December 15, 2022

By Devyn Bakewell

Assistant Managing Editor


Designer and entrepreneur Zon D’Amour is the owner of the eponymous fashion brand, Designed by D’Amour. Taught under the tutelage of her grandmother, Lorraine, at the early age of three, she knew she always wanted to be a designer.

“My grandmother was a seamstress, so I learned how to sew at three years old,” D’Amour told the Los Angeles Sentinel in an interview. “So when most kids, over the Summer would play sports, I was in sewing camp.”

The entrepreneur spent many holidays and summers at sewing camp with the goal to always be a fashion designer. As time went on, and life got in the way, D’Amour worked on other things—like going to Howard University at 16, starting her own magazine at 18, and then moving to Los Angeles and becoming a journalist for the Los Angeles Sentinel at 22. She kept her passion for fashion and design close by.

“Working in marketing became the catalyst for me to really start getting into sewing again. I was going into the office, and needed pants and office clothes and bags for me to carry my laptop and stuff.”

She continued, “So, I just started making them on my own, and posting it on social media. I had two friends who asked me to make them bags, and then one day I remember getting ready for work, and in two sales that was equivalent to what I would make in eight hours.

In that moment I was like yeah, I can’t do this anymore.”

This revelation is what led Zon D’Amour to start her own business and fashion brand, Designed by D’Amour, in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic allowed the designer to hone in on her work, making her “hero product”, which are her vegan leather duffle bags. Since then she’s extended her collection offering women’s resort wear, toiletry bags, tote bags, and more.

D’Amour shared that the fashion industry is a hard place for Black women to make their mark, right now. Especially with the rise of fast fashion.

“Despite the fact that people know there are certain brands that are harming the ecosystem and affecting global warming, [fast fashion] is still convenient. A lot of content creators are loyal to certain companies and brands and can get their clothes quickly. So, I think it’s harder to establish a newer business right now.”

A brand for all people, Designed by D’Amour does uniquely cater women with larger busts.

“What was really the inspiration behind my brand was that, since the age of thirteen, I’ve had larger busts And I’ve never felt like a lot of swimwear or even clothes accommodated petite women with large busts.”

While a lot of brands have become more inclusive, D’Amour shared that petite frames with larger busts is still a body not catered to in this industry. That is why Designed by D’Amour works to cater to all women, so they feel confident and good in their clothes.

When designing product, Zon D’Amour still uses remnants from her grandmother’s sewing kit to this day. Originally from New Orleans, she recovered the kit after Hurricane Katrina.

She reminisced, “The first floor [her grandmother, Lorraine] was underwater, but in the second floor she had a sewing room where I used to spend a lot of time. So in the sewing room, there were so many boxes with like patterns and scissors and zippers and threat. So, I was literally able to recover all of that.”

Some of the belongings in her grandmother’s sewing kit is over fifty years old.

“It’s very cool and historic.” Zon smiled when telling the story, “Katrina took a lot from my family, and there’s a lot that I don’t have that I wish I did, but I am so grateful I have these things from her.”

As D’Amour continues to flourish her business, she shared that the greatest reward in doing what she does is “seeing a vinyl of fabric, and turning nothing into something.” She also loves seeing people with her products.

“I’m excited to make products that are flattering for women, that make women feel beautiful, that empower women, and it makes me happy to know that my brand is on the top of someone’s mind when they’re looking to travel or exercise. They know it’s going to fit them because I’m making it custom, so I can customize, I can change the straps and colors. The entire process just brings me joy.” 

The fashion designer also shared that a big reward in this process is also giving back to her community. She’s hired many people from HBCUs to model for her, and even established an HBC fund, where she gives a proceed of her sales to go toward a scholarship at an HBCU.

More recently, D’Amour conducted a photoshoot for a “Melanin In Paradise” lookbook, where people from the HBCUs and Divine 9 community modeled her bags and clothing.

Designed by D’Amour currently has a variety of resort and swimwear, however, is working to get into athleisurewear in the new year. Zon D’Amour also shared that she will start doing in-person events in 2023!

She hopes to do a variety of events from pop-up shops to panels, and maybe even a fashion show.

To keep up with Zon D’Amour, and all her success, you can check out her Instagram (@zondamour). For more information on her products, community events, and HBCU scholarship, visit her website

Category: Featured News