Ozwald Boateng Celebrates Black Excellence in Triumphant Return to London Fashion Week
Fashion icon Ozwald Boateng returned to London Fashion Week after a 12-year hiatus with an AW 22 collection that pays homage to his roots.
Ozwald Boateng made a grand re-entrance into the British fashion world with a live show that helped close out London Fashion Week. After a 12-year hiatus in London, Boateng returned with one key goal: to celebrate Black excellence and creativity.
Boateng certainly accomplished that in his immersive presentation, which included over 100 participants, including actors Idris Elba and Nicholas Pinnock, as well as musicians Dizzee Rascal, Pa Salieu, and Kojey Radical. Taking over the West End’s Savoy Theatre, the presentation included dancing, music, art, and of course runway moments showing off Boateng’s Autumn/Winter 2022 collection.
The collection itself is a reflection on the presentations message. It pays homage to African and diaspora changemakers, and Boateng drew inspiration from his own Ghanaian heritage. With bold, rich colors, Adinkra symbols, and made to wear tailoring, Boateng’s collection both celebrates his heritage and minimizes waste. The entire collection is based on true style rather than of-the-moment trends, complete with staple pieces made to be worn season after season. Key pieces in the collection include silk suits and velvet jackets and trousers, made to last generations: “fashion that creates connection,” the brand said in a statement.
Boateng has been a name to know in the fashion industry since the early 90s, when his first ever collection came out. In 2003, he became the first Black creative director of a French fashion house, at Givenchy Homme. In 2010, he decided to step away from the British fashion scene and focus on New York, but certain events over the past two years, including the murder of George Floyd, the pandemic, and the passing of his dad, forced him to reconsider.
Now, Boateng’s focus turns to using fashion as a pillar for change. He wants his collections to lift up communities and educate younger generations, “one needle at a time.”