Brandon Blackwood was born in Brooklyn, New York and is of Jamaican and Chinese descent. He spent most of his upbringing between New York City and Tokyo. Blackwood developed an affinity for fashion and design at a young age and made hand-sewn bags as gifts for his friends in middle and high school. While in college, he interned for Elle and Nylon magazines. Post-graduation he worked as a buyer at Crossroads Trading, a company that buys and sells on-trend second-hand clothes. While working at Crossroads Trading, Blackwood befriended stylists and editors who encouraged him to take up design professionally.
He purchased his LLC in 2013 and launched his first line of handbags in 2015 which were featured in Essence magazine, followed by Elle and Galore. He gained international notoriety in 2020. Wanting to take a stance in support of the Black Lives Matter protests, Blackwood created a mini-tote with the words End Systemic Racism engraved on the front. A portion of the proceeds from the bag was donated to the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is an organisation dedicated to helping racial and ethnic minorities find legal representation while fighting civil rights cases.
Image: BrandonBlackwood_For CFDA_Image by Austin Breeze Quinn_2021.
Text: Gassam, J (2020) ‘How Authenticity Propelled Brand Blackwood Forward Amidst the Pandemic’ 29 October. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/janicegassam/2020/10/29/how-authenticity-propelled-brandon-blackwood-forward-amidst-the-pandemic/?sh=5bc1edd96fb0
Shaw, S (2021) ‘Brandon Blackwood On Activism, Accessories, and Building a Black-Owned Brand’ 2 April. Available at: https://www.lofficielusa.com/fashion/brandon-blackwood-bags-end-systemic-racism-tote