Last January, the British fashion community was struck by a great tragedy. Joseph Casely-Hayford, one of the first Black British designers to be internationally celebrated, passed away from cancer. His life left a powerful impact on British fashion, and he paved a path for Black designers. To honor Casely-Hayford and his legacy, the British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion (BFC’s IPF), in collaboration with the Black Oriented Legacy Development Agency (BOLD), announced their second project: “The Missing Thread.”
“The Missing Thread” honors British Black contributions to the fashion industry. “Black fashion contributions are at the core of Britain’s reputation as a creative hub, yet continue to be overlooked,” said BFC CEO Caroline Rush in a statement posted on Instagram.
Over the next few years, both IPF and BOLD will work together to put forth a series of events celebrating British Black fashion and culture from 1975 to today. In the summer of 2022, a major exhibition will be put on display. “The Missing Thread” will be a “retrospective acknowledgment and recognition of Black cultural contribution,” added BOLD co-founder Andrew Ibi to Rush’s sentiments.
Recognition of Black designers and their influence is long overdue in the fashion industry. IPF and BOLD are taking a huge step in the right direction. Washington D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture houses the Black Fashion Museum Collection, which celebrates the history of Black fashion in America. Looking forward, one can hope that the global fashion industry continues to recognize and celebrate its multicultural origins and influences.
Featured Image Courtesy of Armet Francis / Courtesy Autograph ABP