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Supporting Black-Owned Businesses in the Design Industry

GRAY commits to continued and increased diversity in both coverage and content creation.

By Rachel Gallaher

Architect David Adjaye designed Ruby City, the San Antonio contemporary art center that was the brainchild of the late Linda Pace. Photo by Dror Baldinger, courtesy of Ruby City and Adjaye Associates.

Here at GRAY, we’ve always aimed to be inclusive.

From the coverage in the pages of our magazine to the content on our website and in our social media postings, we’ve spent the past nine years seeking out the best and brightest in the design industry while also paying mind to diversity and highlighting the use of design for social good. And while we are proud of the number of Black and POC (people of color) designers, businesses, and artists we’ve featured in the past, we know that we could (and should) do better. We recognize the privilege and power of our platform and pledge that as we move forward, especially now that GRAY has expanded to cover the international design world, we will use it to continue to elevate and amplify Black and POC voices, showcase their work, and celebrate the incredible depths of creativity happening in their communities.

We would like to encourage you to support Black designers and Black-owned businesses, and we would like to share a handful of them that we have covered and partnered with over the years at GRAY—in the magazine, on our website, at live events and panels, and through our various social media channels. And, while we are proud of this list, we once again acknowledge that there is always more work we can do (from seeking out, supporting, and featuring young emerging Black and POC designers before they become well known to enlisting more writers, editors, photographers, panelists, judges, and stylists of color), and we commit to that moving forward.

We support equality and justice and we believe that Black Lives Matter, so join us in celebrating these talented GRAY-featured individuals and Black-owned businesses. Learn their stories, visit their websites, and consider supporting them in any way you can.

  • Brandy Brown, Creative Director and Founder of Marabou Design, Seattle

  • Cauleen Smith, Artist and Filmmaker, Chicago

  • Christopher Bevans, Fashion Designer, Founder of DYNE, Portland

  • David Adjaye, Architect and Founder of David Adjaye Associates, London

  • Debora Cheyenne, Artist, Art Director at Buck Design, Lost Angeles

  • Derrick Adams, Artist, New York

  • Doug Streeter, Architect, Seattle

  • Erika Dalya Massaquoi, Founder and Designer at The Oula Company, Seattle

  • Francis Kéré, Architect and Founder of Kéré Architecture, Berlin, Germany

  • Hanna Yohannes, Stylist, Los Angeles

  • Kehinde Wiley, Artist, New York

  • Khadijah Fulton, Founder and Designer, White/Space, Los Angeles, California

  • Langano Apartments, Portland

  • LULAH, handbag company, New York

  • Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Artist, cofounder Tarboo, Seattle

  • Mariane Ibrahim, Art Dealer and Gallerist at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago

  • Michael Ford, Architect, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Natsai Audrey Chieza, Founder of Faber Futures, London

  • Thing Gishuru, Selany Collection, Seattle

  • Tiffany Brown, Architectural Designer, Founder of 400 Forward, Detroit

  • Tolu Coker, Fashion Designer and Filmmaker, London

  • Willi Smith, Fashion Designer, New York

Detroit-based Architectural Designer Tiffany Brown founded 400 Forward with the aim of uplifting girls by giving them the tools they need to address social issues created by unjust built environments. Photo by Nate Watters.

New York-based artist Derrick Adams in his Crown Heights studio. Photo by Christopher Garcia Valle.

In her 2017 premier collection, "Replica," fashion designer Tolu Coker explored her African heritage and British upbringing. Photo by Liam Leslie.

A look from DYNE's Fall/Winter 2018 collection, designed by Christopher Bevans. Photo by Ryan Bevans.

Architect Francis Kéré designed Xylem, a gathering pavilion, for the Tippet Rise Art Center in south central Montana. Rendering courtesy of Kéré Architecture.

Cauleen Smith. "Space Station Monk-Ranger," installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 2018. Wallpaper, disco balls, turntable, motor, fur, shag carpet, 2 projectors, DVD. Courtesy of the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, and Kate Werble Gallery, New York.

#Black Architects #Black Designers #Design Diversity


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