Alvero Wiggins, Halifax-based photographer said the National Black Canadian Summit should have been called Halifax Fashion Weekend.
To learn more about the beautiful and vibrant clothing worn by the 1,200 Black Canadian delegates, we asked what inspired their clothing choices.
From cool comfort and bold prints to family and heritage, their responses were as colorful as their looks.
Oghenemine (Mimi) Jarekre
“I had to come dressed prepared: all black, blackout, to pay homage to the ancestors.”
“I’m an entrepreneur and I like to look really cool but at the same time simple.”
Dahabo Ahmed Omer
“My mum inspired my fashion. My mum is a wonderful woman, her sense of style is beyond measure, and she really dressed me up. I bought all of this in Dubai when I went on a trip, so that’s all my mum here, everything.”
“I’m wearing one of my two summer pieces. It’s very comfortable around your body and lightweight for hot weather.”
“I connect to my ancestry with this beautiful traditional shirt. It was given to me by an elder in our community who is from Kenya, and I’m so grateful. I have the Jordans, I’m picking up the Jordans. I know it’s owned and operated by whiteness systems but you gotta keep it fresh I’ve got the colors jumping on the right foot to honor Pride Month so I’ve got a little touch of pink there Shout out to black communities who identify as gay I have jewelry from family and friends.
“My fashion inspiration is Solange Knowles. I was going for ‘casual chic’. I’m often the youngest in spaces, and I like to challenge the formal fit. I like to mix a blazer with trainers, also shorts because it’s summer and we don’t have so many months to enjoy it. I like a pop of color, I like a statement.
“The vibe I was looking for was ‘luxury for the culture’: something a little more classy but also involving the culture. I have this bandeau, I’m not directly West African, but closely linked to many members of the culture. For my shoes, I have Vans, and these are actually limited editions where Vans collaborated with A Tribe Called Quest, one of my favorite hip-hop groups, very instrumental in the culture black music and black music. I wanted to bring those two things together.”
“I feel like home today, so I had to represent how I feel. Every day my dressing is a representation of how I feel, and I’m the one who feels like a queen.”
Drayton Mulindabigwi Jabo
“Generally, I’m not a big fan of fancy suits and cuts, but I feel like I’m in a company that’s considered professional. And I consider myself a professional, I’m a CEO! But coming to The Summit, I wanted to go for something really casual, fresh, swag and laid back.”
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.