The Story of Africa Fashion Week
The Fashion industry serves as a non-verbal "voice" of the culture, values, hopes and dreams of a society. Fashion shouts for individuals who might ordinarily whisper, sharing their opinion with the world. But what happens when the people who engaging in this shouting all look the same? What happens when the models sashay, wrapped in these metaphorical screams take on a singular hue?
Africa has been framed as the epitome of all that was wrong in society. Images of child soldiers, conflict diamonds, corruption, famine, poverty and the like have all been applied to Africa and Africans, reducing them to a pile of issues. Yet, before the gun there was brightly colored indigenous jewelry. Before mass corruption, there was Kente. Essentially fashion has always been a part of the African experience, but the industry only chooses to address it when "tribal" is in vogue.
Adiat Disu, of the Adiree Fashion Agency, embarked on a journey to redefine the concept of fashion by creating the first ever Africa Fashion Week New York in 2010, emphasizing designers of color from the African Diaspora and featuring a multicultural array of faces on the runway. This film follows Adiat, the designers and models through this fashion journey.