Without a doubt, Wizkid is one of the biggest pop stars out of Africa who is known as much for his Drake-approved Afrobeat sound as he is for his eccentric sense of style.
Just before his big reveal of walking the runway for world renowned fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana, the singer-songwriter posed alongside Naomi Campbell on the steps of a private jet that had just landed in Milan, teasing what was to follow. But no one saw this coming.
Dressed in a gold studded ski mask and floral embroidered jacket and pants, Wizkid walked alongside Campbell on the Dolce & Gabbana runway this past weekend with his hit song Soco playing in the background, making him the first African artist to walk at one of the designers' shows.
As this sent the internet into a frenzy and still has people buzzing (most likely you as well), it is important to note that Wizkid on the Dolce & Gabbana runway is not just about him. The fact that this happened just confirms that fashion designers are taking to inclusion and leveraging on the star powers of millennial influencers. The best part is, it's not just those of the hip hop genre.
As the fashion industry seems to have changed its stance on hip hop what with notable instances like Cardi B being seated next to fashion's chief Priestess, Anna Wintour, at Alexander Wang's Fall/Winter 2018 collection presentation, A$AP Rocky and the rest of the A$AP Mob starring in the latest installment of Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign, Gucci paying “homage” to Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day in its Cruise 2018, it's still been unclear about where the fashion industry stands with other influencers in other genres of music. Until now of course.
Wizkid’s runway appearance wasn’t the only moment this past weekend in which African artists got some love from the Milan fashion world. Versace's spring 2019 menswear show was filled with the music of multimedia duo Faka, composed by artists Fela Gucci and Desire Marea, who also were invited to sit front row at the show.
These strategic moves from designers go to reiterate American rapper, A$AP Rocky's statement - “It’s important for this generation and the next generation to see people that look like them or that inspire them, because fashion isn’t just for the elite any more.” Emphasis on "Fashion isn't just for the elite anymore," which wasn't always the case.
For a fact, this was done in a bid to attract a newer, fresher clientele across geographies on the part of the designers, but there is no doubt that these artists will gain some much needed international exposure as well an opening up of their sounds to newer audiences.
Here's to even more recognition, Africa to the World.