Saturday, March 7, 2015

Haitian Pride in Fashion

A country that is proud of their culture and heritage, strives to portray it in everything they do. Haiti is one of few countries that have held this maxim true. Certainly, one of the boldest portrayals of culture is fashion.
Ordinarily, most Haitians wear second-hand clothing and shoes, known as “pepe”, sold by street vendors. 

The practice of sending pepe to Haiti began in the 1960’s and since then, people have claimed this practice has ruined the Haitian textile industry. A similar narrative has existed in Kenya. However, pepe can also be seen as a good thing, because it is so readily available and affordable for Haitians, allowing them to express their creativity through wearing designer clothing that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Haitian Fashion Week is 3 days long. There are no official fashion education programs in Haiti, so the concepts coming from these self-taught Haitian fashion designers are inspired purely by Haitian culture and imagination.

The bold Haitian flag could be a source of inspiration for their fashion. They use bold colors in their fashion. 

Some designs have the coat of arms  on them and the colors blue and red.








Some of Haitian Designers

As Clark explains, “What people see in the media almost never captures the essence of Haitians, their passions, their creativity, or their identity.” Moreover, as a Haitian-American struggling to navigate his new found “American-ness” while still maintaining his Haitian roots, Clark searches for an opportunity to merge these oft-alienated two worlds. 

It would also be interesting to know that Clark Pauyo was arrested in 2008, for driving a truck containing more than 3000 pounds of marijuana hidden in a legitimate load of commercial refrigerators. 


Davidson Petit-Frere

More designers at

Natural Hair Movement

Like all other Africans in the diaspora, Haiti has a Natural hair movement . 
Afro Alice is the online community founded by Amie-Christine Emilcar. They have a facebook page showcasing different natural hairstyles. 

Something that interested me was the models in colorful head-scarfs on the page. Could the headscarf trend have originated from Haiti? 

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