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Can Africa Regenerate Streetwear?

A topic of discussion of the digital edition of the Homecoming festival, that will see Virgil Abloh among the guests

Can Africa Regenerate Streetwear? A topic of discussion of the digital edition of the Homecoming festival, that will see Virgil Abloh among the guests

Over the last few years, the fashion industry has finally put the spotlight on the deep influence of black designers and creatives on contemporary fashion, as well as on all those "black-owned brands" that have long remained in the background. The Homecoming festival has always worked with this purpose. 

Initially scheduled during the lockdown months, Homecoming returns on August 26th, 2020 with a new digital format and in collaboration with Browns, one of the most important fashion retailers in London and the world. The festival based in Lagos, Nigeria, debuted in 2018 and immediately established itself as a bridge between the Nigerian creative scene and the international scene. It is no coincidence that Nigeria is the host country of the festival, a place that in recent years has stood out as the most interesting and innovative creative hub in Africa, but deeply oriented towards internationality, so much so that it has attracted leading names in the fashion and music industry. Over the years it has hosted several leaders of the black culture around the world, artists like Skepta and supermodels like Naomi Campbell. This year the main focus will be on fashion: in the full spirit of Homecoming, the goal is to support some Nigerian brands and guarantee their international distribution. The labels involved in the project include big names including Off-White™, Heron Preston, Patta and Casablanca, as well as rising stars like Mowalola (recently chosen by Kanye West to design the Yeezy Gap line), Vivendii and Post-Imperial

Along with the selection of brands, the festival will host a three-day panel with different artists and designers who help bring African culture to the mainstream market. Among the guests, the name of Virgil Abloh stands out: in addition to the launch of the, I Support Young Black Businesses project, a quarterly fundraising program in support of organizations chosen by him and by his team, Abloh recently raised $1 million in support of the next generation of black creatives through the Virgil Abloh "Post-Modern" Scholarship Fund, while Off-White™ established a paid internship program for black youth in its Milan headquarters, starting from September 2020. As part of the festival, therefore, on August 28th the designer will participate in the Can Africa Regenerate Streetwear panel: a discussion on the role that Africa is playing in the continuous evolution of streetwear, together with Angelo Baque from AWAKE, Gee Patta (founder of the homonymous brand) and the founders of Motherlan, Daily Paper and Vivendii. 

In addition to the big labels involved, Homecoming 2020 also shines a spotlight on lesser-known brands such as 3.Paradis, Ambush, Clan, Denim Tears, Maki Oh, Motherlan, Orange Culture, Places + Faces and Tokyo James. All these brands will attend the event and will be present with some specific products in a special selection in the Browns East store in Shoreditch, London, as well as on the official e-commerce. A percentage of the profits will be donated to the Nigerian creative community. 

Finally, there will be a limited edition digital fanzine curated by Metallic Inc. Studio and Browns, with the participation of Nigerian creatives such as the illustrator Moses Adesnya and the duo Ruth Ossai (photographer) and Ola Ebiti (stylist), who will produce a virtual shooting with street casting models. 

All the panels will be available for registration via Eventbrite from August 26th. All information, activities and the complete line-up on the official website of the festival, while you can register to take part in the panels here