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Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell and Mowalola comment on that bullet hole dress

‘I make clothes to challenge people’s minds’

Between sets at her Fashion For Relief show in London last week, Naomi Campbell was spotted wearing a simple white halterneck dress by Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi, featuring a scarlet-red bullet wound on the front. 

The dress has been widely lauded as a powerful political statement on gun violence, but to avoid any misinterpretation, Mowalola said in an Instagram statement today: “I make clothes to challenge people’s minds. This gown is from my collection ‘Coming For Blood’ – a delving into the horrific feeling of falling in love. This dress is extremely emotional to me – it screams my lived experience as a black person.”

The designer added: “It shows no matter how well dressed you are or well behaved, we are time after time, seen as a walking target. I’m in a privileged position to be able to speak on issues that others would be silenced on. Inequality is still rife and newspapers clawing at my work is testament to that.”

Noami commented under the post – which included a picture of her in the gown – in support of Mowalola’s statement: “This dress is not about glamourising gun crime in any way. It’s an artistic statement. I support @mowalola, who’s doing such great work and is passionate about bringing such a serious issue to light through her designs. Proud of you and your courage, as we are still in the grips of trying to balance diversity In the UK”.

You can read about our recent panel discussion featuring the designer here – a partnership between Dazed and Instagram touching on social media and inclusivity. Her full statement on the gun shot gown is below: