This morning, Dior revealed its Spring/Summer 2021 men’s collection from artistic director Kim Jones in collaboration with the Ghanian artist Amoako Boafo. Entitled “Portrait of an Artist,” it celebrates the duo’s shared love of art and fashion, of Africa and its culture, and of the colors, textures, and textiles that come alive on canvas and clothing. The pair first met at The Rubell Museum last year in Miami, and soon hit it off.
“I really, really, really love his work,” said Jones. “And I wanted to work with an African artist for a long time because I grew up in Africa and African art is something that’s always been important to me.”
“I love fashion. Fashion inspires my work,” Boafo said. “I tend to look at characters that have that sense of style in fashion.” In pieces like Hudson in a Baby Blue Suit, we see this to be true.
Boafo was artistic from a young age, creating drawing competitions among friends. In an effort to capture his surroundings and the emotions of those around him, he began painting. In Dior’s 10-minute film by Chris Cunningham, Boafo is seen painting in his studio in Ghana, sharing his practice of portraiture and figuration. He says he chooses flat colors for a background to complement each portrait and explains his subjects are friends, family, and people he admires. We also get a close look at his unique method of making—with his fingers. “I just wear my gloves, and I have my colors, which will be umber brown and blue, and then I have some yellow and red,” he says. “And I do magic with it.”
In the new collection, Boafo’s bold color palette bursts from jacquard paintbrush patterns and surfaces that were printed and layered. Embroideries by Atelier Vermont and textile creations evoking French and African flare mirror Dior’s love of gardens and flowers. Narrow silhouettes and sportswear-influenced pieces carry careful tailoring.
Dior will also support a new, young artist residence in Ghana created by Boafo, continuing the collaboration and the brad’s support of the arts.