Today is International Women’s Day!!! With events like The Women’s March on Washington in January and A Day Without Women going on today, women are truly making their voices heard. On a local level in Toronto I see many different female-focused creative groups like Gxxrls, Sophomore Magazine, and Her Collective creating a platform and safe space for women of all backgrounds to celebrate and support each other.
Back in the summer of last year I teased a preview from a pretty elaborate editorial collaboration I was working on and I’m happy to finally premiere it today. Best part? All female crew! #Girlpower for the win.
A while back henna artist and stylist Sarah Hussain and I met, linked by a mutual interest in and respect for each other’s work. We knew we wanted to collaborate and so we began planning a two-part photo project celebrating her South Asian culture and my West African background.
We couldn’t help but notice the similarities in both our cultures like the use of bright, patterned textiles and love of personal adornment. We wanted to showcase how they could combine naturally and over the course of two shoots, mixed and matched our heritages to create visually rich images with an all female production crew.
For part one of the shoot we went for a maximal, more is more aesthetic. A bandeau and beaded neck piece I picked up from my visits home to West Africa paired beautifully with a lengha and jewelry Sarah pulled from Chandan Fashion.
Then for part two we met up again to create shots that were a bit more paired down. I brought my white gele to be a crown, adorning my head in a look that also combined more traditional South Asian pieces and a jacket by East African designer Lexynelle Reveur.
I love exploring and paying homage to different cultures. I was so happy to be a part of this super creative, hardworking group of girlbosses.
Photography: Sheana Canthan
Styling and Henna: Sarah Hussain
Makeup: Marley Brites
Braids: Tania of B.Suite Beauty Salon & Spa