Happy Sunday everyone. Trust you are all well and 2020 is off to a good start.
So if you have been checking out my insta stories in the past 48 hours then you would have noticed a debate happening that involves African fashion, Dior, and Adesuwa. After a healthy exchange via DM, Adesuwa and I thought it would be great to open up this convo to everyone. A healthy debate is would be great.
Allow me to summarise:
1. I made a few stories encouraging designers from Africa to step up their game as the world is looking at the continent for inspiration, citing Dior’s 2020 Cruise collection as an example.
2. I also encouraged consumers to support African craftsmanship by purchasing goods esp emerging talents.
3. This led to me citing Dior’s prices as high compared to local artisans, tailors, and designers in Africa. Dior’s prices are completely justifiable as they are a luxury brand.
4. I then dug up the old Dior Cruise 2020 collection video Narrated by Adesuwa where creative director Maria categorically denies the collection was not African inspired. See video here
5. Adesuwa went on to imply that now that Dior is in Africa, the continent wouldn’t be “this mystical place that no one knows about”. I strongly objected to this statement and others like it in the video.
To be clear
- The fact that Dior worked with artisans in Africa
- Inspired by African patterns and Silhouettes and craftsmanship
- In fact, I welcome and celebrate everything Dior did creatively with this collection. I also do not have a problem with the price tag as it’s in keeping with Dior.
I Object to
- Dior’s Creative Director not referencing African inspiration. Outrightly denying it’s not African
- Adesuwa implying that Africa is a mystical place that no one knows about before Dior came in.
A gentle suggestion was for Dior to have highlighted the stories of the artisans they worked with to create a clearer picture of the origins of the collection.
As you can see from the screenshots and videos, I truly encourage a healthy debate/discussion on this topic.
What do you guys think? Does Dior have anything to answer for? Could Adesuwa have worded her description better?