10 Black Designers that Should Appear at Met Gala 2018

The Met Gala is one of the biggest annual red carpets for fashion, where the biggest designers in the industry claim their muse for the night to wear one of their designs. Each year, the Met Gala has a theme that is intended to drive inspiration for the pieces that each designer creates for their muse. This year’s theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. There’s no question that Catholicism has continuously been a huge inspiration in fashion and while this theme is sure to be controversial, it will challenge designers to bring their A-Game.
The same lineup of European brands are set to dress the big A-listers for the night, but why not introduce some new blood to the mix? Here is our lineup of black designers worthy of dressing the biggest names in the industry for Met Gala 2018 and beyond.

Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese designs with the elegant everyday woman in mind. But if she is worthy of being a favorite of Michelle Obama throughout her two runs as First Lady, she is more than eligible for the task of creating a red carpet look for the Met Gala.

Although Tracy Reese hasn’t entered the Haute Couture sector of fashion quite yet, her Ready-to-Wear runway collections have shown small hints catholic-like aesthethics: metallic gold, bold combinations of colors, overlays of lace and sheer fabrics, as well as full bodied silhouettes just to name a few. These designs, some of which date all the way back to her Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear collection, can be reworked and exaggerated with the right accessories to create a classic yet stunning moment on the Met Gala carpet.

Cushnie Et Ochs  

Carly Cushnie is no newbie to the red carpet game. Her sleek, sexy and classically feminine looks have graced the likes of Kerry Washington, Eva Mendes, Adrienne Bailon and plenty more. Cuisine Et Och’s designs have the ability to appear effortless yet exaggerated all at once — oftentimes due to the airy flow and draping of its gowns, as well as the use of intricate yet subdued patterns seen in many of the brand’s previous collections. Combined, these signature elements can be used to create a look that meets the Catholicism theme of this year’s gala while maintaining the chic simplicity that many A-listers look for.

Duro Olowu 

Duro Olowu’s flamboyant, eye-catching designs are an attention grabber from the very start. This African designer has an incredible eye for seamlessly blending vibrant colors, patterns and textures. His embroidered florals are especially stunning — and in the case  of this year’s Met Gala theme, perfectly fitting. Finely detailed embroidery with vibrant colors has been one of the biggest elements of Catholicism to inspire fashion; this theme has been a major influence in Dolce & Gabbana’s recent collections. Duro Olowu’s collections prove his capability to bring an Afrocentric flare that would surely turn heads on the Met Gala Red Carpet.

Laquan Smith


Laquan Smith has dressed some of the most admirable women in Hollywood, including Serena Williams and Queen Beyonce herself. But he hasn’t styled a celebrity for the Met Gala quite yet. Laquan Smith’s designs are incredibly sexy. His designs are often curve hugging, and his designs contributed to pioneering the sheer gown trend that has been consecutively spotted on the Met Gala red carpet for years. Laquan Smith is the perfect designer to create a look for the fashion darling who attends the Met Gala solely for a good photo op in a gown that makes her feel like a bag of money: hence Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez’s unforgettable 2015 sheer gown numbers.

Datari Austin

Datari Austin’s designs reflect an essence of opulence, regality and fine attention worthy of the Met Gala red carpet. Throughout the designer’s collections, there’s a hint of refined traditionalism that fits perfectly with this year’s theme.



Tongoro is an African apparel brand acclaimed for their unique and playful designs. Their aesthetic is not the typical look for the Met Gala red carpet, but that’s the very reason why they deserve a shot. African inspired designs have become widely popular among celebrities and performers recently (Tracee Ellis Ross wore a Marc Jacobs dressing and matching head wrap to the Golden Globes, Lauryn Hill just performed in an African Print number by a European designer), but these celebrities have not been giving authentic African designers the opportunity to dress them. A newcomer to the red carpet could make a huge splash by going against the grain and relying on this African made and designed brand to deliver a fresh, modern African aesthetic to this European-dominated red carpet.

Romeo Hunte

Romeo Hunte’s designs are a haute couture interpretation of street style, infused with a high dosage of denim, cargo and other textiles that are rarely deemed runway-ready. But in recent years, surprising brands (including H&M) have snuck their way into the Met Gala designer line up, so Romeo Hunte would be a perfect fit to jazz things up by bringing a street-style edge to this formal carpet. His ability to make orgami-silhouettes and quilt-like blends of fabric mesh is a gift that makes his work so unique that it needs to be presented on the met gala carpet. There’s no denying that he’d be able to come up with something eye-catching and worthy of a true dare devil like — dare I say —  Met Gala’s MVP Rihanna.

Pyer Moss 

Pyer Moss’ designs are inspired by a blend of concepts, from classic athletic gear to hip hop brands of the 90s and even some social commentary. This variety of inspirations has created this warped aesthetic that often blends the lines of androgyny, introducing menswear staples and silhouettes to womenswear. Still, he is perfectly capable of designing something classic and refined, which he always sprinkles into each of his collections. Pyer Moss would be the perfect fit to dress a celebrity who isn’t afraid to bend those gender lines on such an experimental red carpet.

Kimberly Goldson

Kimberly Goldson takes typical closet essentials and glamorizes them with sequin, metallics and exciting patterns, making her designs clean cut yet exceptionally regal. This regality will be necessary for celebrities to achieve the theme of this year’s Met Gala. She’d be perfect to design a simply classic yet royal look for a red carpet vet whose done it all and is simply looking to follow the theme while staying comfortable throughout the night’s festivities. 

These Pink Lips

These Pinks Lips is a brand for the true dare devil with a lot to say and who isn’t afraid of a lot of eye  balls. This brand is known for its relentless use of bright neon colors and splattering political messaging all over its garments using lewd language. These Pink Lips has an amazing relationship with Cardi B, known as one of the few brands willing to dress the breakthrough star in the early stages of her career. If Cardi B and her baby bump makes it to the Met Gala this year, we vote that she sticks to her roots and where’s a custom couture piece from the brand that makes a powerful political message. Being that this year’s theme is already highly controversial and political, she wouldn’t have anything to lose, in theory at least.
Gabriella Layne

Editor-in-Chief of The Strut Magazine

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