When Dior contacted me,
it was almost unreal. I had to read the email
about ten times, because I was like
is this for real. So, it took me a while — I was overwhelmed.
But, I was also very humbled. When the conversations
actually began, I was like: “okay,
this may be actually happening.” So, it’s exciting, Dior is a huge fashion brand,
even in Africa. To have an opportunity to collaborate
is amazing for me. When I look
at the Kitenge fabric, it’s kind of a sense
of nostalgia for me because I associate it with my family,
my aunties, with my mother. Immediately I thought about how Kitenge is now even being worn by young people
in the present as well. And, I thought it would be a good way
to mix the old and the new, and to explore this idea
of this new African identity. When you look at this photography,
especially photography in Africa, a lot of our references
come from that studio style photography and that’s kind of how
photography really started. So, bringing that nostalgia with that black and white
studio photography, influenced by people
like Malick Sidibe. So that really was the inspiration, just to combine all the new
and to bring it alive in that way. I love the clothes,
I love the fresh cuts, and I love Kitenge in that way —
that’s in suits and pant suits. It’s unbelievable — I love it.
I really think it’s an amazing collection. I’m not a fashion photographer
but I love fashion and I love the idea
of expression through fashion. And so, for me, this collaboration
is a way to blend different cultures, and to blend
even different talents. So, this is the perfect collaboration
because it allows every sphere to come alive together. And so it’s perfect for me. I think African beauty is diverse. So, for me,
I wanted to tell an African story. Even though,
I understand that the Collection and Dior caters to all women of all places. But I really wanted
to tell my story with different types
of African beauty, and I think that came across
in the models that I selected. I definitely felt
that I was able to express myself Dior sent me the line and I was able to pick
and choose things that were interesting to me,
visually, and then I was able
to execute my idea and plan it with so much support.
So, it’s been fantastic really. It also helps
to have such a great team. Everybody was really quick
to come in and help, move and shift things,
so that we could get the idea going. The models were great. But I really had
a clear picture of what I wanted, and it was a matter
with just working with the team to put it together.