Doxuntu: Part Three of Three
For the final piece of this mini blog series on the women in West Africa who have inspired me personally over three decades and who inspired our first collection, let me introduce you to Alyce. There are not sufficient words in the English language to express what my sister Alyce meant to me then and means to me now. She started as my language instructor. She became my best friend. She taught me African fashion. She taught me African fabric. She taught me the importance of cultivating beauty from the inside out. She taught me how to adopt and merge cultures without ever giving up on my own. To me, Alyce is not my Senegalese friend. She is my best friend. If you want to know and understand style and presence and beauty and wisdom and intelligence, you must meet Alyce!
When we lived in Senegal, Alyce and I visited the main shopping districts in the capital Dakar every Saturday. The jaakats knew us by name and would call out to us to see their goods. Together we designed some of the most AMAZING ensembles–we picked out the fabric, we dreamt up the fashions, we had them made and we loved wearing them. Alyce has lost none of this flair despite having lived in the United States for many years now. But more than any of this, she is Tata (auntie) to my children and I am Tata to hers. There is no Senegalese. There is no American. There is only sisterhood.
This is really what Threads by Nomad is about for me. It is expressing through the medium of design that there is no us or them. To quote Maya Angelou in Human Family: “In minor ways we differ, in major we’re the same. I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Fashion–an expression of and appreciation for beauty–is a way we more alike than we are unalike.
So go ahead…doxuntu!
Want to know more? You can read the first and the second one here. Stay tuned for our very next blog post though because we have some very exciting news to announce, which involves both Khady and Alyce and of course our very first collection!