BlackPhumelele Designs is an innovative and emerging fashion brand based in Brooklyn, New York and began as a means to fill an unemployment need in 2013 when the founder Phumelele Kunene was laid off from JPMorgan Chase where she worked as Research Analyst for the Mortgage Division.
BlackPhumelele Designs works with mostly natural fibers such as cotton and silk materials, along with thoughtfully selected vendors to produce quality products. In essence the brand proudly employs US based vendors which is an effort that speaks to the brand's social awareness, ethical and sustainable fair trade practices "as a brand we source our fabrics directly from New York based vendors, and intentionally produce our collection in New York." Phumie Kunene.
Each BlackPhumelele Design offers a minimalist, clean aesthetic that delivers a unique and edgy silhouette. All dresses and/ or accessories are consciously designs for the woman who is bold, edgy, both actively involved in business and professional life and is not afraid to add vibrant color and flare to their daily wardrobe.
South African born Fashion designer; Phumie grew up in Swaziland and often looked through the lenses of her parents who’s colorful childhood between South Africa and Swaziland empowered Phumie’s vision of her South African Heritage. Their enchanted storytelling transported Phumie’s vision and become the seeds of BlackPhumlelele Designs.
BlackPhumlelele’s designs are punctuated with a 70s flair. At the seat of the mother’s Singer’s sewing machine, young Phumie began designing at an early age. She would come home from school to find her design modified by her mother’s more conservative style. So she never got to wear her own designs.
Phumie was born to design and continued to create fashion wherever she could. Even equipping herself with a Graduate Diploma in Marketing (IMM) from Varsity College Durban, South Africa.