I first discovered Brandon Blackwood from this Teen Vogue article about his iconic ESR (End Systemic Racism) tote. After Kim Kardashian posted it this Fall, it instantly became an "it" bag. I knew I had to have one.
Handbag designer Brandon Blackwood is a Brooklyn, NY native of Jamaican and Chinese descent.
'As a Black designer, Brandon knows that fashion and politics go hand in hand. “Systemic oppression is displayed throughout all walks of life, including fashion. Think back to a few years ago when every runway, ad, and commercial was almost completely white," he says. "There are still very few Black/POC creatives taking up important spaces in fashion and this isn’t by coincidence."
He’s right, which is why his bag isn’t just a bag. It sends a message to everyone, not just the fashion industry, that we must put an end to systematic racism. To take the messaging of the bag even further, proceeds of the tote purchases have been going towards the Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under Law. “Offering pro-bono legal aid and counsel to POC tackling civil rights cases, I wanted the funds to [directly] fight against systemic racism and oppression. And that’s what this organization does,” Brandon told Teen Vogue about why he chose this organization specifically.' - Teen Vogue
The truth is that supporting Black creatives, designers, bloggers, businesses and more is going to be large part of how we continue the fight for equality in the 21st century. Amplifying melanated voices and sharing Black stories cannot be temporary, we must continue to surround ourselves with the magic and beauty of our Blackness.
Like we have been saying all along, this is a movement, not a moment, and Brandon's ESR tote is a statement (both fashion and political) I will always stand by.
Brandon Blackwood's LAST launch of the ESR tote will be March 26th, 2021! 🎉