The Art of Now: Race and Fashion
Deputy Editor of Elle Magazine UK, Kenya Hunt, celebrates the work of black designers in fashion and investigates how the fashion world is grappling with conversations around race.
Kenya meets different generations of black designers, exploring their creative processes and inspirations, alongside the challenges they face in building their careers. She speaks to established innovator and curator Duro Olowu, the London-based Nigerian-Jamaican designer who is one of a few black designers to have achieved luxury level success. He shares insights into his career, how he has changed the way fashion collections are presented and the importance of remembering black British fashion designers.
Kenya also talks to emerging designer and filmmaker Bianca Saunders, whose debut collections have met with international critical acclaim. She discusses the inspirations for her work and the challenges of growing an independent fashion label.
Recent years have seen as increase in representation of black models in fashion, off the runway and away from editorial pages, but there has still been recurring racist imagery from leading global design houses, and few black designers showcase their collections on runways. However, Edward Enninful has set a new tone as Editor of British Vogue, and Virgil Abloh has become the artistic director at Louis Vuitton.
With leading voices from different parts of the industry, including the veteran activist and model Bethann Hardsion, Kenya explores the opportunities for continued change in the sector.
Produced by Tej Adeleye and Paul Smith
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4