If you didn’t know who Samantha Black was before, it’s time to get to know her now. The first-generation Jamaican designer got her start working with powerhouses like Jill Stuart, Alexander McQueen, and Michael Kors and skyrocketed into popularity after Project Runway Season 11 and Project Runway Allstars.
She has dressed celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Keke Palmer, and Beyonce. And she can now dress you. In early January, the celebrity designer announced her new collaboration with Target in celebration of Black History Month. Taking to Instagram, the designer first expressed her excitement for SammyBxTarget with a reel highlighting several pieces from the collection and a personal caption signed “a very emotional – Samantha Black.”
As a fashion lover, “runway stalker” and lover of all things NYC and Black girl magic, I was excited to learn about the collection and its availability right around the corner from me. I witnessed Sammy B’s first New York Fashion Week (NYFW) runway show in September 2022 and was instantly hooked with her aesthetic. Her Spring/Summer 23 show was an ode to New York presenting bright, funky sportswear that hugged natural curves and made a statement.
But, like many shows during NYFW, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get my hands on a piece from the runway in my price point, let alone, my size. Target’s collection now made this possible.
The 14-piece colorful capsule is part of the retailer’s Black Beyond Measure initiative, the 9th annual Black History Month collection designed by Black founders and creators. Ranging from $20.00 to $45.00 in sizes XS to 4X, the SammyBxTarget collection is both affordable and accessible.
I grabbed four pieces from the collection, styled them, and put them to the test on a Saturday morning. As a plus size tall woman, I am never sure about fit, quality, or stretch when it comes to designer lines or special collections. But this particular weekend, I was pleasantly surprised.
See my take, styling ideas, and review below.
Pink Balloon Long Sleeve V-Neck Scuba T-Shirt and High-Rise Scuba A-Line Skirt
- Quality: Thick scuba fabric that will both hug the body and provide give.
- Fit: The t-shirt V-neck was a little oversized for me, making it boxy. The hem of the skirt hit me right above the knee.
- True to Size: Yes
Sportswear and street-style looks are not my go-tos, but this two-piece hot pink set helped me get out of my comfort zone in a way that was truly me. I styled the two-piece with an extra fluffy light pink scarf and matching turtleneck, an exaggerated purple faux fur bucket hat, and matching pink and purple crew socks and laces. The ease of the fabric made the pieces perfect for running around and doing errands, meeting friends for coffee, or reading in the park. The style notes of the balloon sleeves and a scooped hem are elements you don’t often see in everyday sportswear and made these pieces extra special. As a tall girl with a booty, I was nervous about the skirt. But the length and give worked for me and if sized up or down works for many shapes and sizes.
Pro Tip: These pieces are perfect for mixing and matching. The scuba t-shirt can be added with tights or jeans for a relaxed look and the skirt can be popped on with a sexy bustier and a blazer for a night out.
Blue Gingham Checkered Long Sleeve A-Line Dress
- Quality: Thinner fabric, a jacket or blazer is needed in cold weather.
- Fit: While the top of the dress fit me well, the waist area was gapping. Given the sexy cutout in the middle you may need to have it tailored depending on your body and size up or down.
- True to Size: Yes.
You are not a true fashion lover, blogger, or influencer if you haven’t worn or tried a pattern-mixing moment. So, whether you love this trend – or still need to try it – this piece is for you. Combining blue stripe fabric over a green gingham print in a flattering wrap style, this dress screamed fashion and trend to me. The balloon sleeves and peek-a-boo waist provided extra drama, and the length was perfect for my long legs. By sizing up, I wasn’t worried about the fit around my bust area and was happy to see my bra didn’t show while in the dress.
I styled this dress with a long faux leather blazer to compliment colors in the gingham print, white boots, and a yellow Telfar bag.
Pro Tip: Pair a nude pump with this dress to elongate your legs and take this trendy look back to the office.
Pink Floral Long Sleeve Mesh Bodycon Dress
- Quality: The sheer mesh quality is amazing, sexy but sophisticated. Note this dress is two pieces- a long sleeve bodycon and a pink slip underneath.
- Fit: Drapes the body and curves very well.
- True to Size: Yes
Without question, this pink floral bodycon was my favorite of the collection. The pink and purple lip/leaf-like print of the dress excited the artist in me, reminding me of pop art and Andy Warhol, and the fit of the dress made me feel sexy and confident. While the dress stands alone, I styled it with white boots, a long hot pink puffer coat, and a strappy shoulder bag. After taking pictures, I wore this dress to brunch and received compliments on it everywhere I went. If you are looking for a “wow factor” this is definitely the piece for you.
Pro Tip: This dress will be perfect for Valentine’s Day with bae or the girls.
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