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In a world without travel, Instagram influencers struggle to adjust

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Influencers are frequently derided for turning travel into a spectator sport, and are often seen as frivolous, sycophantic, and superficial. But travelling to cover events as a journalist, I have watched influencers work — and it is work, performed with seriousness and care. It’s not exactly an essential service, and given the havoc COVID has wreaked on the economy, no one is mourning that Instagrammers can’t gallivant in the surf and sun. Without travel, though, there are no travel influencers. And that’s meant for many people a steady, lucrative career has had to drastically change.

As brand partnerships gradually ramp up again, the brands themselves are more sensitive — more “cognizant of our new reality,” Hwang says, as they adjust to a post-COVID world. “In our contracts now there are lots of disclaimers: don’t have lots of people in the photo with the product, make sure you’re shooting at home, or if you’re at a park, make sure you’re wearing a mask or social distancing.” Hwang believes they’re cautious about the wrong associations. “They’ve definitely padded up their contracts to ensure that our content isn’t giving off the wrong message to our audience.”

Travel, of course, will return to something like normal, perhaps sooner than expected. And for influencers such as Jeremiah Charles, that could mean a new kind of travel influencing. “I think they’re going to need content creators to show not just how great a hotel room is, but how clean it is, how safe it is, how things are being handled. Here’s how dining looks. Here’s how in-room dining looks. They can’t do any better than to have an influencer come in and say, ‘Here’s what I was worried about, and this is what brands are doing about it.’” In the near future, expect to see a lot of branded content meant to reassure, he says. “We would kind of be the guinea pigs for travel.”

Jeremiah foresees a “whole new layer” to his influence: where it “used to be about what’s a good spot to eat,” he says, it’ll soon be “that plus whether it’s safe and following guidelines.” It’s this precautionary element that Hwang worries about. “Some tourism boards have already reached out to tell us the borders are open and asking us to travel to see them,” she says. “But we’ve declined. If we’re off travelling when the government still says it isn’t safe to, what kind of message does that send to our followers? We have to be careful. We don’t want to subconsciously affect their thinking.”

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Revolve surges on Q2 results

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The Best Black Shoes for Men to Buy in 2020

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Back-to-school season is upon us, though it’s likely to be happening from home for most people. From the ultimate pencil case to work from home slippers, our Homecoming: Preparing for a Back-to-School at Home hub is a virtual class in new-age school essentials.

For the past decade or more, sneakers have been the MVP of the shoe game, pushing aside traditionally respected styles to take the number-one spot on most-popular and most-expensive tables everywhere. The collectability of sneakers may well be the driving force behind this cultural revolution, but have we hit critical mass? Recent shows like Prada, Lemaire, Dries Van Noten, and many more exhibited Spring 2021 collections that firmly suggested a move from high fashion’s streetwear obsession. While you might expect it from names like that, Off-White’s focus on soft tailoring seemed a more trustworthy sign of the beginning of the end for sneakers and streetwear. We may well be entering a post-sneaker era.

If this is the case, it’s always better to be ahead of the curve, so start sizing yourself up for a pair of black leather shoes today. This may well be unfamiliar territory for you but fear not because the Highsnobiety curators have been hard at work doing the legwork by rounding up the best black leather shoes which are ideal for back-to-school. We’re going to go ahead and assume that you’re more focussed when you look down to see a pair of freshly polished Dr. Martens than your slippers.

Shop the best black shoes below

Dr. Martens Adrian Tassel Loafer

Dr. Martens’ treats the classic tassel loafer to its unmistakably chunky style for the Adrian Tassel Loafer. We love this style because it allows you to express a bit more character than a traditional penny loafer.

Mephisto Peppo

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Norwegian label Mephisto combines high-quality suede and full-grain leather to give the Peppo a textural boost. This classic workwear styles easily with wide-leg pants and shorts.

Mephisto Peppo

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If you like to maintain the status quo, opt for the original leather iteration of the shoe.

Birkenstock London Clog

Birkenstock has firmly grabbed the attention of the under-30s in recent weeks and we’re here for it. The London Clog sits somewhere in between a sandal and a formal shoe which makes it the ideal transition style for any still reluctant to enter the post-sneaker world.

Gucci Horsebit Leather Loafers

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The Gucci Horsebit Loafer has been the loafer of choice for discerning gents since its release in 1953. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Paraboot Michael Shoe

France has a number of notable exports: some of the world’s best cheeses and wines, ground-breaking art and literature, and the Paraboot.

Bottega Veneta Nappa Loafers

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Bottega Veneta gives the loafer a super-casual edge with this slimline version. A thin sole and supple nappa leather upper with an elasticated heel make this the perfect house show with a strong babouche style.

Bottega Veneta Tassels Moccasin On High Sole

Tassels Moccasin On High Sole

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Free delivery on orders over $300

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Bottega Veneta explores the dichotomy of past and future using the loafer silhouette as its canvas. Tassels up top hark back to traditional loafer style while a statement chunky sole is topped off by a transparent outsole.

Salvatore Ferragamo Ridged Sole Brogues

Ferragamo takes the traditional derby shoe as a starting point and takes it through a world of ruggedness. Peep the Timberland laces for proof — that’s attitude.

Maison Margiela Tabi Babouche Leather Loafers

Tabi Babouche Leather Loafers

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Margiela obeys no rules. This babouche slipper features a split toe which is much more comfortable than you’d imagine.

Toga Virilis Lace-Up Brogues

Toga Virilis loves silver-tone embellishment and that — combined with a cut-out vamp — is what distinguishes this pair of classic leather brogues.

A.P.C. Ambre Chunky Derby Shoe

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We may have omitted A.P.C. from our list of France’s greatest exports — we didn’t mean to. Jean Touitou’s brand does understated Parisian chic better than anyone else.

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54 Black-Owned Businesses You Can Support By Shopping Online

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Buying from Black-owned shops, stores and brands is one of the many ways to be an ally and show support to a community that has been deeply affected by systemic racism. Not only are Black business owners turned down for loans twice as often as their white counterparts, but they have also been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Your money can make a difference, especially when you continuously choose to buy Black for everyday lifestyle staples like makeup, clothes, food, and more.

A simple Google search will direct you to Black-owned businesses within your community, but we’ve also compiled a list of brands that Good Housekeeping editors and Good Housekeeping Institute product analysts personally love that you can shop online right now in honor of National Black Business Month. Our hope is that you’ll find some new favorite products here that you can continue to shop longterm — and, because we’re just scratching the surface with these recommendations, we promise to continue updating this list long after August is over.

black owned beauty businesses

Beauty

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Alaffia

Alaffia offers sustainable, fair trade skin and haircare products for the whole family, from shampoos to face and body washes, in large sizes at affordable price points. The company’s products contain high-quality ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, and its Authentic African Black Soap even won a Good Housekeeping Sustainable Packaging Award in 2019. Product sales also help fund the brand’s foundation, which gives back to the African communities that harvest their ingredients.

Bee Love

Bee Love employs formerly incarcerated individuals as a way to offer them a second chance at establishing a new life. The company makes everything from honey to honey-infused skincare products like indulgent body balms and sugar scrubs.

Beauty Stat

A trusted source for beauty and skincare advice, New York cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson has channeled his passion for innovative skincare ingredients and technologies into his own boutique skincare brand. Using a patented technology that encapsulates vitamin C to make it shelf-stable and prevent degradation from light and air, his serums and moisturizers caught the attention of the chemists in GH’s Beauty Lab.

Briogeo

If you don’t know about this amazing hair care brand, you’re missing out. The Be Gentle, Be Kind shampoo and conditioner will leave your hair feeling fresh, vibrant and soft. Bonus: No harsh sulfates, silicones or parabens are used in the products.

Camille Rose

Camille Rose is known for its collection of skin and hair products in an array of delicious scents and textures. The brand’s Cane and Sugar Balm is one of our Beauty Director’s all-time favorite body scrubs: The rich solid sugar, shea butter, and sweet almond oil formula is so decadent and leave skin silky — and it smells like warm brown sugar!

Eu’Genia Shea

Founded by a mother-daughter team, Eu’Genia Shea donates 15% of the profits from sales of its pure shea butter balms for skin and hair to the female workers in Ghana who produce the ingredient. The tins are cute, portable and spill-proof, too.

KNC Beauty

Take your day from drab to fab just by applying KNC’s under-eye or lip mask. These luxe masks will plump and hydrate those two areas to give you a more refreshed look.

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Bookstores

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Brave + Kind Bookshop

Just visiting the Brave + Kind website will fill you with wonder. The diverse books offered focus on early readers and young adults, but there is an adult section offering recommendations to help us all do better as human beings.

Cafe con Libros

Cafe con Libros is more than a bookseller. It’s a bookshop, a cafe and a feminist community space where women, in particular, can feel safe and welcome. And with book clubs dedicated specifically to women of color and feminism, it helps readers find kindred spirits and deepen their understanding of the world and each other.

Loyalty Bookstores

Hannah Oliver Depp, the Black and Queer founder of Loyalty Bookstores, started the company to bring more diverse voices to the industry and to provide a space that feels like home for marginalized people. And for those of us who seek refuge in paper and ink, there’s nothing more necessary.

The Lit. Bar

The Lit. Bar opened on National Indie Bookstore Day in 2019 as the only bookshop in the Bronx. Today, it serves the community it calls home with events, a wine bar and a mission statement that’s as lit as the spot itself. Founder Noëlle Santos has created a space where you can find a new favorite read with a glass of something in hand, and we’re here for it.

Semicolon Bookstore

Semicolon Bookstore and gallery is a Black woman-owned bookstore that also has a nonprofit arm dedicated to raising literacy rates in Chicago by providing free books to Chicago Public School students. Getting students reading and an art-filled, inviting space? Count us all the way in.

black owned clothing and accessories businesses

Clothing and Accessories

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Coco and Breezy

Twin sisters, Corianna and Brianna Dotson were bullied as kids, so much so that they made safety goggles to protect them from onlookers. It created an alter-ego for them. Fast forward to 2009, Coco and Breezy Eyewear was born. They have a full collection of chic and stylish optical eyewear and sunglasses.

Fanmmon

Some of the prettiest dresses you will ever find! With fun colors and festive florals, their designs have been known to sell out quickly.

Khiry

Jameel Mohammed designs modern and sleek jewelry that is polished and sculptural. It’s a celeb-favorite brand as well.

Lemlem

Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian-born model and founder of Lemlem. The entire artisan collection which includes women’s, men’s, children’s and home, is made solely in Africa. Lemlem is known for its classic African patterns and techniques that create coveted pieces that are loved by many celebrities, including January Jones and Molly Sims. You’ll find colorful modern stripes, light breezy dresses and texture which in each collection.

Li-Li’s Creations

Malacia Anderson, owner and designer of Li-Li’s Creations, has a love for vintage ’50s and ’60s fashion. She’s combined that love with different prints like African wax to create a modern and sophisticated collection full of vibrant colors, classic silhouettes and quality craftsmanship.

Maison de Mode

Parsons School of Design graduate and fashion designer Hassan Pierre joined forces with fashion activist and philanthropist Amanda Hearst as well as entrepreneur and investor Carmen Busquets in 2015 to launch the luxury ethical fashion platform Maison de Mode. Today he is the company’s CEO and a leading advocate for sustainability in the fashion industry. Shop Maison de Mode for a range of stylish sustainable pieces, from loungewear to beachwear to eveningwear, plus jewelry and accessories, that meet the brand’s mission of fashion for good.

Mixed Millennial

Co-founders Ruby Herrera and Taylor Clarkson started a business and community together to unite and celebrate people with mixed identities. The result is Mixed Millennial, a blog that sells gorgeous sterling silver and gold necklaces that symbolize the duality of the mixed experience and reuniting different cultures and backgrounds.

Nude Bar

Former dancer Erin Carpenter was always frustrated when she couldn’t find hosiery to match her skin tone. She used that frustration to create Nude Bar, a line of tights, bralettes and underwear that come in 13 shades.

Míe

For statement-making dresses, look no further than Míe. The brand was launched in 2018 and is located in Lago, Nigeria. Local seamstresses and artisans make the stunning apparel from natural and biodegradable fabrics.

Shades of Shades

Founder Marsha Douglas-Syndor couldn’t find a pair of sunglasses to match her complexion so she started her own company. The eyewear shade finder helps you find your perfect pair of chic shades.

Zou Xou

Founder and designer Katherine Theobalds wants women to look and feel their best when they wear her shoes. Her handcrafted pieces are touted for not only being beautiful, but also comfortable.

black owned food and drink businesses

Food and Drink

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A Dozen Cousins

Beyond making flavor-packed slow-cooked vegan beans, A Dozen Cousins also provides an annual grant to non-profit organizations working to provide healthy lifestyle education in underserved communities.

McBride Sisters Collection

Enjoy a medium-bodied chardonnay, a sparkling rosé, and a lively red blend from this wine brand, which was created by sisters Robin McBride and Andréa McBride-John. Some labels read “Black Girl Magic” and “Yes She Can” for an extra dose of inspiration.

Pipsnacks

Jeff Martin co-founded Pipsnacks with his sister, Jen, and his wife, Teresa Tsou, in 2012. Since then they’ve closed a $200,000 deal on Shark Tank, secured cross-country distribution at Whole Foods and made it onto Oprah’s Favorite Things list several times, all thanks to their gourmet heirloom popcorn. GH’s Registered Dietitian is also a fan of the mini popcorn kernels, describing them as “crunchy and flavorful.”

Trade Street Jam Co.

Trade Street Jam Co. is turning out excellent small-batch, low-sugar fruit spreads with deliciously unusual flavors like smoked yellow peach, strawberry, chipotle and fig and blueberry lemon basil. Spread it onto toast, stir it into vanilla ice cream, or, like the GH Test Kitchen is known to do, eat it by the spoonful.

Salt N Sprinkles

All of the cookies at Salt n Sprinkles are dairy-free, egg-free and super delicious. If you want to create your own batch at home or give one as a gift, the brand now sells mason jar baking mixes.

Uncle Nearest

When Fawn Weaver heard that a formerly enslaved Black man named Nathan “Nearest” Green taught Jack Daniel (yes, that Jack Daniel) how to make whiskey, she knew she had to make his story known to as many people as possible. And she did just that by founding Uncle Nearest, a premium whiskey brand in honor of Nearest, the first-known African-American master distiller.

Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm

What started as a beekeeping passion project for Summer and Kam Johnson has become an epic brand selling raw wildflower honey. Their unique jars, blended with good-for-you ingredients like beetroot powder, matcha and ginger root, are the perfect addition to any sweet or savory dish.

black owned health and fitness businesses

Health and Fitness

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Ailey Extension

Alvin Ailey believed dance should be for everyone, and the Ailey Extension honors that notion by offering online dance classes, performances and workshops at an affordable price.

CultureFit

CultureFit makes yoga apparel for the culturally conscious, high-performing woman. Their West African designs are made of premium DryFit material that does not pill, tear or become see-through.

Ethel’s Club

This social and wellness club centers around and celebrates all people of color. The club offers wellness workshops, cultural discussions, concerts and a true sense of community. Memberships are offered online, as well as in person in Brooklyn, New York.

Ivy’s Tea

This “hip-hop-inspired” tea company takes its inspiration from African holistic healing, and offers up a scrumptious variety of tea blends, which include ingredients such as antioxidant-rich butterfly-pea flowers and stomach-soothing peppermint.

LumiBloom

A health-and-beauty brand that offers a variety of tasty teas full of body-and mind-boosting ingredients, including ginger (which has antiviral properties) and chamomile (which can help you sleep and soothe anxiety).

Priscas Art

This Afrocentric wearable art company sells several different mask styles, all in African fabrics, Ankara prints, and batik designs. This one has a mesh filter and a wire at the nose, for greater protection and to help glasses stay de-fogged.

PRU Apparel

This brand creates supportive and chic fitness wear for women, featuring eye-catching designs inspired by the African diaspora. The brand’s Marula Bodysuit is absolutely jaw-dropping in the best way.

black owned home and gift businesses

Home and Gifts

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Aromaology

Shop owner Daisy Kimbro offers a huge selection of handmade hair and body items. But we encourage you to also check out her candles, which are highly reviewed.

Bespoke Binny

Layering lighting in a room can completely transform its look and feel. GH’s Senior Home Editor has had her eyes on the striking patterned African-inspired lampshades that Natalie Manima carries in her Etsy shop, Bespoke Binny. Manima, who is of Ghanaian descent, also offers a slew of other home products, including pillows, blankets and placemats, that are just as stylish.

Bolé Road Textiles

Look no further than Bolé Road Textiles’ throw pillows to spruce up a basic sofa. Many of the global-inspired pillows, which are designed in Brooklyn and handwoven by Ethiopian artisans, feature super-soft cotton that will make your space more cozy in an instant.

Marabou Design

Brandy Brown, the woman behind Marbou Design, describes her style as “playfully refined” — and her gorgeous collection of wall art, stationery and home décor is exactly that. Every design holds a special meaning for Brown: Take, for instance, the Hocus art print, which was inspired by her daughter’s fascination with all things magic.

Clare

Interior designer Nicole Gibbons really knows her paint, so it makes sense that she created a super-easy online paint shop to help people choose the perfect colors for their home. The interactive Clare Color Genius section of the site is a must-try for anyone who’s looking to redesign a space.

Copper and Brass Paper

This brand creates some of the cutest office supplies on Etsy. Adorable notebooks and empowering folders are just a few of the best-selling products from this shop.

Effie’s Paper

Whether you’re on the hunt for a glam coffee mug, unique stationery, or a far-from-basic notebook (you can never have too many!), Effie’s Paper founder Kalyn Johnson Chandler has you covered. Her Etsy shop is full of lovely giftable items that you’ll be tempted to keep for yourself.

Goodee World

Founded by Montreal-based twins Byron and Dexter Peart, Goodee World is a one-stop destination for the most beautifully curated selection of items for your home and closet – not to mention unique, inspiring and thoughtful gifts. From handmade ceramic pieces to responsibly sourced basics (everyone needs a Goodee Hoodie!), Goodee is dedicated to making the world a better place through good design, poverty reduction and eco-minded sourcing, along with other socially responsible practices.

Good Vibes All Purpose Cleaner

Founder and CEO Ymani Efunyale learned to make her own cleaning products after her toddler son accidentally sprayed a household cleaner in his mouth. Now over 10 years later, the demand for her highly concentrated plant-based formula is stronger than ever. Fans love the short ingredient list — it’s simply made with water, vegetable-based soap, vinegar and cleaning salts — and beautiful fragrance options.

Linoto

Lighten up your home with Linoto’s natural linen bedding, curtains, towels, and table linens. The fabric, which comes straight from Belgium and Italy, is handcrafted into heirloom-worthy pieces by artisans in Westchester County, New York. After each item is cut and sewn, they are washed in all-natural laundry detergent and shipped off in plastic-free packaging, so you can feel better knowing that everything’s cared for from start to finish.

Show & Tell

This Queer Black-womxn-owned shop sells everything from tie-dye t-shirts to quilted wall hangings. The brand also now sells face masks in unique patterns.

black owned parenting businesses

Parenting

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Harperlman Dolls

Mother-daughter duo Cynthia and Kathryn are the women behind this brand, which creates dolls of color with different skin tones and hair textures — something both Cynthia and Kathryn wish they had seen growing up.

Healthy Roots Dolls

When Yelitsa Jean-Charles learned that 65% of the world’s population has curly or wavy hair but that only 4 out of 10 girls love their curls, a lightbulb went off. She needed to create a doll that would help young Black girls love their curls – and make sure no kid grew up as she did, without a doll that reflected her appearance. Zoe, the doll she created, has long beautiful kinky hair that kids can style as they choose. It’s currently being tested by the product analysts in the GH Institute as well as young girls from across the country – and everyone is really loving this new addition to the toy aisle!

Just Like Me Box

Books are always a great gift (especially if you want to stay friends with a kid’s parents), and the Just Like Me box is more than a one-time gift: You sign up for a subscription and get two or three books that feature protagonists who are people of color. You can specify the recipient’s age range and whether you want to pay per month ($28 a pop) or pre-pay for a set number of months at a discount.

Kids Swag

You can find a little of everything for kids and babies at this shop: backpacks, fashion dolls, notebooks, stationery and toys, but the Super Me line is the cutest, because every kid needs to see themselves as a hero. (New moms: They also come printed on bodysuits!)

Little Likes Kids

Their jumbo puzzles, placemats and card and board games feature lovely images of kids and families being joyful. The jumbo floor puzzles are also sturdy enough to withstand heavy use from preschoolers.

Miles and Milan

This brand focuses on gender-neutral clothes for babies and toddlers. The pieces are touted for being super-soft, and since they are offered in white, black and gray, they help busy parents put together an outfit easily.

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