This season Prada released a line of bags, keychains, figurines featuring a racist Sambo-like character (“Little Black Sambo,” an 1800s book character that perpetuated racist stereotypes of big lipped bug eyed pitch black watermelon eating blacks happy being denigrated), calling the keychains “fantasy charms” one has to ask what fantasy are they selling? A return to Jim Crow, Slavery, black economic oppression and all the negative stereotypes of the age of minstrelsy?

It took 20 years for Prada to even use a black model in their ads when in 2013 Kenyan-born Malaika Firth starred in a Prada campaign. Obviously the Italian company has an issue with people of African descent.This is not wise considering Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and one of the oldest populations!Prada needs American sales to exist and pandering to the racist right fringe who probably can’t spell Prada is asking to go bankrupt.

Prada, the high end fashion brand, apparently thought it was okay to sell a trinket that was featuring a black figure with big red lips 
The $550 “blackface” figurines seemed to be a way to capitalize on the growing racist sentiment expressed in American society but Prada had better prepare for a wave of economic “blacklash” as many well-to-do blacks and celebrities like Joani Voyce, Choreographer Neeca Wilder, Cash The Stylist (President of Blackberry radio) and the list is growing. These celebs and more across the country have opted to promote black owned companies that make high end bags as an alternative to Prada and in support of that movement HSM magazine presents the top of the line in Black owned fashion handbags for your gift giving perusal.

Check out these black-owned hand bag brands by both African and African-American designers:

#1 – Minku: Minku is considered the Hermes of Africa when it comes to handbags. They are all handmade and can take up to 50 hours to complete and are lined with  items of Yoruba ceremonial dress. The Nigerian company was started by founder Kunmi in 2011 and is a family-run business.

#2 – ZAAF: ZAAF offers handcrafted luxury leather handbags made in Ethiopia. They are crafted with the finest materials and produced in Ethiopia. The company was founded by Abai Schulze

#3 – Gregory Sylvia: This designer handbag company was co-founded by Gregory and Terri “Sylvia” Pope. The husband-wife team started their company in Charlotte, North Carolina and are known for luxury, elegant handbags of fine leather.

#4 – Adela Dejack: These designer handbags are made in Kenya. Their collection of handbags, jewelry and other accessories are inspired by African shapes, textures and techniques. Designer Adèle Dejak opened  in England and Italy before moving her company to Nairobi, Kenya in 2005.

#5 – Christopher Augmon: Christopher Augmon  luxury designer handbags are made in New York. His distinctive handbags can be found in boutiques around the United States and online.

#6 – Meme Bete: Operates from a small home-based workshop in St. Lucia.
Designer Taribba do Nascimento uses many different types of traditional cloths such as African wax print and madras, and combines them with the finest of leather. 

#7 – Posh Totes: Located in Southern California, these hand-made original handbags are designed and handmade within the confines of the “Studio of Vignettes.” Everything from choosing materials, hand cut pieces, sewing, labeling, and photography performed by designers Bjones, a former interior designer, and J. Reed a couture stylist.

#8 – The Purse Paparazzi: Based in Baltimore, Maryland, the Purse Paparazzi is owned and operated by an African American husband and wife team. Their company offers women an assortment of unique, stylish and edgy hand bags clutches for every occasion!


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