4 Black designers at the beginning of their careers speak on the reasons they started their brand and how they go about saying something with their clothing.
The designers include SHASHAMANI – 3rd year student on the BA Fashion Knit course at CSM, Takudzwa Chigaduro – LCF Bespoke Tailoring Graduate, Someoneson – LCF Womenswear Graduate, and Dominik Cunningham – 3rd year Jewellery Design student at CSM. In New Wave, an editorial created by Sarah Ejionyew with an all black creative team, the designers pieces are mixed and matched together to create 5 looks.
Get to know the designers below:
My work is currently an attempt to promote my understanding of the idea of black consciousness, which for me is based in an admonishment of capitalism and a promotion of black culture as a solution to many of the social consequences of late capitalism.
I tend to have a wandering exploratory spirit that finds aesthetic forms that speak to my voice as a creative in many places. I have a very loose methodology, but after a long period of research I develop an idea of what I would like to create and then shift to the process of fabrication.
Someoneson (Adeshola Raphael Adejare):
My brand aims to create a shift in the socio-cultural perceptions, and the meaning, of clothes. By situating these conversations of everyday experiences regarding mental health conversations, the brand aims to challenge social norms such as gendered dress expectations.
My biggest driver is my personal mental health, and conversations about mental well-being. Regardless of our backgrounds and how we self-identify, we all have an idea of what happiness feels like or sadness. Or loss. Although these are human experiences which are quite individual in how they manifest, and unique in the surrounding set of circumstances, they are relatable experiences across the globe.
I filter these experiences through my design aesthetic which is a combination of Deconstruction and Minimalism. My brand is also predicated on DeGendering fashion. I do not believe that the cut of a garment necessarily should be used to make assumptions of any person.
People are often afraid to be genuinely different or expand their ideologies whether it be through simply trying a new colour to engaging in a new conversation.
My brand aims to be a collective for all creators to unite in the aspiration of embracing a free mind. Free in choosing content, free to give a support voice to communities and free to find joy.
I’m grateful that my background in knitwear allows me to start from scratch, creating my own fabrics from materials that resonate with the topics deeper meaning.
I have also found that sometimes clothing isn’t enough and visuals like film and editorials like Sarah’s help to push the narrative further. Clothes can only say so much, sometimes it’s good to provide another narrative and outlet.
It takes courage to be different and I think expression through clothing is a great way to tell the world who you are without having to explain yourself. For me fashion and style play a great part in my identity and self expression. I use fashion as a tool, I get to decide how the world will see me and that gives me the power to control the narrative. That is what my brand stands for, it’s not necessarily about aiming to solve a problem but aiming to give individuals a voice and empowering them to choose, in a world that is obsessed with putting everyone in a box.
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