When I initially started blogging, I saw it as a vehicle to share my work, love of PORK bacon and all things red velvet. However, over the past year, I’ve witnessed the power of social media and giving my readers insight to my creative journey. When people believe in your work and see your passion, opportunities arise. So, when the director of the Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Office on African Affairs contacted me to create a fashion presentation for the 2nd Annual D.C. Africa Festival, I wasn’t surprised the referral came from one of my Twitter friends, @Lavender_Chic.
The festival’s goal is to educate people on issues pertinent to the African community, disseminate vital outreach materials and emphasize social entrepreneurship as a betterment tool for the African Diaspora. Additionally, the festival promotes the community’s positive legacy by highlighting Africa’s talent, resources and capability to compete in the global marketplace.
Increasingly, industry professionals have made efforts to merge authentic African techniques with high fashion. For the past few seasons, the tribal trend has been “en vogue” with inspirations from Africa leading the way. Designers such as Diane von Furstenburg, Ralph Lauren and Dries van Norten have all incorporated African fabrics or techniques into their lines.
As a Nigerian (Igbo Man*pounds fist to chest*) living in the DMV, I saw this as a vehicle to visually educate the community on the versatility of African and African-inspired fashion. Don’t worry; I made sure to leave the bamboo shoots and loin cloths at home. LOL iKID. iKID. The presentation was a voyage from traditional to contemporary and combined eastern and western culture. I pulled from Parfait Designs, Côté Minou and Zagodi Fashion with jewelry from Art Aya, Nanichi and LolaRo. Each of these designers helped me convey a fashion story through each look. Based on the feedback from the show, I know a few people will be adding a little bit of Africa to their wardrobes. #missionaccomplished