The British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion has announced its second collaborative project, The Missing Thread, in partnership with the Black Oriented Legacy Development Agency. The project aims to celebrate black British fashion and culture from 1975 to the present through a series of events, culminating in a blockbuster exhibition in summer 2022.
In order to instil systemic, long-lasting change, The Missing Thread will address academic shortcomings at Secondary, Further Education and Higher Education levels by charting the rise and impact of black UK style and culture on the curriculum by creating the first ‘Black Fashion & Culture’ undergraduate education programme in the UK. The project will also work in collaboration with i-D to create a dedicated library of black fashion literature at Central Saint Martins, of which Joe Casely-Hayford OBE is a former alumnus. The late Casely-Hayford served as the inspiration for The Missing Thread thanks to his prolific career as a fashion designer in the UK and the way in which he paved the way for other young black designers. Casely-Hayford's powerful legacy will not be forgotten.
'The historical significance of black fashion culture is essential to future fashion practitioners and their progress within the industry. The Missing Thread is a vehicle to examine past, present and future - to contextualise black fashion culture with authority,' said Andrew Ibi, the co-founder of BOLD. 2020's renewed Black Lives Matter protests provoked a serious reckoning with the UK's institutional racism, along with a reassessment of racial inequality within the arts. Moving forward, fashion history must be taught with an appreciation and awareness of the cultural contributions of all races to the fabric of British society. 'The need for far greater accountability in our industry has become increasingly apparent over the last year. Black fashion contributions are at the core of Britain’s reputation as a creative hub yet continue to be overlooked,' said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC.
Today, 28th October 2020 at 4pm, a SHOWstudio panel dedicated to Casely-Hayford and his unwavering vision will look at Britishness now and what contribution the fashion industry must make towards a new era. The panel, entitled Joe Casely-Hayford: An Icon For Our Times, will be chaired by Andrew Ibi with Caroline Rush, Ekow Eshun, Karen Binns and Walé Adeyemi. Watch the discussion here.