No matter what your upcoming recruitment looks like – whether virtual, in-person, some combination of both, Formal or Informal – there is no doubt it will arrive much faster than it seems. When thinking about your recruitment styles, whether for yourself or your chapter, the process presents itself with many opportunities to express your values and personality through your outfits. Even if you are holding recruitment virtually, wearing a pair of statement earrings in your favorite color, a symbolic necklace, or even a simple, yet classic ring can help cultivate your personality and convey it to each Potential New Member you meet.
Cultivating your recruitment looks is also an opportunity to further your support of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. There are so many affordable, eco-friendly, and ethical Black-Owned companies that will elevate your recruitment looks. Where you choose to shop is a powerful political statement, just as protesting or donating. Below is a list of my favorite Black-Owned Labels, everything from jewelry, shoes, and clothes, perfect for your upcoming recruitment process.
Humans Before Handles, created by Ash Sims, is the perfect place to find affordable statement earrings for every personality. Whether you’re looking for a timeless silver masterpiece to complement your outfit or a pair of bright pink drop earrings, she makes it. Especially over Zoom, a jaw-dropping pair of earrings will no doubt spark a conversation, allowing you and your PNM to effortlessly move beyond the conversation of how they’re enjoying recruitment so far.
Omi (meaning ‘water’ in Yoruba) Woods sells pieces crafted as modern heirlooms celebrating Africa and the continent’s diaspora. Each piece is crafted with the intention of being passed down through generations and is handmade from globally-sourced conflict-free metals and fair-trade African gold. Fair-trade means miners receive fair wages for their work, allowing them to support their families and communities’ livelihoods, which includes health care and education. Founder Ashley Alexis McFarlane celebrates her Jamaican-Ashanti-Maroon heritage through the brand’s name: ‘Jamaica’ originates from the Taino word ‘Xaymaca,’ meaning ‘land of wood and water.’ Omi Woods offers each of its pieces in multiple different plating options, which allows a price range for each piece.
Featured in media from Nike to Vogue, and worn by celebrities such as Beyonce and Blake Lively, JLANI Jewels knows how to create timeless, classic, and beautiful pieces that will last beyond a lifetime. JLANI is also an eco-friendly way to accessorize, inspired by everything from poetry, architecture, and nature. Lani Nesbit, CEO & Creative Director, never reaches a limit as to when inspiration will spark her creative eye. Each piece is crafted in the United States, although the store has an insurmountable customer base throughout the international community
If you need the perfect gold accessory, Manhal has you. The brand styles each piece after elements from Islam and the Arabic language, to spark contemplation and emphasize the minimalist practice of life. Manhal embraces the values of slow fashion in theory and in practice, as each piece is effortlessly classic. Perfect for Preference Round, these gold pieces will absolutely elevate your entire outfit and give you an extra hint of elegance for the ceremonies. If you value a minimalist, slow-fashion lifestyle, this is certainly a brand to bookmark.
Another staple brand for go-to statement jewelry, Lola Ade carries pieces both the creative sister and minimalist sister in your chapter will find irresistible. Lola Ade grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, which she accredits her bright stylistic eye to. For the past ten years, however, she has dedicated her time to traveling, which has inspired much of her jewelry. In Yoruba, Lola translates to “wealthy” and Ade to “Crown,” which always reminds her to humbly carry her “crown” through each endeavor. Her cultural pride, as well as dedication and passion, carries through her jewelry artistry and brand development.
Twelve AM Co. has the most unique, yet affordable, shoes I have found yet. While you may not need shoes for your virtual recruiting process, if you are in person and looking for a shoe that will carry you through the day, these are absolutely essential. Twelve AM Co.’s creator Areial Lomack additionally runs the Passionate & Prepared campaign, which is supported by her business and is partnered with Wells Fargo and Prudential to emphasize the importance of education and financial literacy.
If you are recruiting on-campus or attending any professional event, a well-made “nude” heel is an absolute staple in your closet. Salone Monet redefines the nude heel, by offering inclusive heels in six skin-flattering shades that will elongate your legs and create the flawless line, as intended by the purpose of the “nude” heel. Each heel is made in Italy, not only promising the beauty of each pair but guaranteeing their quality, ensuring the shoe will last years to come without wearing out.
Diarrablu has the most beautiful statement tops. Founded by Diarra Buosso, each collection is inspired by the bold cultures of the African continent, combining both tradition and modernity in each piece. Focusing on slow-fashion and improving the sustainability of the industry, Diarrablu prides its pieces on being able to last through yearly trends. Most garments are made in Dakar, Senegal, which is run by Diarra’s mother, Khoudia Dionna. Dirrablu has been featured in everything from Vogue to Forbes and represented Senegal as World Fashion Week Paris.
Remember, while recruitment season is an excellent time to support Black-owned labels and businesses, supporting Black-Owned Businesses is essential to work into your typical shopping experiences. For the every day, some of my favorite stores for casual clothing also include Daily Paper (https://www.dailypaperclothing.com) and Local European (https://localeuropean.com). If you choose to purchase anything from these brands, be sure to let me know in the comments!
Xx, Jenna Downey
Cornell University, Alpha Xi Delta