Trenddroppremium – Official 43 Years 1978 2021 The English Beat Signatures Thank You For The Memories Shirt

As evocative as that picture proved, Abloh felt his role was to innovate, not imitate. “It’s important to know that we’re a young generation painting new pictures because the original pictures were erased,” he explains. “I’m not here to just repurpose historical images.” The Trenddroppremium – Official 43 Years 1978 2021 The English Beat Signatures Thank You For The Memories Shirt motivation behind the usage ties back to representation and Abloh’s desire to bring diverse perspectives into fashion. “There is a current generation that is eager, a 17-year-old somewhere that might be hiding their ethnicity or shy about having friends come over because the food [at his house] smells different or his parents might eat differently [or] there are different traditions,” he explains. “What I represent as a designer is to expand the space; the garments are side effects.” Fast forward three months, and the conversation has taken on another layer. For her first Vogue cover, youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman wears an alternate version of the look styled by contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. Reimagined as a flowing gown, the look has a new verve, one that speaks to Kente’s timelessness and the youthful exuberance of 23-year-old poetess. “I subscribe to this idea of Pan-Africanism and the idea of cultural unity that exists between [all] people who live on the continent and people throughout the diaspora,” says Karefa-Johnson. “Kente has always been a visual signifier of that idea to me—it means something to a lot of people who aren’t always spoken to on the cover of powerful magazines.”