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'Black Panther' meets New York Fashion Week in powerful "Welcome to Wakanda" show

by christinecauthen

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If you only tune in to one show from New York Fashion Week, let it be "Welcome to Wakanda." As its name implies, this show is presented by Marvel Studios and includes designer capsule collections and couture pieces inspired by Black Panther, which hits theaters nationwide Feb. 16.

Designers showing garments include CHROMAT, Cushnie et Ochs, Fear of God, Ikiré Jones, LaQuan Smith, Sophie Theallet and Tome. All of these designers were hand-picked because they empower people through their work and support unique perspectives. 

Photo: CHROMAT

  • "Being a Nigerian-British immigrant, I find that Black Panther’s depiction of Africa and its culture as a beautiful, regal, technologically-advanced society is a direct representation that Africa is not next — we’re the now," says Tolu Aremu, Designer of CHROMAT. "And that’s why participating in this event has been such an honor."

"This is a long-awaited cultural moment, more than a Superhero movie," says Sophie Theallet. "It's a powerful message of pride, dignity and African wisdom."

Photo: Sophie Theallet

The pieces themselves were created to interpret different characters and themes from Black Panther. There are seven bespoke pieces that will be installed in an experience that guests can explore after the show. Other Black-Panther-inspired capsule collections from Josh Bennett, Douriean Fletcher and Brother Vellies will be there for guests to explore. Can't make it to the event? The collections will be live on their respective websites on Feb. 13.

Photo: Fear of God

“Black Panther is visually stunning, from the backdrop of Wakanda to the beautiful, intricate costumes, with technology playing an important role throughout,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney ConsumerProducts and Interactive Media. “Each of our partners has taken inspiration from the incredible storytelling, empowering characters and iconic look of the movie, while bringing their own unique aesthetic to the designs.”

Photo: LaQuan Smith

Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth E. Carter put together creations with intricate patterns, beadwork and silhouettes that she modeled after doing research on traditional African fashion. 

"We wanted to explore and create the afro-future-idyllic concept with Wakanda and make it a world like we have not seen before in cinema,” says Carter.

And beyond the show itself, the looks will be auctioned via CharityBuzz.com in order to support Save the Children, an international organization working to give children a healthy life and protection from harm.

  • "Making a look that serves multiple purposes — in this case, diversity and children, means the world to me," says Aremu.

"Welcome to Wakanda" hits the runway Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. EST. 

Update:

Check out some of the completed looks from the show!


And the designer clothes weren't the only exciting parts of "Welcome to Wakanda," stars of the movie were in attendance, and they served us looks!

We saw appearances from Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Leticia Wright, Danai Gurira, Marija Abney, Winston Duke and Ryan Coogler from the cast and crew of Black Panther. But other notable celebs in the audience included model Slick Woods, Ashleigh Murray of Riverdale, Carra Patterson of Straight Outta Compton and Broderick Hunter from Insecure.