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Fashion is embracing new fabric trend from Africa: Kente

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Fashion is embracing new fabric trend from Africa: Kente

A 15-minute exclusive show revealing the 2021 autumn-winter men’s
collection from Louis Vuitton. Shown via a video shared on YouTube in
particular, the collection is composed of several original styles but some
of them drew more attention. These were the designs in Kente, which have
very rapidly become the subject of debate on Twitter. On the internet,
there are two opposing camps: those who praise the creative genius of
Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of men’s fashion at Louis Vuitton and
those who criticise the appropriation of Ghanaian culture by Louis
Vuitton.

“Virgil Abloh comes from Ghana and he is also the artistic director of a
major clothing brand, so the use of Kente permits him to make reference to
his own African origins. I think it’s entirely legitimate to use a fabric
that belongs to his culture, to his African identity. I think it’s
important that Virgil Abloh is doing this to introduce our culture into
this pantheon of international fashion”, explains Aristide Loua, the
founder of the Ivorian Kente Gentleman brand.

Fashion is embracing new fabric trend from Africa: Kente

However, the controversy is nothing compared with the popularity that
these items of clothing are enjoying. It leaves room for the real subject:
fashion beyond borders. The ultimate accolade for the designer is that one
of his items in Kente is being worn by the Afro-American poet and new
sensation Amanda Gorman on the cover of the May edition of the very
powerful Vogue US.

One year before, Kente was worn by members of the American Congress to
denounce racism in American society following the murder of George Floyd by
a white policeman. For Afro-Americans, Kente is a symbol of their “African
identity”.

But what is Kente and why is this fabric creating such a stir? To
understand the symbolic and cultural value of Kente, also known as Kita,
you have to go a long way … To travel about 6,000 km from France, to Ghana
and Ivory Coast! It’s there that the story of this pagne began among the
Akan and Kru people, for whom Kente symbolises power and nobility. This is
a fabric once worn by the bourgeoisie at grand ceremonies. It’s usually men
who weave Kente, mixing several threads of silk and cotton of different
colours. Methods of weaving vary from one region to another. Take care when
choosing Kente. The colours are significant! Yellow stands for money and
wealth, green for prudence and white represents peace and purity.

“Traditional pagnes are seen as those that are only worn at traditional
ceremonies or events. It is precisely this assertion that I reject with my
brand by offering modern clothing made with our traditional pagnes”,
confides Marthe N’Guessan, the founder of the Céchémoi brand. “It’s our
identity, it’s our culture and we owe it to ourselves to promote and make
the most of it now by offering modern clothing with these traditional
fabrics. Céchémoi has existed for almost four years and today I can say
that fashion is changing, demand for clothing made with traditional pagnes
is strong and we can only be glad about that”.

Fashion is embracing new fabric trend from Africa: Kente

Kente, an emblem of local culture?

“We are continuing to promote it since one of our aims is for public
administrators and even their agents and official representatives of the
country to wear this clothing in service,” explains Marthe N’Guessan. This
is a goal that might be realised in Ghana well before Ivory Coast. In
August 2020 the Ghanaian government announced the creation of a Kente
handicraft village so as to boost production of this fabric and so as to
better serve the local and international markets too. This project, managed
by the Royal Kente Weavers and Sellers Association, is still in
progress.

An ambitious initiative that recalls the one set up in Burkina Faso in
2019. The Faso Dan Fani (“traditional national woven pagne” in the Dyula
language), a traditional Burkinabe pagne, was labelled by the Minister of
Commerce and Handicraft. This is one way for the country to exploit this
fabric made from 100 percent cotton and at the same time to combat
counterfeits and to also better control a market that brings in over 50
billion CFA Francs (or over 76 million Euros) a year.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR,
translated and edited to English.

Crédit : Louis Vuitton/ Facebook Kente Gentleman, site Vogue US, Facebook Céchémoi

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

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Video: Anne Barge SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Anne Barge has presented its SS22
collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYFW).

Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: VRAI Magazine via YouTube

Photo credit: VRAI Magazine, YouTube

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Fila collaborates with Flock Together initiative on capsule

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Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

Sportswear label Fila has unveiled a collaboration with birdwatching initiative Flock Together in the form of an apparel and footwear capsule, to be exclusively sold through LN-CC.

In a range of hike-wear gear made for urban exploring, the collection intends to bring people into nature and engage with their community. The selection includes a reinvented version of the Fila Trailblazer hiking shoe and two shearling fleece designs.

The colourways of the line are inspired by the Kingfisher bird, with a scannable near field communication (NFC) tag present in the hiking shoe that takes buyers to a dedicated page outlining the best places in the UK to spot a Kingfisher.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together

15 percent of all sales of the collection will go towards the Flock Together community fund.

Buying and creative director at LN-CC, Reece Crisp, expressed his enthusiasm over the collaboration in a release, stating: “We’re super excited for LN-CC to be part of this project.

“Flock Together encompasses everything that’s great about community and wellness, two driving forces that are integral to LN-CC too.

“Flock Together’s growth has been both a reaction to, and antidote from, a difficult eighteen months by bringing people together and encouraging outdoor consciousness, so we are honoured to share our platform in amplifying its much-needed positivity while working with Fila in creating this tribute to the Kingfisher.”

Flock Together, founded back in the 2020 covid-19 lockdowns, brings BIPOC together to engage in birdwatching and other nature-oriented activities.

It has previously partnered on an event with Timberland, hosting a range of spoken word presentations at the nature reserve, Woodbury Wetlands. Sponsored by the apparel label, the event aimed to promote the voices in its growing community adjacent to guiding guests through the nature reserve.

Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
Image: Fila x LN-CC x Flock Together
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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

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Video: Jenny Yoo SS22 collection

In this video, fashion label Jenny Yoo has presented its SS22 collection
at New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYFW).

Watch the video below.

Do you want to see more clothing collections? Click here to view the FashionUnited Marketplace.

Video: Jenny Yoo via YouTube

Photo credit: Jenny Yoo, YouTube

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