We really didn’t think last week could get any better—or blacker—as we prepared ourselves for the hype-worthy phenomenon that is Black Panther while also stalking New York Fashion Week 2018 to see what—and who—our best and brightest were sending down the runways in their Fall/Winter collections. So imagine our surprise that one of the most melanin-rich presentations of the season almost escaped our notice: Maki Oh, by Nigerian designer Amaka Osakwe.
Based in Lagos, Osakwe has been at the helm of her own label since 2010, and since that time she has become one of the few Nigerian designers to have a global reach. Her designs have been worn by Beyoncé, Kerry Washington and our forever first lady, Michelle Obama.
This season, Osakwe sent her models down the runway in a range of muted hues and quirky but sophisticated silhouettes and pattern combinations that seemed to evoke a type of nomadic chic. These immensely wearable clothes are for a woman who is not only worldly but also winsome, featuring wonderfully cut trousers, satiny sliplike pieces under suiting fabrics, and lamé coats that I’m literally swooning over. (Seriously. Gimme.)
But what was perhaps most beautiful about Maki Oh’s presentation was that her models were all women of color, in all shades of color, seeming to represent the entirety of the African Diaspora itself—with their natural hair textures, no less!
It was a refreshing, almost matter-of-fact occurrence, and consistent with Osakwe’s castings over her last few seasons. But during a week when black representation has long been a struggle, it felt like a definite boost for the home team. Like her contemporaries Pyer Moss and LaQuan Smith, Osakwe did not shy away from making sure the world knows that we, too, are fashion.
Enjoy some #BlackGirlMagic at Maki Oh.