I may not be a fashion girlie, but I know one thing: There is no contemporary fashion discourse without Brandon Blackwood. It’s ironic, considering the fashion industry was initially unwilling to see it that way. “All the [department] stores said no,” the designer, nominated in 2022 for accessories designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, tells Glamour. “They saw the stuff, and it was literally stuff that I still sell now, but they all said no.” Then ShopBop gave Blackwood his first retail partnership—and the rest is history.
Today, Blackwood has more than proved the naysayers wrong. Between launching and subsequently (consistently) selling out of his viral End Systemic Racism tote, casually hard-launching his first original gown design via Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Emmy-winning ensemble followed by a second on Serena Williams (NBD), and successfully expanding his line into outerwear, accessories, and shoes, it’s practically impossible to go shopping—or scroll through social media—without passing a Brandon Blackwood design. You’ve likely even done so without even realizing it: Cardi B, Kourtney Kardashian, Quinta Brunson, Megan Thee Stallion, Winnie Harlow, Ice Spice, Olivia Rodrigo, and more have rocked Blackwood’s designs, proving that Blackwood is not just getting started, but that his unique designs defy demographics. How else could the Kendrick trunk go viral while Charlotte carries a Medium Kuei on And Just Like That…? That’s versatility!
Considering Blackwood’s monumental success, it’s unsurprising that those who initially rejected his work have since come crawling back. “One huge department store literally emailed me on the thread from 2017,” Blackwood recalls with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Aren’t you embarrassed?’”
Ahead of the line’s upcoming shoe launch (mark your calendars for March 17), we spoke with Blackwood about his design process, his office uniform, what he wants from social media, and more for Glamour’s latest installment of Doing the Work.
Glamour: What’s your typical morning routine?
Brandon Blackwood: Okay, this is sad. I wake up at 10 a.m. every morning, because I normally stay up until 4 a.m. working. Then, this is so gross, but I drink one iced coffee, plain. I take my multivitamins, and then I have a smoothie.