When the term cultural appropriation arises, it’s usually due to yet another painful error from the globalized fashion industry. However, for their Fall 2015/16 collection Nigerian label Maki Oh explores cultural appropriation in relation to West Africa’s history and dress. The collection displays African textiles merged with silhouettes and embellishments adopted from foreign cultures. Elaborating on the idea, the label states:
“As an advocate for all things truly African, Maki Oh uses true African textiles like Adire, Aso-oke, Akwa Ocha, Oja and more to continue to illustrate to the world (and Africans) that we have desirable, couture quality local textiles. Ankara fabric (Dutch Wax) does not have it’s origins in Africa. It is imported from Holland, India, Turkey, China and even England. But the world, and even some Africans think this fabric is African. Holland’s Vlisco’s current website proudly states “Vlisco has been romancing the men and women of Central and West Africa for almost 170 years and has been embraced as the very fabric of life in many societies.”
Check out Maki Oh’s short film above along with their Fall 2015/16 lookbook below.