Born in Accra, Ghana on the Western Coast of Africa to a Nigerian father and a Russian mother, Joanna deʼShay grew up heavily influenced by the exotic people, cultures, and textures of her homeland. Inspired by both her international upbringing and her motherʼs chic European fashion sense, Joanna created Black Russian Label in 2011 for the global woman who is unapologetic, bold, and empowered by her individual style. Her strong focus on innovation, versatility, and adaptability continues to be a hallmark of her unique collections.
Using her Athletic, curvy hourglass figure as the benchmark and inspiration for construction, Joanna designs for real-size women who work hard at building a strong, fit body. How a garment Fits and the way a Fabric feels on the skin are her priorities, and she plays with strong opposites and textures to further empower women to dress the way they feel in clothes that move with them throughout their day. Her designs are unique and creative and designed to accentuate a womanʼs natural body shape.
The backbone of Black Russian Label is Joannaʼs belief that fashion is a way of living, and design must be born from an organic, genuine, and authentic place. Armed with both an MBA in Business and an MFA in Fashion Design from the prestigious Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Joanna designs for ALL women and is proud to live in a realistic world of fashion where style is a state of mind and couture can be affordable.
Joanna the designer is also Joanna the mother. Today, her sons Anʼ Tony and Christian are her biggest inspirations. As both a single mother and the mother of an autistic son, Joanna aims to inspire women with children who have disabilities to boldly enter the business world and continue to live their dream.
Designed by Joanna deʼShay, Black Russian Label is for the global woman who is unapologetic, bold, and empowered by her individual style. At once innovative and classic, the label experiments with unique fabrics, a vibrant color palette, bold lines, and edgier embellishments. At the center of all designs is a strong focus on fit. The clothes are made for real-size women and accentuate a womanʼs natural body shape, while remaining polished and breathable. By unconventionally fusing contrasting elements into artistic and versatile pieces, Black Russian Label aims to inspire women to dress the way they feel. The label is worn by television anchors, R and B musicians and fashion-forward women across the United States. A Black Russian woman is fearless, likes to be seen, and wants her clothes to make a statement each time she moves across a room.
Black Russian Labelʼs Urban Nomad collection is now available for retail and wholesale purchase. This capsule collection is for the adventurous and inquisitive fashionista who is nomadic in spirit, but has her feet firmly planted on the concrete. Urban Nomad features interchangeable pieces in vivid pinks, earthy greens, and bold leopard prints. Clever construction details include detachable sleeves and asymmetrical hemlines, allowing women to seamlessly move from day to night.
Also available for purchase is the Global Trekker collection, which takes the wearer on a style journey inspired by elements from India, Africa, Russia, Asia, and Europe. The diverse colors, textures, fabrics, and trims are woven into a global tapestry that speaks to the woman who loves to travel and collects beautiful pieces along the way. This collection also cleverly plays with vibrant yellows and floral prints against a palette of grays and blacks. These easy and wearable knit, silk, and poly blend designs are then contrasted with sexy leather and lace trims, as well as Black Russian Labelʼs signature zipper embellishments.