Fashion file: Black Canadians share their inspiration
Whether challenging conventions or honouring ancestors, delegates showed up in style
To learn more about the beautiful and vibrant outfits worn by delegates, we asked what inspires their fashion choices.
From cool comfort and bold prints to family and heritage, their answers were as colourful as their looks.
Oghenemine (Mimi) Jarekre
"I had to come dressed prepared: all black, blackout, to pay homage to the ancestors."
"I'm an entrepreneur and I like looking really cool but at the same time simple."
"My mother inspired my fashion. My mother is a wonderful woman, her sense of style is beyond measure, and she actually dressed me. I bought all of this from Dubai when I went on my trip, so this is all my mama right here, everything."
"I'm wearing one of my summer two-pieces. It's very comfortable around your body and lightweight for the hot weather."
"I'm connecting to my ancestors with this beautiful traditional shirt. It was gifted to me by an elder in our community who is from Kenya, and I'm very grateful for that. I've got the Jordans on, I'm reclaiming the Jordans. I know it's owned and operated by systems of whiteness but you gotta stay fresh. I've got the colors popping on the right foot to pay tribute to Pride Month, so I've got a little splash of pink there. Shout out to the Black communities who identify as queer. I've got jewelry from family members and friends."
"My fashion inspiration is Solange Knowles. I was going for "casual chic." I'm often the youngest person in spaces, and I like to challenge 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. I love a pop of colour, I like a statement."
"The vibe I was going for was 'luxe for the culture': something a little higher class but also having the culture involved. I have this headwrap, I'm not directly West African, but closely connected with many from the culture. For my shoes, I have Vans on, and these are actually limited edition where Vans collaborated with A Tribe Called Quest, one of my favorite hip-hop groups, very instrumental in Black culture and Black music. I wanted to put those two things together."
"I feel like home today, so I had to represent how I feel. Every day, my dressing is a representation of how I feel, and this is me feeling like a queen."
Drayton Mulindabigwi Jabo
"In general, I'm not a big fan of suits and very fancy fit, but I feel like in society that is seen as professional. And I do consider myself professional, I'm a CEO! But coming to the Summit, I wanted to go for something really casual, fresh, swag and laid back."
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.