Brandon Blackwood on Dressing Serena Williams and Designing For Starbucks
You can’t talk about contemporary fashion without mentioning Brandon Blackwood. The name alone exudes power, but Blackwood has quite the résumé to back up his reputation. He enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame when his “End Systemic Racism” tote went viral in 2020. Just five years later, the New York-based designer, who is of Jamaican and Chinese descent, is now the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company and a CFDA board member and accessories designer of the year nominee.
Some of today’s biggest stars across various industries have worn Blackwood’s highly coveted bags, including Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Quinta Brunson, and budding rap star Ice Spice. Blackwood has also crafted ensembles for Sheryl Lee Ralph as she celebrated her first Emmy win and Serena Williams as she walked the 2023 NAACP Image Awards red carpet. “The gowns kind of happened by accident the first time, and it just kind of rolled into what it is now,” Blackwood tells POPSUGAR. “It’s a way for us to step away from our norm and really have fun. I think every time we make a gown, it’s like a huge fantasy happening.”
Next up? A collaboration with one of America’s most iconic brands, Starbucks, which Blackwood says “just makes sense.” In tandem with the release of Starbucks’s signature Pink Drink and Paradise Drink, Blackwood will debut accompanying bags in yellow and pink colorways. The designs feature a space to carry the bottle, a crossbody strap, and a compartment for essentials like a phone and cards. “This is a dream collaboration for me,” he says. “I like giving people fun and bold ways to accessorize and individually express themselves, and I like how these drinks were fan-inspired.”
Ahead, Blackwood opens up about the future of his brand, his Met Gala dreams, and his new collaboration with Starbucks. Keep reading for the full interview, and set a reminder for the launch of the Brandon Blackwood + Starbucks Sip & Sling collection, retailing for $75 each and available for presale purchase on Friday, April 28, at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET.