Edun brings African-made
fashion to the streets of Harlem
with its sultry SS17 collection

Edun rewinds to Harlem circa 1970 for its SS17 collection. Specifically the iconic street scenes captured by French photojournalist Jack Garofalo one long hot summer for Paris Match magazine. It was a time when the those north Manhattan streets had been ravaged by poverty, crime and riots yet were still filled with a strong community. From activists in sharp suits and musicians in dashikis to beauty parlour queens with perfectly round afros, everyone looked good.

Taking these inspirations as the jump off, Edun’s creative team explored patterns, layering and textures to come up with a range of dynamic silhouettes with attitude. Key pieces include front split slacks, slim tunics, cropped jumpsuits and floating vests in hazy shades of ecru, indigo, persimmon and emerald. Large circular fastenings, big zips and curved cut outs add that all-important swag.

The Ali Hewson, Bono and LVMH-owned brand is dedicated to producing luxury fashion in Africa and this season sourcing was secured from far and wide. Hand woven cotton canvas and striped lurex were developed in Burkina Faso in association with the UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative. A cotton shweshwe comes from Da Gama Textiles, one of South Africa’s oldest textile mills. A hand embroidered jersey was made by Rwandan women’s group Ibaba. Madagascan knitwear includes such techniques as smocking, embroidery and crochet. And Kenyan company Soko, which works with artisans to craft ethical jewellery, created a range of recycled aluminium, brass and wood accessories.

Coming full circle, Edun again worked with Nataal favourite photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman to shoot the collection back in New York (see last season’s photo series here), this time pairing their two uptown girls with classic sports cars. Word of warning: do not pull up to their bumpers unless you have some serious game.

Words Helen Jennings

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