On Monday night, ‘Black Panther’s’ colours, spirit and inspirations made their way to New York Fashion Week at Black Panther: Welcome To Wakanda, a charity presentation featuring 10 designers who contributed pieces inspired by the forthcoming Marvel film. Labels including Chromat, Cushnie et Ochs, LaQuan Smith, Ikiré Jones, Sophie Theallet and TOME participated with custom-made apparel, jewellery and footwear for the event, all of which will be auctioned off following the show to support Save the Children.
The Welcome to Wakanda event also introduced capsule collections from Brother Vellies, Douriean Fletcher and Josh Bennett, which will launch commercially following the event. With such a broad theme, the Welcome to Wakanda designers channelled Black Panther by drawing on symbolism from the movie, with some looks incorporating African fabrics or motifs.
Chromat, a label known for its inclusive sizing and diverse runway shows, contributed a size-14 caged dress made using Ankara fabric from Nigeria, the only plus-size look to be showcased at the afternoon’s preview. To conceptualize the look, Chromat founder Becca McCharen tapped one of the brand’s designers Tolu Aremu, whose Nigerian descent specifically informed the dress’ international references. “As a white person designing for Black Panther, it was more beneficial and more impactful to have Tolu, one of the amazing designers on our team, take this project and run with it,” she said.