“Don’t touch my heritage”, or “DTMH” is London based fashion brand inspiring a movement of urban black youth paying homage to their African/Carribiean heritage, which may have been diluted by generations of european living. Run by three, West African girls, DTMH is gathering a following of Afro-Carribean immigrants looking to harness their spirit of tribal style as it coexists with modern classics inspired by where they have lived: London grime, Parisian romanticism, and American athleticism.
“Dtmh is a statement against cultural appropriation by sharing knowledge. Minorities can be proud to wear our clothes but mixed with how we are dressed today. We are not dressing like our ancestors, but at the same time we can mix wix [a traditional African fabric which Lili makes her clothes out of] and wear with tracksuits. Mix with who we are now. Just be proud.”, says 26 year old founder Lili Rose Ndiaye. Ndyiaye came up with the concept of DTMH after her various travels across Europe and Africa, landing her in London, which is both the heart of diversity and the searing platform for which it is appropriated.
“I think London definitely inspired me because I see so much cultural appropriation here. I have been to a few festivals this summer and its crazy. On one person, you see every single type of colonization and they don’t understand.”
She trained as a designer in Senegal, working with traditional textiles and prints while fashioning silhouettes catered for the modern day. Clubbing, the underground, park life, university has replaced the rigidity of traditional African wear, all the while respectfully nodding to tradition by sharing the same patterns and materials as her ancestors.
Ndiaye works with her team, Malaurie Accrombessi, an Afro-French photographer, and London based model Salome Trezise originally from Senegal. DTMH will be releasing monthly content curated by the beguiling trio paying homage to a different country in Africa and the Carribean, highlighting people from that country with a presence that embodies the initiative of political awareness through multicultural style.
As articulated on the DTMH mission statement: “We are a brand where black and coloured minorities can recognise themselves and their origins. Our goals are simple sharing history and wear our culture, without ever losing touch with our individual styles, but embracing our own urban hybrid identity. We want to make you feel proud of who you are”.
topic on |