For Black History Month, we are highlighting the people and projects you should know about all year long.
From vintage to modern and everything between, furniture of all styles and eras is something we forever love to explore and learn more about. All year long, we love to feature talented creatives in the field of furniture design, but this month, we're specifically highlighting Black furniture designers in honor of Black History Month.
It's worth noting that less than 5% of designers are Black, emphasizing the importance of diversifying your feeds and, hopefully, your collection of furniture. Ahead, check out seven Black furniture designers who are making serious moves in the industry.
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1. Kusheda Mensah
British-born Ghanaian designer Kusheda Mensah is on a mission to foster social relationships through furniture. To do this, she creates modular pieces designed to interlock together. These pieces — which are beautifully bold, structural, and eye-catching — are showcased on her website, Modular by Mensah.
2. Sean Brown
From fashion design to fine art, multidisciplinary creative Sean Brown is one to watch. In the furniture space, he founded Curves by Sean Brown, a successful line of contemporary home goods. The brand is known for its swoonworthy, artful furniture and rugs designed to look like popular CD albums. Hello, nostalgia.
3. Tosin Oshinowo
Ilé Ilà, which translates to "House of Lines," was established by architect and designer Tosin Oshinowo in 2017. As a furniture and lifestyle brand built on cultural identity, Ilé Ilà is an homage to Oshinowo's Yoruba background. The studio specializes in contemporary handcrafted chairs, which feature West African fabrics and wood.
4. Peter Mabeo
Based in Botswana, Peter Mabeo founded Mabeo Furniture in 2006. The design studio has a long history of collaborating with iconic creators and brands, including Claesson Koivisto Rune, Inès Bress, and most recently, Fendi. His pieces often utilize local woods and feature artful shapes and forms.
Inspired by appreciation for nature, minimalism, and craftmanship, furniture designer BOA creates modern pieces with sustainability in mind. Her company, OI Studio, uses nontoxic glues and eco-friendly materials to create luxury, bespoke furniture.
6. Stephen Burks
Stephen Burks is an industrial designer and founder of Stephen Burks Man Made, a collaborative design studio based in Brooklyn. In addition to furniture, the studio creates lighting, interiors, products, and exhibitions that mesh diverse backgrounds and cultures. According to his website, Burks is the only African American to receive the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award.
7. Jomo Tariku
Jomo Tariku is an Ethiopian American artist and furniture designer. He creates modern pieces inspired by Africa's wide range of cultures, landscapes, artifacts, and colors, just to name a few elements. Plus, get this: His stools have appeared in the Marvel film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.