SECTION 8 won’t empower you. You’ll simply recognise yourself in the strength of our statements. We understand there are immutable aspects of quality, but they’re not found in a limited vocabulary of concepts or references. Good concepts are everywhere. Our second season is entitled Free, White & 21. We’ve taken these words out of the past and put them back to work with a new mission. The phrase started its life about 200 years ago, describing what it took to own property in the United States. The expression only applied to men at first, so after white women claimed the vote, it grabbed hold in popular culture as a snappy declaration of independence from men’s control. You can hear the words played for laughs again and again in the mouths of Hollywood’s supposedly liberated white women of the 1930s. We looked at our new collection, heard these words, and found that they still resonate strongly today. We do use history to disrupt fixed notions of value. But our present operates on an ugly foundation and we don’t discard or deny it. Our clothes embrace many points of view. Some may shudder and say that we’re celebrating pieces of our culture that should be put away, left behind as hateful trash. Is history just trash when it doesn’t suit your desires or beliefs, in fashion or in life? Perhaps. But in trash lies truth, and in truth lies power. Some of these ideas should be uncomfortable. But the garments never will be.
Listen to the soundtrack to 'Free, White & 21' below.
Hair Jawara at Bryant Artists using Bumble and bumble., make-up Inge Grognard at Artists Unit using M.A.C, models Akiima Ajak, Imari Karanja at IMG, Aweng Chuol at M Management, Achok Majak at Viva, photography assistant Dani Bastidas, styling assistant Emmanuelle Ramos, hair assistants Toshinari Kokubun, Tia Chong, make-up assistant Tami Shirey, production Pandora Graessl at Graessl Studio, production assistant Romain-David Cartagena, casting Ibrahim H Tarouhit at Hybracasting