Foday Dumbuya invited the audience to South London’s Brixton Village, where he grew up, for an immersive performance that involved poetry reading, dancing, live music, beer, and grocery stands with African cooking essentials like cassava and plantains.
The designer said he had to drag everyone down south on a Sunday night for the most authentic experience. “You’ve got to come here to understand. You can’t tell the story in central London because you get lost,” he added.
A celebration of his journey from Sierra Leone to London via Cyprus, the collection, titled “From Greener Pasture,” offered a wide range of tailored pieces, outerwear in vibrant prints, tow-tone denim, and a coat and a jacket printed with passport stamps.
“It’s all about travel. When you come from Africa, you go abroad for a better life. But when you live it, you realize it’s not what it is. You have to work twice as hard, and pay bills regularly. But that’s the journey, and people move with their culture. That’s the thing I want to put out there,” said Dumbuya.
He enlisted friends and veteran advocates in the local Black community to be a part of the show, like Kenneth, who stood out on the runway for his smirky face and swaggy walk.
“He has been a connoisseur, always telling stories about Africans and always being proud to be African, even when no one in the diaspora wanted to be African. He is also a pioneer in African dance music and a great dancer,” the designer explained.