#VogueChallengeWho

The viral spread of #VogueChallenge, combined with the BLM imperative of supporting black life and wellbeing worldwide, has intensified the social media conversation on the imbalances of power ingrained in the cultural economy of fashion driven by media giants like Vogue. It is therefore no surprise that the phenomenon triggered by Salma Noor now includes also critical voices and counter-arguments …

#VogueChallenge Africa

About ten days ago, in the wake of the anti-racist protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd, Salma Noor (@capricornbbyy1 on Twitter; @itssalmanoor on Instagram), an Oslo-based student hailing from Somaliland, launched the Vogue Challenge on social media. Noor, who is also an aspiring model, created a fake Vogue cover that showed her portrait wearing a black hijab with …

Asmarina – the Eritrean diaspora in Italy

Today, I finally watched Asmarina, a documentary that I have chased since it came out in 2015, but always managed to miss, wherever it showed across the country. Although it is not strictly about fashion, Asmarina is a valuable reference to understand Afro-Italian history, as it looks at the generations of Eritreans who have migrated to Italy, or were born …

Nigerian luxury: Antwaun Sargent interviews Kenneth Ize

Antwaun Sargent is an art critic focusing on black image-makers and fashion and the curator of the book “The New Black Vanguard” (2019). Kenneth Izedonmwen is a Nigerian luxury designer who creates styles that preserve the cultural heritage of some of the ethnicities of his country. His unisex brand – Kenneth Ize – is known for using locally weaved aso-oke …

Resource alert: SUNU Journal

The first issue of SUNU Journal came out yesterday. This is a new publication on African affairs, critical thought and aesthetics founded by Amy Sall, a US-based scholar and entrepreneur, whose work focuses on black visual cultures and counter-narratives from the continent and the diaspora. SUNU, meaning “our” in Wolof, gathers perspectives on black culture and identity by young and emerging …

Visuals: Sackitey Tesa

Sackitey Tesa Mate-Kodjo is an Accra-based photographer, stylist, and art-director known for his dreamy portraits of stylish subjects. A member of the successful group of young creative professionals from the West African country working at the intersection of fashion photography and art, Tesa has been featured recently in Vogue Italia. His bio from Vogue reads: His love for photography goes back …

Data on digital use in Africa

We Are Social, the creative agency based in NYC, has published its annual report on digital use and trends worldwide. The highlight: “more than 4.5 billion people now use the internet, while social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark. Nearly 60 percent of the world’s population is already online, and the latest trends suggest that more than half …

Event: “Fashion atmospheres: Aesthetic and practices from the Afropolis”, LMU Munich

On January 31, I was in Munich to speak at the symposium “Fashion atmospheres: Aesthetic and practices from the Afropolis”. The event was organised by the DFG Research Group “Fashion and Styles in African Cities”, led by Prof. Dr. Kerstin Pinther (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Münich) and Prof. Basile Ndjio (University of Douala). My fellow speakers were Kristin Kastner (LMU), Alexandra Weigand (LMU), …

Reading files: ZoneModa Journal’s issue on global fashion

From the editorial: The ZMJ 9.2 issue—edited by Wessie Ling, Mariella Lorusso, and Simona Segre Reinach, is devoted to the analysis of different aspects of fashion globalization in our time. Globalization presents ambiguities and contradictions, especially evident when it comes to fashion, an area in which the interplay between global and local is particularly intense. The issue includes nine contributions …

Visuals: Chulaap SS20 “Lesotho Rodeo”

“Lesotho Rodeo” is a visual story about modern African cowboys introducing Chulaap’s Spring Summer 2020. Chulaap debuted in 2015 with prints inspired by South African street styles and patterns. The brand has since consolidated its message of elevating local cultures through a daring use of colour and forms. Founder Chu Suwannapha, who designs the brand’s signature joyful prints, describes the …