On January 12th, 2024, we showcased our collection BAMUN, A ROYAL WEDDING at Hub of Africa Fashion Week in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Hub is a highly anticipated annual event that attracts designers from Africa and around the world, as well as renowned international media outlets like Vogue. This was our second time participating, following our successful debut in 2019 when Vogue Italy recognized us as one of the brands to watch. This year, we were once again acknowledged but by both Vogue Italy and Vogue US, which was truly gratifying.
BAMUN, our collection, draws inspiration from the ancestral culture of Western Cameroon known as the Bamun people. This remarkable people created and uses its own unique alphabet, distinctive architecture, and is led by a revered Sultan (currently Sultan Nabil Njoya). The Bamun people have valiantly resisted the effects of colonialism, and they represent a proud and captivating heritage. The latest collection from Afropian is inspired by Pemboura, a Bamun Princess and sister of Afropian’s founder. We envision her wedding celebration taking place at the palace in Fumban, the capital city of the Sultanate. The color palette predominantly features shades of blue, complemented by black and silver. Our brand proudly uses its signature handmade African textiles such as Ndop (the authentic royal fabric of the Bamun people), Indigo from Mali, Baule from Ivory Coast, Shemma from Ethiopia, and Mandjak from Senegal. Additionally, traditional Ethiopian hand embroidery adds a distinct touch. BAMUN consists of 20 meticulously designed outfits, with each pair comprising a male and female ensemble. Every luxurious and elegant attire represents a distinct character or attendee at the wedding, including servants, priests, bridesmaids, and guards, resulting in a diverse range of styles and silhouettes.
During the showcase at Hub, we invited the audience to the wedding celebration. The beat of Bamun drums filled the air, while an awe-inspiring video projection of historic images from Fumban served as the backdrop. The performance commenced with the entry of the servants, gracefully sweeping the ground with traditional brooms. They were followed by the guards who confidently struck their antique spears against the ground, exuding a powerful presence. Next came the priests, who imbued the atmosphere with blessings and purification, gracefully waving their whisks. Our young members of the wedding party followed suit, with the flower girl elegantly scattering petals across the floor next to the bride’s younger brother dashing in his stylish attire. The audience was then introduced to the esteemed mother and father of the bride, our King and Queen, resplendent in their magnificent regalia. With anticipation building, the bride and groom made their entrance, accompanied by two playful and vivacious bridesmaids. The couple donned feathered accessories reminiscent of royal attire from Western Cameroon, symbolizing their elevated status. Joining the priests, they received blessings on their union. The wedding was then celebrated, culminating in the entrance of a jubilant crowd of dancing guests, creating an atmosphere of great joy.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to the British Council in Ethiopia for sponsoring our participation through the Creative DNA Ethiopia program.
Pictures by Heather Posey and Everon Photography