Erykah Badu To Style A NYFW Show About the Black Experience
Soul music icon and afro queen Erykah Badu has a long history with the fashion world, previously serving as the face for Givenchy’s SS14 campaign and Tom Ford’s 2008 White Patchouli fragrance. Now, Badu is taking on a behind-the-scenes role during NYFW. She’s styling MADE designer Pyer Moss’ AW16 runway show, alongside the label’s designer and founder, Kerby Jean-Raymond (check our interview with Raymond, regarding Black Lives Matter, here).
This season, the show will explore and dissect black people’s experiences in contemporary America. According to a statement released by the label, “The presentation is a meditation on the tension and mental anguish that exists when conflicting demands are placed on an individual, thereby resulting in confusion in thinking and communication.”
The statement continues, “The black experience in America is the ultimate double bind; a place where natural born citizens live an immigrant experience in the only land they’ve known as home. A place where black culture is praised, commodified, and appropriated, while black people are criticized, vilified, and hunted for sport. A certain functional schizophrenia has to exist to cope with the dissonance of having a black man in the White House while a black body lies for four hours in the streets of Ferguson.”
This is not Jean-Raymond’s first time exploring racial relations and social justice through his clothes. The presentation for his last collection was based on the Black Lives Matter movement, and included footage from the tragic and senseless police killings of Eric Garner and Walter Scott.
Badu stated that Jean-Raymond and herself “were a match made in fashion heaven. We share an eye for truth through art. Though risky at times, he stands in his truth. And the strength of that truth lies in the belief of his vision. I’m inspired by the bold statements he makes in this, sometimes, fickle industry.”
The move comes as no surprise from the trailblazing chanteuse, who has always been a vocal supporter of racial equality, and who deemed the Black Lives Matter movement as “necessary” in an interview with Noisey last year. Will Badu contribute some of her musical finesse and legendary headwear to the show as well? We can only dream.
Stay tuned to Milk for more fashion week coverage.
Erykah Badu by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Givenchy SS14.