in its community, providing full medical benefits and education funds for its employees and their families, and offering wages three times the industry average.
When Tiannia Barnes made her own prom dress, she knew she had a love for design. Still, the Oklahoma native didn’t pursue her passion professionally, earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and industrial engineering and an MBA. Eventually, Barnes traded in her career in IT/business project management and went back to her first love and her brand was launched. The Tiannia Barnes collection features chic, contemporary Italian-made shoes with the intention of “making exclusive luxury inclusive.”
Known for it’s “bold yet feminine” designs,” AMINAH ABDUL JILLIL is an eponymous luxury shoe brand launched in August 2012. Jillil, who was born in Anchorage, is a former professional dancer whose excitement to “try something different” not only led to her entry into the accessories world but fuels her unique shoe designs.
Eleanor Ngozi Anukam had one goal when she launched her line: “service this underserved population of women with shoe sizes over 10.” As a size 12 herself, Eleanor, who was born in Houston and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, crafts her luxurious footwear specifically for women who wear sizes 9-13.
Celebrity stylist Ade Samuel’s motive for launching her line was simple: She wanted to create luxury footwear for women, designed by a woman. The FIT graduate’s shoewear is crafted in Italy. made of the finest Italian leather, and “inspired by the girl that just ‘gets it.'”
Designer Stella Maze fuses authentic Italian tradition with the “exotic luxuries” of the Virgin Islands to craft her Stella Hues shoe line which also has a touch of classic British influence. Tracee Ellis Ross, Laverne Cox, Drew Sidora, and Leela James are just a few of the famous feet who’ve rocked this footwear brand.
Tween CEO and entertainer Amiya Steed founded her footwear business, AMAK BY AMIYA, in 2016 as a form of self-expression. The sneaker and sandal line features custom wording and designs