As 1,200 black Canadians gathered at the National Summit of Black Canadians, Halifax-based photographer Alvero Wiggins said it should have been called Halifax Fashion Weekend.
To find out more about the beautiful and colorful outfits worn by the delegates, we asked what inspires their fashion choices.
From cool comfort and bold prints to family and heritage, their answers have been as colorful as their looks.
Oghenemine (Mimi) Jarekre
“I had to come fully dressed: all black, blackout, to pay homage to the ancestors.”
“I’m an entrepreneur and I like to look really cool but simple at the same time.”
Dahabo Ahmed Omer
“My mother inspired my fashion. My mother is a wonderful woman, her sense of style is beyond measure and she actually attracted me. I bought all of that in Dubai when I went on my trip, so it’s all my mum here, all of it.”
“I’m wearing one of my summer two-piece suits. It is very comfortable on the body and lightweight for the hot weather.”
“I connect with my ancestors with this beautiful traditional shirt. It was gifted to me by an elder in our church who is from Kenya and I am very grateful for that. I’ve got the Jordans on, that’s me Reclaiming the Jordans. I know they are owned and operated by systems of wisdom, but you must stay fresh. I have the colors on the right foot to pay tribute to Pride Month so I have a little splash of pink there. Call out to the black communities who identify as queer. I have jewelry from family members and friends.
“My fashion inspiration is Solange Knowles. I wanted casual chic. I’m often the youngest person in rooms and I like to question the formal fit. I like to mix a blazer with sneakers, also shorts because it’s summer and we don’t have that many months to enjoy it. I love a pop of color, I like a statement.”
“The vibe I was going for was ‘luxury for the culture’: something a little bit high end, but also with the culture. I have this headgear, I’m not directly West African but I’m very connected to a lot of the culture My shoes, I wear Vans and these are actually limited editions that Vans have collaborated with A Tribe Called Quest on, which is one of my favorite hip Hop groups that are very instrumental in black culture and black music. I wanted to bring those two things together. “
“I feel at home today, so I had to represent how I feel. Every day my clothes represent how I feel and it makes me feel like royalty.”
Drayton Mulindabigwi Jabo
“In general, I’m not a big fan of suits and very fancy fits, but I feel like I’m in society that’s considered professional. And I consider myself a professional, I’m a CEO! But coming to the Summit I wanted something really casual, fresh, chic and chilled.”
For more stories about Black Canadians’ experiences—from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community—see Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.