Elisa Johnson’s Favorite Things from Black Brands & Makers | The Strategist

Stephen J. Arias

Photo-Illustration: retailers

Growing up, my parents, Magic and Cookie Johnson, always reminded me of the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses and Black creators: As consumers, doing so is our obligation to create generational wealth for our community. Attending New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where I graduated from in 2018, made me even more aware of how the fashion-and-beauty industry continually profits off of Black culture and creativity yet more than often leaves its sources of inspiration with zero credit. Now, as a Black entrepreneur who is creating and designing a forthcoming line of eyewear, I feel even more compelled to support Black- and minority-owned businesses and Black designers and creators. So I recently launched SelectedByElisa.com, a platform that aims to amplify Black achievements in fashion and beauty with advocacy and beyond.

While working on my website, I looked at other successful “lifestyle” or “influencer” sites with curated e-commerce pages and couldn’t help but notice how so many of them included little to no products from BIPOC-owned businesses. That’s why, in developing Selected by Elisa’s e-commerce page, which I call Shop Melanated, I aimed to create a space that not only includes us but remains committed to featuring products designed by, and sometimes exclusively for, Black people. From one-of-a-kind denim by up-and-coming fashion designers (and former classmates of mine), to vitamin C serum developed specifically for melanin-rich skin, to a coffee-table book featuring the images of a celebrated young Black photographer, the 16 products below are some of the favorite things I’ve featured in an attempt to get more people to shop melanated.

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