For a long time, Blerds struggled with finding spaces in the anime fandom that accurately reflected their distinctive style, tastes, and culture. However, the 2010s saw a new generation of Otakus take matters into their own hands. They created brands to fill voids they felt were desperately missing from the fashion industry: a brand representative of the Black anime fan. If you’re an Otaku looking for high-quality fashion that reflects your love for Japanese animation and adoration for Black culture then get your credit card ready. Prepare to be blown away by the five entries on this list.
Everyday Cosplay is a Black Woman-owned fashion brand straight out of Dallas, Texas, created by Quency Bonds: a digital entrepreneur and content creator whose diverse portfolio includes digital art and graphic design. Everyday Cosplay’s colorful collection features original, high-quality graphic prints, designed by the owner herself, inspired by popular anime titles like Demon Slayer and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The effeminate woman’s line is chock full of statement pieces guaranteed to turn heads, including sneakers, swimsuits, and bold-print waist-adjustable joggers.
Everyday Cosplay is a prime example of a brand made for women by women. It offers a little something for every woman’s taste, whether your vibe is a curve-hugging sexy slim-fit or casual, relaxed, and oversized. The brand also prides itself on inclusivity with sizes that run from 2XS – 6XL to cater to every woman’s body.
According to the brand’s official IG, Everday Cosplay fills a void creator Quency Bonds felt was visibly missing from women’s fashion. She made body accommodating anime apparel with original artwork that pulled inspiration outside the mainstream options of Dragonball Z, Naruto, and Sailor Moon. With prices that range from $5 – $95, Otakus worldwide will fangirl over Everyday Cosplay’s vivid designs and vast selection.
Bad Waifu creatively expands on the basic idea of Otaku apparel and elevates it to the level of grown and sexy. Linda Walton — a multi-lingual entrepreneur who hails from the Southside of Richmond, Virginia — created the brand to help women feel cool and sexy without sacrificing their nerdy identities. The result is an Earth-conscious, woman-empowering label that proudly commits to its Black-owned standard throughout its production process, from the company’s CEO down to its NYC-based production team.
Bad Waifu not only offers oversized cropped tees, high-waisted sweats, and vegan-friendly silk pajamas but will also soon include a sexy Demon Slayer line composed of sculpted body suits, a two-toned cropped blazer, and matching high-waisted shorts. Its racy collection includes original anime-inspired designs created by illustrator Shanice Penn with references to Dragonball Z, Naruto, and Jujutsu Kaisen.
Despite its popularity, which has countless items selling out online, Bad Waifu is big on Blerd branding and support. Its IG page is full of Blerd models and cosplayers, and the company encourages collaborations on its official site. Its latest collab with Blerd content creator Fantastic Frankey birthed a fly, unisex bomber that’s definitely for the Culture.
Hypland is the quintessential anime streetwear brand, setting the tone for Black-owned Otaku apparel since 2014. What started as a hobby exclusively shared between friends has now become one of the biggest anime streetwear brands in the United States. Hypland was created by Jordan Bentley — a young Black entrepreneur from Los Angeles — to promote diversity and interculturalism through fashion.
Bentley trademarked the brand in 2012; however, according to an interview with Netflix, he didn’t include anime in Hypland’s designs until 2014. The inspiration behind the switch? To use his passion for fashion to promote the anime artform and unite the masses through shared fandom. Since then, Jordan’s pledge has blossomed into quite the underdog story as Hypland’s distinctive designs have reached fans all over the US — from anime expos and fashion conventions to pop-up shops throughout LA, NYC, and Chicago.
Hypland’s unisex designs, although original, are all officially licensed collaborations backed by some of the biggest distributors in anime, including Viz Media (Naruto), Funimation (YuYu Hakusho), Konami (Yu-Gi-oh!), and Toei Animation (Zatch Bell!). Hypland’s vast collection ranges from colorful, minimalistic graphic hoodies to bold, color-block puffer jackets. Since its launch, the streetwear brand has expanded to home decor. They offer plush rugs that feature intricately detailed designs of famous anime characters such as Hunter X Hunter’s adorable twosome Gon and Killua.
Adorned By Chi
Adorned by Chi is another famous brand that has been making waves in the anime space since the 2010s by carving out a lane for Black fans. When creator Jacque Aye — a Nigerian-American author, business owner, and self-care enthusiast — didn’t feel there was enough representation for the Black anime fandom, she took matters into her own hands.
Aye created a brand, which includes a fashion line and a manga series starring an all-Black ensemble of collegiate heroes. Not only are some of the brand’s pieces inspired by anime like Sailor Moon, but they also feature original artwork and characters from the Adorned By Chi manga!
Adorned By, Chi’s fashion label, is a product of Aye’s adoration for the magical girl genre — a subgenre of Japanese entertainment that focuses on young girls with magical abilities. She has an affinity of promoting self-love and Blerd representation. Most of the brand’s best-selling graphic tees and sweatshirts contain affirming pro-black messages like “Coco Cutie,” “Melanin Mermaid,” “Black and Proud,” and “Pretty Girls Like Anime.”
Adorned By, Chi’s womenswear collection, offers cropped sweatshirts, bodysuits, and tees that are soft, feminine, and whimsical with vibrant designs and bold fonts inspired by Mattel’s Barbie. Although the online store is currently on hiatus, you can check out their collection of graphic tees, tanks, and hoodies at Hot Topic, or browse their recent ‘Hello Kitty’ collab with Sanrio – a Japanese company that specializes in kawaii gifts and products.
Oh My Senpai
Oh My Senpai is an up-and-coming brand from California that has found success quickly thanks to its hype on social media and branding which has kept its premium loungewear in demand since the Summer of 2021. Oh My Senpai is a made-to-order Black-owned brand manned by a one-person army of Taylor Senpai, a popular content creator who was inspired to make their anime-inspired lingerie and sleepwear when they noticed the lack of options available.
To keep up with this exclusive brand, whose popular online shop is password-protected, you have to pay attention. Oh My Senpai announces the sales of its exclusive drops via social media. Each drop includes a new line inspired by a new anime and is only available for pre-order for a few weeks. This exclusivity has built up quite the buzz, causing drops to sell out as quickly as 24 hours.
With Oh My Senpai, nerds of color can look forward to loungewear and accessories that were designed specifically with them in mind with the inclusion of natural hair care essentials like satin bonnets and du-rags. In addition to dressing your kinks and coils with stylish patterns and designs (with the help of Black artists like Jazmin Anita), Oh My Senpai also offers premium robes, nightgowns, wrap-tops, lounge pants, and t-shirts inspired by popular titles like Sailor Moon, Naruto, and Demon Slayer. With the option of VIP boxes that include bundles of up to four items, Oh My Senpai is the perfect gift idea for Black anime fans.
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Kaillaby is a writer from The Bronx with infectious high energy and a passion for geek culture. She loves connecting with Blerds like herself and hopes to create her own cartoon someday.