(Fashion) stories of migration: MasaMara Wear

I’ve been on a long hiatus, developing a parallel project on sustainability, migration, and decolonisation in collaboration with the Black&White: The Migrant Trend platform. The following is based on a remote interview I did on 12 November, 2021 with Nyambo MasaMara, who is one of the case studies of this new project. Please, do not cite without permission. MasaMara is the …

B&W: Black and White – The Migrant Trend is online

I’m happy to announce that the “B&W: Black and White – The Migrant Trend” platform is online. Visit the page at this link. B&W is the social promotion association co-founded and art directed by Caterina Pecchioli, supporting migrant fashion makers in Italy. Its goal is to consolidate the Italian fashion realities – social cooperatives, companies and fashion projects – launched, or involving asylum seekers, refugees, …

Wanda LePhoto’s “Black Renaissance” reclaims the colonial history of South Africa

Among its many legacies, colonialism bred a unique fashion culture across the African continent, one that owes its dynamism and innovation to its inner complexities. Designer Wanda LePhoto has been exploring the cultural syncretism of contemporary sartorial expressions in his native South Africa for a long time. “Black Renaissance” is the latest collection of LePhoto’s eponymous brand, peeling back the …

Christine Checinska: “There Are Many Ways To Be African And Fashionable”

As both scholar and designer, Christine Checinska has worked in fashion for decades. Through the years, she has developed a substantial body of work on the relationship between race, culture, and cloth, focusing on British and British-diasporan contexts. She is currently Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where she is curating Africa Fashion, …

Conference presentation on African designers in Italy

On 8 May, I presented the ongoing research on African designers in Italy that I am conducting with Caterina Pecchioli of “B&W: Black and White – The Migrant Trend”. The presentation, that we entitled “Designing Identity: A Visual Proposition to examine migrant and second-generation fashion in Italy” can be viewed at this link, starting at 4:26:22.

I interviewed Catherine McKinley, author of The African Lookbook

The African Lookbook is the new Bloomsbury publication gathering 130 photographs of stylish women taken between 1870 and 1970. The photographs belong to Catherine McKinley’s large collection of vernacular and studio shots from over 40 African countries and spanning the early colonial decades through the present. I had the pleasure to interview Catherine on the book, which is the first …

Asmaa Jama’s “Before we disappear” archives the realities of (in)visibility

Upon clicking “Enter,” Before We Disappear opens to a low-angle shot of a house surrounded by dense vegetation, seemingly immune to the vivid jabber and birdsong on the sound track. The camera pans over the encroaching shrubbery and the carvings on the outer walls instead, barely registering the human figure in a cream-coloured headscarf behind a screen of leaves and …

“Creativity In Motion” by Daniel Obasi

Nigerian stylist and photographer Daniel Obasi has recently collaborated with Vogue on an international project capturing Creativity in motion in various international locations. He shot the editorial on the railway tracks at Ebute-Metta, in his home city of Lagos, for Vogue’s March 2021 issue. Obasi is known for his arresting representations of moving bodies, which happen to be wrapped in beautiful outfits. The clothes highlight …

The Ancestral is Modern in Banyoloyi A Bosigo: my new guest post for Griot Mag is online

I wrote a second guest post for Griot Magazine on Kristin-Lee Moolman’s “Banyoloyi a Bosigo”, the new fashion film she wrote and directed for Thebe Magugu that was presented virtually at Paris Fashion Week early this month. The collection showcased in this work explores the revival of indigenous spirituality in South Africa and features several references to sacred rituals. Like …

Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion

Last year, designers Stella Jean (of the eponymous brand) and Edward Buchanan (Sansovino 6) with Michelle Ngonmo, talent scout and founder of Afro Fashion Week Milano, started the collective “Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion” to raise awareness on systemic racism in the industry. Their first intervention took place on the final day of Milano Fashion Week, in September 2020, …