How ‘Black Panther’ became a fashion force

Feb. 16, 2018

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It’s New York Fashion Week in New York City, but it also feels like Black Panther Week.

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Months ago, Marvel Studios showed Black Panther to a select few designers from seven brands dedicated to empowerment in the industry.

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Brands like Chromat and LaQuan Smith created a couture pieces interpreting the film as they saw fit.

LaQuan Smith

On Feb. 12, the public was finally allowed to see these seven outfits, which will be auctioned off in support of Save the Children.

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The outfits range from an architectural gown in traditional Nigerian fabric from Chromat to a sleek jacket and jumpsuit from LaQuan Smith.

For me it was about female empowerment. It was about being powerful, being dominating, being strong and sexy and smart

— LaQuan Smith

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Chromat founder Becca McCharen-Tran brought in designer Tolu Aremu to help bring this Black Panther dress to life.


The outfit ended up looking like a perfect fusion of Chromat’s trademark cages and architecture with Aremu’s own heritage.


Designers are hoping the film’s fashion and level of industry attention ultimately helps shine a brighter light on African and African-American designers.

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