Bold Colors, Funky Prints, and Intricate Patterns are Synonymous With This Black Woman-Owned Brand
What started as a simple passion for visual arts soon became a fashion love story. That’s the case for Samantha Black and her clothing brand, Sammy B. Designs, which is perfect for the modern woman on the go. With fun prints, happy colors, and excellent craftsmanship, Black has created a women’s ready-to-wear clothing line addressed to the “It Girls” and all the sexy, powerful women with tomboy’s hearts.
Born in the Bronx to Jamaican parents and living in different parts of New York City led to developing her aesthetic, which is evident in her designs. Her Jamaican roots and family’s past were the early inspirations that put her into the fashion design world. Taking inspiration from her stylish family members, who were always dressed to the nines on every occasion, was the key to her design process.
As Black grew up, she took stimuli from drawing, painting, and creating; thus, on her sweet sixteen birthday, she took a pre-college program in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute in fashion design. While in school, she interned for a few designers, including Michael Kors and Jill Stuart.
After graduating in 2005, she moved to London, where she worked in Alexander McQueen’s design studio. There, she got involved with everything creative, from sewing and cutting to making patterns and dyeing fabrics. Returning to New York, she worked as a designer for corporate fashion brands, doing specific designs and celebrity outfits until she built her own namesake line.
After two years of constant effort to promote her business, she made it onto Project Runway. During her participation in the show, she left her artistic footprint; thus, she was invited back to the Project Runway All Stars season, where she competed against the best of the best in the show’s history. Although she was known before attending both shows, she gained a further reputation that led celebrities and pop stars like Beyoncé, Halle Berry, Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj, and Keke Palmer to wear her creations.
“Black is a fearless designer with a New York state of mind.”
Foremost, Black recognizes the importance of growth within a brand. Her brand is more than dressing celebrities; it’s about offering accessible luxury to everyday women. Black is a fearless designer with a New York state of mind who delivers fashion-forward pieces and wishes to leave her mark. During the creative design process, she takes inspiration from everything she loves—her people, street art, different cultures, textures, trips, architecture, and, of course, the spirit of NYC that impacts the energy she puts into her work. From there, she adds her taste, current trends, and new intakes in fashion until she finally brings her sketches to life.
“Her brand is much more than dressing celebrities; it’s about offering accessible luxury to everyday women.”
In a modern society where diversity and inclusion are still debatable, shifting towards a diverse and inclusive culture is essential. One of the more pressing issues is Black representation in fashion, especially the lack of diversity in mainstream fashion. As a young Black woman navigating the world of fashion, Black wants to ensure her community is represented properly, accurately, and uplifting when needed. Grants and scholarships, free fashion business classes, and support, especially from established industry people, would make a world of difference in achieving that.
TROORA MAGAZINE | MAY 2023
WRITTEN BY STELLA POLYZOIDOU
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHAMELL MASON | COLE MCMANUS | CHRIS FOX-KELLY | BONNIE NICHOALDS