Black-Owned Athleisure Brands

Try These Stylish Black-Owned Athleisure Brands and You'll Never Buy Leggings Elsewhere Again

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With the fitness and activewear industries' historical lack of inclusion for all shapes, sizes, and skin tones, the Black community and its creators have decidedly pulled up a seat to the entrepreneurial table to bring consumers some of the best active and lounge clothes and accessories in the biz.

While Beyoncé may have launched inclusive collections of Ivy Park in collaboration with Adidas and Venus Williams may have brought her activewear brand EleVen to the masses, there are so many more talented Black leaders in the world of athleisure that deserve a piece of the spotlight.From leotards and biker shorts to dance shoes and bodysuits, these Black-owned activewear brands are perfect for anyone at any fitness level — or for those who have zero plans to exercise but love a good pair of leggings. So, whether you're just looking for some comfy items to add to your work-from-home wardrobe or just the right sports bra, you've come to the right place for some new styles.

This list of ten Black-owned athleisure brands is exactly what you need, whether you're working out on a yoga mat in your living room or going for a run around the track in the park. Read, buy, follow, and support.

Melt Fit

Based in Detroit, Michigan, this size-inclusive brand includes everything you need to make your adventures bright, bold, and colorful. Available from sizes XS to 3X, this Black-owned brand has even won over Oprah, who's deemed the Melt Fit Essential Leggings (Buy It, $60, amazon.com) "basically perfect."If you want clothes that make you feel confident in your body no matter what shape or size, this brand is for you!

Graci Noir

Founded by the Queen of Dancehall herself, Spice (aka Grace Hamilton) has officially tapped into the fashion designing business after the launch of her athleisure line, Graci Noir, in the midst of the pandemic. The Love & Hip Hop reality television star — best known for her Vybez Kartel collaboration on "Ramping Shop" — was loved by the audience for her charisma, undeniable talent as an artist, and her charming Jamaican accent as she maneuvered through her career, friendships, and being a mother. Now, you can add "stylish taste" to the list of things to love. The Graci Noir collection includes jumpsuits, sweatsuits, sweat dresses, and matching sets for all sizes, including plus-sized women. In addition to athleisure wear, the brand offers an online boutique where shoppers can find something for any occasion, from denim jumpsuits to a tropical strapless bustier with matching bottoms.

Solely Fit

Founded by ABC News journalist and designer Stefania Uche Okolie, Solely Fit is an athletic apparel line that launched in the middle of the pandemic with the purpose of creating comfort in and out of the gym. Created in Arizona and produced in Los Angeles, Solely Fit has already been spotted on Zendaya on her InStyle magazine September cover. Talk about the ultimate endorsement! The brand's mission has some major female empowerment vibes, too. "By definition, strength embodies the ability to withstand great force and pressure," reads the brand's website. "Women have been a force to be reckoned with for many centuries. Strong women continue to raise the bar, and it's only fitting to have activewear that can elevate us." Shop the collection — designed with luxury and functionality in mind — including one-of-a-kind bodysuits, bike-short sets, leggings, and more. (

Lukafit

This Black-owned brand is perfect for the active curvy girl with an on-the-go lifestyle. With a distinct focus on supporting Black women who love to indulge in self-care through movement, founder Mbali Z. Ndlovu created Lukafit as a nod to her South African heritage — specifically, from the Zulu word "juluka," which means "to sweat."

"It's frustrating to support brands that treat women of color as tokens in their advertising if we're even included at all," shares Ndlovu on the brand's website "It's difficult to stick to your health and fitness goals consistently when you're going it alone," she added about why she founded the company.

Pastry

If you're a '90s baby and don't recall the iconic launch of Pastry, every young Black girl's dream sneaker, then I don't know where you've been. Founded by sisters and Run's House reality stars Angela and Vanessa Simmons (daughters of hip-hop royalty, Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons), Pastry Footwear and Pastry Lite were launched in the sneaker market and into the hearts of young girls in 2007. Today, Vanessa Simmons serves as the lead creative director of Pastry and has pivoted the brand to becoming a dance sneaker retailer for professional and university dance teams. Whether you're purchasing for sport or just style, each of Pastry's sneakers fuse both function and aesthetics, making sure that you're never sacrificing comfort to look good — or vice versa.

D'IYANU

Nigerian-born Addie Elabor launched D'IYANU in 2014 with the vision of empowering customers to express themselves through this trendy African-inspired clothing brand. They offer much more than athleisure (check out their dresses, skirts, accessories, and even COVID face masks), but the brand's stretchy, vibrantly-patterned leggings sets are a fun addition to your athleisure collection for sure.

The Bawdy Filter

Founded by B. Lin Murphy, The Bawdy Filter was launched in 2019 and was born from her desire to diversify the market of women's clothing and undergarments. The brand was made with the ambitious woman in mind — the caretaker, the businesswoman, the innovator, and everyone else in between. Their one-step outfits, offered in a variety of colors and styles, are designed to be worn anywhere with anything and will cut your get-ready process in half. From the hot pink compression Vamped Romper (Buy It, $65, busybawdy.com) to the lime green Color Pop bodysuit (Buy It, $75 $115, busybawdy.com), The Bawdy Filter has the perfect item for any Zoom call, grocery store run, or to literally go for a run. It even features antimicrobial fabric and built-in shapewear that's designed to hug your curves and create a smooth body line (hence the name "Bawdy Filter").

Arrow Phoenix Sweat

Who says swimwear isn't athleisure?! Kayla Bell, who has worked as a stylist in the industry with names ranging from mogul Vanessa Simmons to STARZ's P-Valley actor Blue Kimble, has created a sustainable swimwear brand made with recycled materials, which take 70 percent less energy to manufacture. The law student and self-proclaimed beach bum created Arrow Phoenix as a size-inclusive swimwear brand (which offers sizes A-H) after finding it difficult to buy comfortable swimwear herself as a size 38DDD in middle school and high school.

Beyond Arrow Phoenix Swimwear, which has been seen on rapper Megan Thee Stallion and soccer star Crystal Dunn, the brand has also expanded into athleisure. Known as Arrow Phoenix Sweat, it includes gorgeous and functional picks such as the dual-pocketed Sedona Sport Pants (Buy It, $68, arrowandphoenix.com) and the multipurpose Pacifica Sport Top (Buy It, $48, arrowandphoenix.com). Whether you're in the market for a new bikini or leggings set, rest assured that Arrow Phoenix has you covered.

Ruby Love

How annoying is it when you really want to go to the gym and your time of the month starts the second you finally muster up the energy to go? Have no fear; Ruby Love is here! Created by Crystal Etienne, Ruby Love is a period apparel brand with patented leak-proof technology that is equipped to fight against Mother Nature. The brand, formerly known as PantyProp, was founded in 2015 on the notion that "periods should never stop women from doing, being, and going." The Ruby Love technology is inclusive to women, men, young girls, and even the elderly to absorb leaks of any kind and create a discreet, odor-free environment. The brand offers absorbent swimwear, sleepwear, and — yup — activewear in addition to period undergarments. Try the Period Bodysuit (Buy It, $30, rubylove.com) or Period Leggings (Buy It, $50, rubylove.com), both of which can be worn with any pad, tampon, menstrual cup, or by themselves, depending on the heaviness of your flow. (

TIER

If you haven't heard of TIER, it's about time you do. Founded by Brooklyn natives Nigeria Ealey, Victor James, and Esaie Jean Simon, this Black-owned brand is one of the most buzz-worthy athleisure companies to recently emerge from the fashion industry, and it's clear why. They share flawless creative content and integrate mementos of Black culture into their stylish-yet-functional streetwear, loungewear, and activewear. Not to mention, the brand (which is funded by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue) recently announced their latest collection, Project 3: Joy to the World, which was led by the art direction of Haitian American artist Pierre Jean-Baptiste.

Full Court

Upon launching in 2014, Full Court was a tennis-based brand that prided itself on being an alternative to the "lackluster selection of women's gear," according to the company's website. Since then, however, it's expanded its offerings to include a wider selection of activewear pieces. From buttery-soft biker shorts (Buy It, $34 $85, net-a-porter.com) to stretchy-yet-supportive sports bras (Buy It, $27 $90, net-a-porter.com), all of Full Court's creations are breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant — essential features for breaking a sweat on and off of the court. (

EleVen

Another tennis-inspired brand, EleVen, is the brainchild of none other than seven-time Grand Slam singles champ, Venus Williams. And while Williams' fashion-forward brand boasts a bounty of court-approved creations — the Flutter Tennis Skirt (Buy It, $84, nordstrom.com), High Vibes Tennis Tank (Buy it, $74, revolve.com), and Victory Zip-Front Tennis Dress (Buy It, $148, saksfifthavenue.com) — it also offers pieces that are perfect for any kind of movement. Take, for example, the high-waisted Roller Skate Leggings (Buy It, $88, nordstrom.com) and slightly-cropped Ringer Workout Tee (Buy It, $32 $78, revolve.com) — two stylish numbers that are designed to not only withstand the toughest of workouts but also make you feel confident as you break a sweat (even if that's while just running errands). (Want even more Wiliams family style? Then you need to see Serena and her daughter twin in matching bodysuits, trust.)

Zoezi

After graduating from Howard University, Yvonne Bulimo moved back to her hometown in Kenya to reconnect with her roots. When she struggled to find any activewear that spoke to her, she set out to start a line herself. Soon Zoezi — which means "exercise" in Swahili, according to the brand's website — was born. Today, Bulimo is back in the states, and her California-based brand boasts a lineup of items that range from hats and swimwear to leggings and sports bras — all of which are sold internationally in the hopes of making customers everywhere both feel good and look good.

Roam Loud

Founded in 2020 by Tonyin Omisore, Roam Loud is an athletic wear and athleisure company that's committed to creating pieces that unapologetically celebrate and support Black and Brown folks on their health and wellness journey, according to the brand's website.But that's only half of it: Omisore's business also pays homage to her maternal grandmother from Liberia, whose bold spirit is reflected in every brightly-colored piece available for purchase. Whether you opt for a sunshine yellow jacket (Buy It, $82, kohls.com) or a pair of vibrant orange leggings (Buy It, $60, kohls.com), you're sure to feel inspired to not only get your sweat on but to also, well, roam loudly — aka navigate the world on your terms.

Vertical Activewear

A slow fashion brand based in the U.S., Vertical Activewear prides itself on putting Mother Earth first — always. So what does this mean, exactly? All of the company's creations are made on-demand (meaning, there's not some warehouse stocked with leggings that might end up in a landfill if they're not sold) from recycled water bottles. And while plenty of businesses say they're sustainable, Vertical Activewear takes the extra step and proves it, providing customers with a breakdown of the number of water bottles used for every bodysuit sold, for every pair of leggings sold, for every romper sold, etc. on its website. TL;DR — Going to the gym has never looked so, well, green. (

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