The Brooklyn Museum Presents Africa Fashion


Photo: Lagos Fashion Week
Museum Exhibits
Jun 23, 2023 to Oct 22, 2023
Official Site

Africa Fashion, on view June 23–October 22, 2023 features over 180 works, including fashion, music, film, visualart, and photography, as well as textiles and jewelry from the Museum’s Arts of Africa collection.

The exhibit celebrates the outstanding creativity, ingenuity, and global impact of African fashions from the start of the independence era to today, Africa Fashion is the largest-ever presentation of this subject in North America. Through works by iconic designers and artists from the mid-twentieth century to the present, the exhibition illuminates how fashion, alongside the visual arts and music, played a pivotal role in Africa’s cultural renaissance during its liberation years, and how those elements laid the foundation for today’s fashion revolution.

Africa Fashion begins with the independence era, from the 1950s through the 1990s. This period inspired a dramatic political, social, and cultural shift throughout the continent. Pan-Africanism surged, instilling a unified sense of identity—with fashion and artistic expression at its heart. The Cultural Renaissance section explores this time of radical change through fashion, photography, books, and ephemera such as protest posters, vintage magazine covers, and iconic album cover art. In Politics and Poetics of Cloth, visitors can explore the ways in which the making and wearing of Indigenous cloth became a strategic political act. Textiles from the Museum’s Arts of Africa collection complement a display of wax prints, commemorative cloth, àdìrẹ, kente cloth, and bògòlanfini. The first generation of African designers to gain global attention is highlighted in the Vanguard section. Works by Kofi Ansah (Ghana), Naima Bennis (Morocco), Shade Thomas-Fahm (Nigeria), Chris Seydou (Mali), and Alphadi (Niger), dating from the mid to late twentieth century, are shown together for the first time in the United States alongside a dynamic installation of fashion photography from the period.

Author: Brooklyn Museum

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All events and times are subject to change.