The future of fashion is bright: shining a spotlight on Black fashion creators

Gushers’ Black Voices Create program amplifies three up-and-coming fashion designers.

Designers Sainabou Lowe, Dale Horton and Camryn McClain

Internet slang, dance trends, popular music, and fashion aesthetics – many of these originated from Black creators yet their contributions have often remained obscured and undervalued.

Launched in 2020, Gushers’ Black Voices Create program is designed to spotlight, celebrate and uplift talented Black creators with the goal to close the value gap in the space by providing access, exposure and financial compensation.

This year, Gushers is teaming up with premier streetwear publication HYPEBEAST to spotlight up-and-coming Gen Z fashion designers whose art is breaking conventions while uniquely expressing their individual experiences.

Meet the designers we’re gushing about

Three rising designers, Sainabou Lowe, Dale Horton and Camryn McClain, the respective creators behind fashion brands SAIbysai, Expired Citizens and RENÉE, are proudly featured in this year’s Black Voices Create program as Gushers spotlights each designer’s brand story and their unique approach to deconstructed and DIY fashion.

For this year’s program, each designer has meticulously crafted two distinctive apparel pieces that resonate with their own individually unique brand identity to be part of the first-ever Black Voices Create fashion capsule.

These garments were unveiled earlier this year within a bespoke lookbook, a collaborative masterpiece elevating not only the designers but uniting BIPOC creators including fashion model Victor Kunda, photographer Nayquan Shuler, and fashion stylist Justin Boone.

Sainabou Lowe - SAIbysai

Sainabou Lowe is known for her “SAI” face, an original abstract work that adorns her brand’s various leather moto jackets, denim jeans, plaid miniskirts, blazers, cotton button-downs and vests. SAIbysai embodies Gen Z’s fixation with DIY design and the resurgence of at-home tailoring and upcycling.

For Gushers, the designer remixed another gem from her collection, a pair of relaxed parachute pants with oversized cargo pockets at the front in a fern green colorway.

The style showcases baby pink “SAI” motifs painted down the front panels. Lowe then incorporates this pink-and-green palette on her second piece, a knitted pullover with ‘70s-style bell sleeves and multicolored fringe draping at the fitted hem.

“I love the Black Voices Create initiative because it’s for people like me,” says Lowe. “It’s so important to see myself out there so to platform us and be a part of it is very important.”

Dale Horton – Expired Citizens

Dale Horton’s Expired Citizens has been gaining popularity for its unconventional use of patchwork and pattern-clashing collage-style paneling made from upcycled deadstock textiles, tablecloths and recycled materials. The designer presents upcycled denim jeans and a camo messenger bag for the Black Voices Create fashion capsule.

The jeans are cut and sewn with contrasting denim graphic overlays, creating a vein-like cutout pattern on the front and back panels. Horton paired this garment with a utilitarian messenger bag fashioned from deadstock camouflage fabric featuring oversize patch pockets on the exterior.

“I align with Black Voices Create because something like this is nice to shine a light on us and empowers the community of kids that are also my color,” explains Horton.

Camryn McClain – RENÉE

Camryn McClain began making ready-to-wear garments for contemporary clothing labels after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology before eventually launching her own brand. With family ties to cosmetology, Camryn pulls inspiration from Black hair and the reclamation of natural, afro-textured hairstyles.

For her capsule collection, McClain created a convertible, monochromatic denim vest with vibrant orange piping at the hem and a denim jacket featuring the artist’s signature braid motif woven atop the garment. The vest, for example, channels this theme of transformation, as the garment converts into a portable messenger bag.

“I align with Black Voices Create because I am a Black voice,” says McClain. “I love being part of an artistic community and I love Gushers’ approach to creating an environment where people can come together.”

Amplifying voices during New York Fashion Week

Each of the designers recently had a moment to shine coming off one of the most important times of year in the industry, New York Fashion Week. The three designers showcased their talents and boundless creativity as they participated in a panel hosted at the HYPEBEAST pop-up in Manhattan.

After learning more about the designers and the inspiration behind their creations, attendees were invited to “virtually” try on each of the notable designs and even had a chance to win a piece from the collections to take home themselves.

Experience the designs yourself

During New York Fashion Week and throughout September, Snapchat QR codes let consumers across New York City scan into a digitalized portal to explore the designs themselves while streetside takeovers feature the designers’ creations.

Consumers across the country will be invited to engage with the designs through a virtual augmented reality try-on via Snapchat and a select few won pieces from the designers’ collections in a social giveaway from HYPEBEAST.

History of Black Voices Create

In the inaugural year of the program, Black Voices Create partnered with four creators to raise awareness for Black creators whose voices were being suppressed by social media algorithms.

The content they created raised $400K for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the first year. A collaborative partnership continued with the original creators in 2021 as the brand supported the Marching Beyond the Madness digital activism series to keep hype going beyond Black History Month. Last year, Gushers put out a call to action in search of undiscovered creators whose work deserved to be seen and promoted their content across social to help them reach new audiences.

Gushers is proud to continue to celebrate and elevate the courage of Black creators who are carving the path toward a redefined future for art, fashion and aspiring creative.

Learn more about Gushers’ Black Voices Create program here.