"It has become my purpose to rewrite the cultural narratives so that people of color can be seen in a new and nuanced light," says the designer.
Wale Oyejide is no stranger to using fashion as a catalyst for social change, it's the very essence of his world-class fashion brand Ikiré Jones.
He uses his design to tell uniquely African stories, ones that empower us and allow us creative control over our own narratives. In a memorable TED Talk given at last year's TED Global, and published today, the designer explains why he uses fashion as a means of storytelling.
I tell these stories as a concerted effort to correct the historical record, because, no matter where any of us is from, each of us has been touched by the complicated histories that brought our families to a foreign land. These histories shape the way we view the world, and they mold the biases we carry around with us.
For Oyejide, it's about more than just classic, well-tailored clothing, it's about reclamation, healing and ultimately, black pride.
And so, yeah, ostensibly I stand before you as a mere maker of clothing. But my work has always been about more than fashion. It has become my purpose to rewrite the cultural narratives so that people of color can be seen in a new and nuanced light, and so that we, the proud children of sub-Saharan Africa,can traverse the globe while carrying ourselves with pride.
Watch the full talk below and revisit our interview with the designer about getting his designs in Black Panther, as well as our chat ahead of his talk at last year's TED Global event in Tanzania.