Homeground Business: Charles Meka of BLACKMANNER

BLACKMANNER is a clothing company with a passion for empowering youth and offering a variety of unisex streetwear and the essence of Afro Streetwear. Charles Meka, the owner, arrived in Montreal from Cameroon and followed his passion for art and fashion, deciding to start his clothing brand with an interesting and meaningful story behind it. We spoke with him to learn more about his company and his journey.


What is your business called and what does it do?

The name of my company is BLACKMANNER. Black Manner is a clothing brand that aims to promote youth and empower them to have a positive impact on the world.

At Black Manner, we offer a wide range of fashionable unisex streetwear that embodies the essence of Afro Streetwear. Our collection features designs that fuse elements of black culture and streetwear fashion, creating an unparalleled blend of authenticity and style.

From graphic tees to accessories to hoodies, our clothes are all about self-expression, celebrating diversity and empowerment.

What made you want to do this work?

My story began because of a passion for art. When I arrived in 2015, I became really interested in the world of fashion. I had easy access to the big fashion brands, and in my spare time I liked to visit clothing showcases. I found it inspiring and it made me dream. […] The more time passed, the more I wanted to create my own brand of clothing. I started with small t-shirt designs and in 2018 I gave myself the challenge of bringing BLACKMANNER alive!

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Some may see BLACKMANNER as a simple clothing brand, but it’s much more than that. Many people tend to create brands without a story, without a concept…

We, through our clothes, want to break stereotypes and show the world that it’s possible to defy boundaries and achieve greatness, whatever your background. Our clothes are designed with a deep understanding and respect for black culture, giving them authentic appeal.

In the long term, we intend to internationalize our brand and promote made in Africa, specifically MADE IN CAMEROUN. As the founder of the brand and a native of Cameroon, I’ve noticed that not only Cameroonians, but also Africans, find it difficult to consume products manufactured in their own countries. Although our story began in Montreal, I’d be delighted to internationalize my brand (which is already happening), and prove that Cameroon is a country without limits!

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our clothes are mainly aimed at a young, unisex audience…

Why? At BLACKMANNER, we believe in inspiring, motivating and supporting young people to embrace their uniqueness, creativity and cultural heritage. Through our clothing, we want to break down stereotypes and show the world that it’s possible to defy boundaries and achieve greatness, whatever your background.

Our mission is to highlight the talent, determination and potential of young people and unite them within the Afro Streetwear movement.


How does your business make money? How does it work?

BLACKMANNER is a brand committed to youth, offering exclusive quality clothing at affordable prices.

We strive to provide you with the best possible service, in a pleasant environment.

We offer online sales (with international delivery) and physical sales at a single price. At first, we made real money mainly through word-of-mouth. Later, as this wasn’t enough, we approached key partners, particularly influencers, to set up influencer marketing campaigns, and also advertising campaigns on social networks (particularly Facebook advertising).

As of last December, we have also expanded our business on the events side. Our first event took place on December 26, 2023 in Cameroon. The event was an evening with a dance show and a fashion show: it helped us generate additional income, and we intend to keep the momentum going, as it worked out pretty well for a first event.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Although our company was founded in Montreal, Canada, we only sell online. You can find BLACKMANNER products on our official website.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Many of our customers tend to ask us if it’s not expensive to mass-produce.

Yes, our first productions were mass-produced, because we were afraid of not satisfying our customers, even if we did have periods when we found ourselves with unsold stock. Over time, we’ve been lucky enough to find a supplier who allows us to place orders in the quantities we require, giving us greater control over our inventory management.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

You know, every business comes with its pros and cons. The part I love the most is designing clothes. I really enjoy taking my artistic side and putting it into the clothes I make. It’s like fun for me, it relaxes me and makes me happy. If there’s one part I don’t like, it’s dealing with unhappy customers. I say this because I want to fully satisfy my customers and it’s frustrating for me when I have to deal with someone who’s unhappy.

Where can we follow you?

You can follow us on our official websiteInstagram, Facebook and TikTok

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

I love the ATELIER NEW REGIME clothing brand so much! It’s one of the local companies that has inspired me the most. Even more so, at the head of the project are Africans like me, which made me dream even more!