This summer the MacGillray Law-firm cast an open call to artists to submit a piece of art in honour of Viola Desmond.
Just like Viola Desmond was denied access into the "whites only" section of the theatre, the fashion industry has been much the same way. For years the women who we have seen on magazine covers and runways are mostly white. With the exception of a few tokenized black models, the fashion industry is still predominantly white. Jourdan Dunn (a black model) told the Guardian last year, "people in the industry say if you have a black face on the cover of a magazine it won't sell". In 2017 designer Marc Jacobs chose models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner to model the collection wearing hand made dreadlocks instead of hiring black models who already had dreadlocks of their own. I do not want to be a designer who furthers this stigma when it comes to my own diverse brand which is why I had Ndeera Medina of City Models be the model who opened up my season at AFW.
Tim Lingley snapped a stunning photo of Ndeera strutting down the runway as my hand dyed silk billowed at her sides. Out of my extensive collection of images, this still remains one of my favourites. When I heard about this contest I immediately thought of my friend and colleague Tori Smith, a low poly artwork designer who specializes in Polygraphic art. Tori took Tim's photo and transformed it into this detailed graphic poster which we submitted as our piece of art to be considered for the Viola Desmond Protest Art Submission at MacGillvray Law.
It is important to note the mostly white audience watching Ndeera walk down the runway. We need to change the demographic involved in the fashion industry. We hope that this piece (if chosen) will give women of every colour hope that there is room for every race, religion, ethnicity, age, and gender in the fashion industry, and that this piece of art hanging on the side of the MacGillvery Law-firm will be a defining moment of change in the Atlantic Canadian Fashion industry.
On behalf of Tim, Tori and Ndeera I am asking that you please cast your vote for our piece to be considered for the winner for the MacGillvray Law - Viola Desmond prize. The winner will receive a cash prize as well as have their art featured on the side of the MacGillvray law firm building in Nova Scotia Canada. EVERY VOTE HELPS!