World renowned Dior designer Kim Jones has embraced diversity with Dior’s first all-Black fashion show collaborating with Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo for spring/summer 2021.
With physical fashion shows still on hold for the moment, men’s fashion week is currently taking place in Paris through a digital lens – and much to the surprise of many Kim Jones presented Dior’s latest collection, a collaboration with Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo through a series of videos, which confronted issues of diversity on the catwalk by featuring only Black models.
“It’s not political: we started this back in December,” the popular menswear designer told The Guardian. “But one of the things designers can do is [reflect] the time they are in. For me, diversity is a natural thing; a reflection of the wider world.”
Amoako Boafo is a painter, born in Accra, Ghana. Boafo’s portrait paintings are enticing in their lucidity, accentuating the figures in each work, who are regularly isolated on single color backgrounds, their gaze the focal point of each work. The brushstrokes are thick and gestural, the contours of the body’s almost soften into abstraction. The most well known of his series, the Black Diaspora portraits serve as a means of celebration of his identity and Blackness.
Boafo emphasizes, “The primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach blackness.” Much of his work is inspired by his upbringing, commenting on how males are raised to be aggressive and masculine, which he challenges in his works. Although the artists underlying messages are quite intense, there is a certain softness to the works as a whole, the poses are serene and the skin luminous.
Boafo studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. In 2017 was awarded with the jury prize, Walter Koschatzky Art Prize. Widely collected by private and public collectors and institutions, most recently by CCS Bard College Hessel Museum of Art, The Albertina Museum Vienna, and the Rubell Museum.