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 2014 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 a Master’s Degree in organizational Management and a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree 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 Quality 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.