A Tribe Forgotten
The Ndebele tribe located in South Africa inspired this collection in full. From their pattern based artwork, painted on many surfaces including their homes, to intricate and painstaking beadwork, it all shows a rhythmic movement. I tried to bring into focus a story that depicted the past to present. I created a story of an African man that had forgotten his true identity when he migrated to the United States.
He originally travels to the states to further his education, but once here he longs for self expression and home. He decides to keep a sketchbook dedicated to home. It includes all sorts of patterns and color combinations. One day he loses it and an established designer finds it! The designer contacts him and they design a collection together. Inspired by his tribe, they construct looks that are modern yet harken back to his culture. Jeans with knit stitched calves to resemble the coils around the female neck, to cut up strands of knit mesh that mimic the strands of beads found in all aspects of the Ndebele culture and recreates movement. Finally all the patterns in the sketchbook are brought to life through the collection.
He left home looking to educate himself and change his surroundings but through his journey he realizes that one will never just “start over.” Your homeland lives within you and it can never be erased. Needless to say, the tribe, his roots, are definitely not forgotten.