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The Museum at FIT to present ‘Africa’s Fashion Diaspora’ exhibition

By Rachel Douglass


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Credits: Ugg x Denim Tears

A new exhibition highlighting fashion’s role in shaping international Black diasporic cultures is set to make its way to New York’s Museum at FIT (MFIT) this September, where 60 ensembles and accessories from global Black designers are to be put on display.

Dubbed ‘Africa’s Fashion Diaspora’, the exhibit looks to explore how such designers take inspiration from their own Black experiences as well as others to build and share common cultural networks in a connectivity that has sometimes been described as Pan-Africanism or Black Consciousness.

According to MFIT, this exhibition will be the first to investigate how 20th and 21st century fashion designers contribute to the idea of Black Diasporic connections through a “visual storytelling” of how the Black identity operates in the contemporary world.

Among the nine themes is opener ‘Reaching for Africa’, where the likes of Patrick Kelly and Arthur McGee will be on show to demonstrate how creators incorporate connections to the African continent in their work.

Other themes dive into the influence of family and cultural tradition of fashion design; designers drawing inspiration from global Black cultures; fashion as a means to delve into buried histories; and the cultural impact of religion and mythology.

Designers set to showcase pieces of theirs include South Africa’s Thebe Magugu, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing, Dutch designers Giorgio and Onitcha Toppin of Xhosa and Tremaine Emory, who has provided looks from Denim Tears Cotton Wreath capsule collection with Levi’s.

The exhibition at MFIT will take place from September 18 and run through to December 29, 2024.

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