QBFA’s fashion show shines spotlight on Black excellence and innovation

QBFA paves the way for a more equitable and sustainable future

Image supplied by: QBFA
QBFA’s second ever show took place on Feb. 9.

Queen’s Black Fashion Association (QBFA) reminds everyone the future is now.

As the curtains rose on Feb. 9, the Isabel Bader Centre became a canvas for QBFA’s second annual fashion show, marking a milestone in the club’s journey of celebrating Black creativity and advocacy.

Now in its third year, QBFA stands as a beacon of inclusion and empowerment, offering a nurturing environment for Black students with a passion for fashion. For these individuals, QBFA serves as more than a club—it’s a platform for self-expression, community building, and breaking down barriers in the predominantly white spaces of the fashion industry.

This year’s fashion show and conference delved into the future of fashion, exploring themes of activism, sustainability, and culture. Departing from the previous year’s focus on the revival of past fashion eras, the 2024 event aimed to spark conversations about the role of fashion in shaping a more equitable and sustainable future.

Nifemi Adeoye, HealthSci ’25, QBFA conference director, highlighted the importance of taking a stand for what one believes in while working towards a more sustainable fashion industry. QBFA curated a diverse range of designs sourced from thrift stores which are up-cycled by designers, including pieces from YGK Thrift.

Sticking with these themes, the fashion show featured a diverse range of designers and pieces that reflected the intersection of activism, sustainability, and culture in the fashion industry. Many of the pieces featured in the show were directly sourced from thrift stores.

The show unfolded in four acts, each carefully curated to reflect contrasting visions of the future: “Post-Apocalyptic,” “Utility Wear/Matrix,” “Reworked,” and “Cultural Futurism.” This approach played on the dichotomy between utopian and dystopian realities, ultimately advocating for the importance of making positive changes in the present to shape a more sustainable and inclusive future, said King David Olajuwon, Nurs ’25, QBFA’s creative assistant.

Undoubtedly, a standout moment of the show was “Shada’s Interlude,” where Creative Director Shada Barkho, ArtSci ’25, unveiled a breathtaking handmade white dress, which was then spray painted with the powerful message, “The Future is Now.”

Symbolizing hope, empowerment, and the transformative power of fashion, this scene captured the essence of QBFA’s mission and vision.

Fashion has long served as a powerful form of activism, allowing individuals to express their beliefs, values, and identities through clothing and style. By centring themes of activism, sustainability, and culture in their show, QBFA not only showcased the creative talents of Black designers but highlighted the role of fashion as a catalyst for social change, QBFA Co-President Ruth Osunde, ArtSci ’25, said in an interview with The Journal.

Each garment featured in the show wasn’t just a piece of clothing, but a statement about the importance of showcasing Black creators.

“Black people were instrumental in the fashion scene, and they tend not to have the same visibility. The biggest thing with Black activism and fashion is that Black people have always used our fashion as ways to express ourselves. Black activism is found in our expression and fashion is tied to that,” Osunde said.

QBFA represents a vibrant community of creatives who are passionate about amplifying Black voices and perspectives within the fashion industry. Founded on principles of inclusivity and empowerment, QBFA provides a safe and supportive space for Black students to explore their artistic talents, collaborate with like-minded individuals, and challenge the status quo of fashion.

The club has inspired countless individuals to embrace their identities, celebrate their heritage, and use fashion as a tool for activism and self-expression, paving the way for a more equitable and sustainable future—one show at a time.


BHM2024, fashion show, QBFA

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