I missed the International African Arts Festival during 4th of July weekend. I didn’t even know it existed until I accidentally drove past it that Sunday. It looked amazing: the entire block of Commodore Park on Flushing Avenue was full of colors, prints, dance and music. I called 311 the following week to find out if I could shoot there but they didn’t know what I was talking about. Then I found a lady in Soho who was selling African jewelry on the street and she enlightened me. The Festival happens just once a year and they’re up to edition 43 already! But, she said, I should try Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market on 116th and Lennox as the next best thing. And so I did. Holy shit, what a trip! The inspiration is endless and overwhelming. I wanted everything, even if nothing was my size. This market should be mandatory for tourists and fashionistas alike!
I also wanted to say something about my Dolce & Gabbana slippers. I’ve had those things for fifteen years I think; they’re definitely vintage. I forgot I had them until I cleaned out my storage a couple of months ago. Once again I prove that everything old becomes new again. Don’t throw your amazing designer pieces out. Keep them. Pass them on. Your kids will love you for it.
Blue corseted, cinched top by Peter Pilotto; Blue leaf print jersey skirt, unknown; Vintage leopard platform sandals by Dolce & Gabbana; Vintage silk crop bolero top; Black raffia wedge sandals by Dolce & Gabbana; Vintage floral camisole by Jill Stuart; Green snakeskin purse by Shourouk; Vintage leopard tote bag by Dolce & Gabbana; Vintage printed and beaded shoulder strap dress from Thanx God I’m a V.I.P in Paris; all other garments, earrings and accessories found and borrowed from vendors at the market.
Photos by Hannah Sider.