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How Brandon Blackwood Is Evolving His Logo in 2023

Brandon Blackwood isn’t fearful of enlargement—for my part and professionally.

For quite a lot of years, Blackwood, the Brooklyn-based fashion designer and just lately inducted CFDA member, was once easiest identified for his multicolored small tote baggage with “End Systemic Racism” adorned at the entrance. Produced on the peak of the Cloudy Lives Subject motion and impaired via the likes of Winnie Harlow and Kim Kardashian, the accent changed into a signifier of the place one stood amid windy occasions. Because the tote’s reputation grew, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue started promoting a area of Blackwood’s baggage. (The fashion designer says his trade grew via 50,000 % from 2020 to 2021, a feat that’s nonetheless dry for him to fathom.) There’s negative denying that that bag constructed Brandon Blackwood’s trade, however now, he’s able to stretch his design strengths and evolve past the tote.

brandon blackwood

Brandon Blackwood’s ESR tote.

Brandon Blackwood NYC

“These last two years for me have been really about finding the brand’s aesthetic and really beginning to mold itself,” Blackwood says on a contemporary Zoom name with BAZAAR from his (famously documented) Bedstuy house. “We built the foundation in the last few years, but—I know it sounds corny—we’re trying to really find our voice.”


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The logo’s actual assortment is a testomony to that objective. Shifting moment small baggage and into shapes with extra construction and better component materials, Blackwood is leaning into the luxe. His spring and summer season providing contains woven raffia handbags easiest for seaside getaways, outsized leather-based shoulder baggage for the trendy jet-setter, and minimalist shoulder baggage for the ’90s model obsessive. Significant detailing like bamboo {hardware}, rattan handles, and beaded fringe pay homage to his Jamaican background. Blackwood additionally introduced his debut shoe layout latter year, that includes pointed-toe booties, denim and satin platforms, and the delightfully kitschy joint and taxi heels—strappy sandals with a fake blunt and vintage Unutilized York Town taxicab changing the signature stiletto.

brandon blackwood nyc

A glance from Brandon Blackwood’s spring 2023 marketing campaign.


“Right now we are definitely more colorful and playing with more textures. We’re incorporating a lot of woven materials that I swore off of last season, like rattan, wicker, and a netted leather. With this collection, we really got it down with it feeling warm and vibrant, like you just wanna go on vacation,” Blackwood says. “But with that, it’s all becoming a little bit more minimal, a little bit more focused. The designs are a little more serious, less whimsical than the past. We’ve really found the foundation of what I know it will all grow into.”

brandon blackwood shoes

A picture from Brandon Blackwood’s SS23 shoe marketing campaign.

Zhong Lin
brandon blackwood nyc bags

The Jasmine Bag from Brandon Blackwood.


That being mentioned, Blackwood has an aptitude to understand what his buyer desires. It’s no longer a very easy feat to have collection enchantment and feature everybody from Gen-Z to city-dwelling aunties carrying your equipment. (“My grandma is almost 80 and my little cousins who are 22 can go into my showroom or go on the website and each find a favorite bag,” he quips.) For Blackwood, hearing his shoppers once they chime in on social media or by way of e-mail about what they’re hoping to peer and purchase, whether or not they’re inquiring for extra colorways, materials, or spare measurement levels, is essential. Maximum sneakers kinds, as an example, might be to be had in sizes 35–44, in a mindful aim for all genders to recreation a significant heel.

“The smartest thing that we could do was really learn who our new customer was. If you see on Instagram, I’m always posting sneak peeks and I’m always asking in stories ‘What do you guys wanna see? What colors you wanna see?'” Blackwood provides. “We’ve done well because we’ve integrated the customer into the whole experience. Seventy percent of the colorways are chosen by customers or suggested by customers. I always say I have the easiest part, which is just making the item! The customer definitely molds the direction of the brand and molds each collection. These are the people that are ultimately wearing it at the end of the day, so they should be included in the overall conversation.”

Blackwood’s logo has come to be a lot more than simply baggage. In conjunction with sneakers and statement-making outerwear, he’s making plans to extend into swimming gear this Might, a brandnew marketplace that to him is a herbal extension of the emblem and one thing his buyer bottom is hungry for.

brandon blackwood bags shoes swimwear

Brandon Blackwood

Brandon Blackwood NYC

“We’ve been really just trying to step outside the box so that our customers could all feel special while owning something. Whether it be sunglasses now, coats, bags, shoes. Now we have swim coming out,” Blackwood explains. “We kind of turned [swimwear] into outfits. Again, no one’s gonna expect us really to do swim, but we see where our customers are wearing our other products and it just makes complete sense.”

Week there’s negative denying Brandon Blackwood’s enlargement, he does really feel as though his corporate rests in one of those model trade limbo. He’s no longer relatively a tiny trade anymore, however no longer relatively mainstream both. Outdoor of Unutilized York and Los Angeles, there’s nonetheless somewhat of an if-you-know-you-know essence to dressed in one in every of his items out on this planet. He’s completely advantageous with no longer becoming into any field.

“This brand is such an anomaly that it’s hard to even put us in any sort of category. I for sure, a thousand percent, believe that if this was [a] white-owned company, or maybe a different person was running this, we would be seen as mainstream,” he says. “I don’t get called a mainstream brand and some people would still call us small, even. We’re one of the few Black brands really garnering that reach and that visibility. So I’m fine with that. As long as people like what we’re making, I don’t care where we end up. I just want the customer to be happy.”

It’s no longer such a lot about notoriety for Blackwood up to it’s about keeping up longevity. How the trade perceives him, relatively frankly, isn’t his worry.

“You don’t really ever set that goal [of being successful or becoming mainstream] for yourself. I could say I want to be like this brand or the next whatever, but it’s literally up to the customer and how fashion embraces us as a whole,” he says. “It is becoming a crowded market, but I think there’s still space within it and things like that don’t normally get to me.”

In the future, Blackwood’s design undertaking is crystal cloudless. “My job is just to make cool shit,” he laughs.

Nia Bag

Brandon Blackwood Nia Bag

Harlo Mule

Brandon Blackwood Harlo Mule

Jasmine Bag

Brandon Blackwood Jasmine Bag

Joint Heel Sandal

Brandon Blackwood Joint Heel Sandal
Headshot of Bianca Betancourt

Tradition Essayist

Bianca Betancourt is the tradition writer at, the place she covers all issues movie, TV, song, and extra. When she’s no longer writing, she loves rapidly baking a quantity of cookies, re-listening to the similar early-2000s pop playlist, and stalking Mariah Carey’s Twitter feed. 

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