Erykah Badu Is Bringing Black Lives Matter Back to New York Fashion Week
The movement is meeting the runway. Again.
Singer Erykah Badu announced she's teaming up with Kerby Jean-Raymond to style his show at New York Fashion Week, and the duo's goal for the show is to capture the black experience in America.
"(Kerby and I) were a match made in fashion heaven," Badu told Dazed Digital. "We share an eye for truth through art. Though risky at times, he stands in his truth. And the strength of that truth lies in the belief of his vision. I'm inspired by the bold statements he makes in this, sometimes, fickle industry."
Badu has made already made waves in the fashion world. She was the face of Tom Ford's White Patchouli fragrance and stunned in Givenchy's spring/summer 2014 campaign.
Meanwhile, Jean-Raymond turned heads at New York Fashion Week in 2015 in which he offered up a presentation that included footage of the police killings of Eric Garner and Walter Scott. As part of his collection, the designer splattered what looked like blood across the models' shoes along with Garner's last words, "I can't breathe!"
Jean-Raymond had this to say about his presentation, according to Dazed:
The presentation is a meditation on the tension and mental anguish that exists when conflicting demands are placed on an individual, thereby resulting in confusion in thinking and communication...In the 1950s, anthropologist George Bateson coined the term 'Double Bind'; which he found to be a common occurrence in the childhoods of adults patients diagnosed as schizophrenic. The black experience in America is the ultimate double bind; a place where natural born citizens live an immigrant experience in the only land they've known as home. A place where black culture is praised, commodified, and appropriated, while black people are criticised, vilified, and hunted for sport. A certain functional schizophrenia has to exist to cope with the dissonance of having a black man in the White House while a black body lies for four hours in the streets of Ferguson.
In a 2015 interview with Noisey, Badu said she supported Black Lives Matter. "I think it's necessary," she said. "The world creates things up out of prayers that people pray and have. Things begin to move accordingly to how we all collectively think. When you see collectives moving on something you know that there's going to be some kind of mass migration to a higher place, and I see that in the world as a whole, not just in America."