Photo shoot from 2017. I was emphasizing color and texture using this African print shirt and the necklace – Model: Cynthia
Since the opening of Black Panther, the blockbuster Afrofuturistic Marvel movie set in Wakanda, the sales of African clothing and jewelry have skyrocketed. Not since Coming to America have we seen the impact of African garb on Black American culture. Reports of the effects of the characters’ outfits is far more than anyone could have imagined. The mind behind those outfits is costume designer Ruth E Carter, Oscar nominated designer. Carter has been interviewed over and over again about her inspiration for the clothing. One of her main comments has been that she did to want people to think of the outfits as costumes. She wanted movie goers to think of the outfits as what the people in Wakanda would actually wear in day-to-day life. She also knew that she wanted to make a statement about the beauty of African culture.
While in Atlanta this weekend, I overheard a women explaining how people she knew were dressing up in African clothing to go to the see movie almost in an effort to be one with the cast, she noted that she, however, had been wearing the clothing as part of her everyday life.
I think it is wonderful that African-American people have come to embrace African clothing as a result of this movie, but I am also a little saddened that it took the popularity of the movie to bring the beauty of the clothing to the fore. I do hope that we continue to embrace Black beauty and culture far beyond the movie hype.