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The Cultural Impact of Harbison Studios

Jul 22, 2021

Black owned fashion brands are looked to for their impact and relevance in more ways than one. The significance of black history, black culture and of black owned business in the fashion industry is far reaching and important. Harbison Studios is no exception to this. We’re proud to be an ethical black owned fashion brand, created by a talented black designer: Charles Harbison. Our ethical fashion creations cater to men, women, and non-binary individuals looking for bold and beautiful garments that simply can not be found anywhere else. We are thrilled to make an impact and contribution to culture at large.

Harbison Studios, established in New York City in 2013, is a black owned fashion label, now launching its luxury online clothing store and re-launching a brand dedicated to embracing and celebrating black culture and high fashion alike. Buying sustainable fashion pieces from our collection is an investment in a company that will bring joy, a sense of style and self-expression to its clients and team for years to come.

Our high end range of clothing includes uniquely crafted designer pieces, including standalone tops, dynamic bottoms, dresses, suits and everything in between. Our goal is to ensure you look phenomenal in cutting-edge American sportswear, streetwear, glamorous evening wear or however you choose to interpret your unique fashion style. Choose an artisan statement piece to speak to your bolder sense of self or be comfortable in your own skin with sustainably made comfort wear. If you’re feeling a little bold, strike an impressive silhouette with custom-made dresses, joining the ranks of Beyoncé, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ava Duvernay as Harbison collectors.

“I am the happiest and most excited, and I feel the most useful in the world when I’m heralding the ideas that mean a lot to me and presenting artful work that I think is valid in our lives. I always feel like I’m doing that when I’m operating under Harbison in a real way.”

Charles Harbison, Creative Director and Founder of Harbison Studios, for The Business of Fashion magazine

Harbison Studios also recognizes that black fashion is a term that is about so much more than black-ness or clothing. In reality, black fashion is an expression of culture, life experiences, and perseverance. Black fashion speaks to the stories of our ancestors and the preservation of our own for future generations. There is intention behind each and every one of our designs.

Buying from a black owned brand not only supports black clothing designers but also helps to create jobs for thousands of black employees and their allies. It’s really simple: when people buy from black owned clothing brands, these companies are more likely to survive, thrive, and continue to uplift the BIPOC community. It’s the kind of boost that black businesses need to keep on providing the quality products you know and love.

According to data released by the Federal Reserve, only 4% of black owned businesses make it through their first year, failing to survive past the start-up days (granted they can even secure a bank loan). The denial rate for black business loans also sits at 53% compared to the 25% denial levied against white business loans. [1] This kind of systemic racism is what black designers and creators are up against as part of an equally significant racial wealth divide.

So, how can we address this? How can we uplift everyone with a fair chance to flourish? Black owned brands need the support of not just the black community, but of all allies of different races. When people invest in apparel designed by black owned clothing brands, they are investing in the spirit of black economic resilience.

To continue supporting our legacy we must support black owned businesses. Many people may assume that means visiting black owned local businesses and eating out at black owned restaurants, and they’re right, but there are so many other ways to invest in our community. Perhaps one of the most often overlooked are black owned clothing brands.

Whether you’re a black woman, black man, non-binary black individual or an ally from another race, thank you for showing an interest in Harbison Studios. When you support black owned fashion brands, you support black artists. You support the black community. You support black culture.

– Harbison, 2021

Report to the Congress on the Availability of Credit to Small Business, 2017.

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