That Moment When Chimamanda Adichie Was Invited By Dior! (Read The Deets)

Nigerian best selling and award winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, was recently invited by Dior to the Spring 2017 Dior show in paris after her words; "We Should All Be Feminists" showed up on some of the designs of Grazor Chiuri's debut collection for Dior. The author who now campaigns as a beauty spokesperson for Boots Uk had much to say in a recent interview with Elle.com.

Adichie walking into the Spring 2017 Dior show in Paris

Read the details of the interview here



In this exclusive interview with ELLE.com, Adichie comments on her relationship with Grazia Chiuri, with fashion in general, and on choosing both. 


Your words showed up on the runway of Maria Grazia Chiuri's debut collection for Dior. How did that come about?

Dior invited me to their show and I thought it was sweet of them but I didn't plan to go. I thought: not really my sort of thing. Then Maria Grazia wrote to me—a handwritten letter!—and I read it and was quite moved and decided to go. So the letter was the first reason, and the second reason is that a free trip to Paris is a fairly good way to bribe me.

When I met her, I was so inspired by her. Inspired is an over-used word now but it is the only word that feels right. She is a very thoughtful, real, intelligent, confident woman. There are certain women I meet who make me proud to be a woman. She is one.



What did it mean to you to see a storied French brand like Dior take such a feminist stance? And under its first woman create lead?

I've never been very interested in the politics of couture fashion and so I was stunned to learn that Dior had never had a woman as creative director. Especially as Dior is iconic for a specific kind of female aesthetic. Maria Grazia's collection was very confident and felt very true, if that makes sense. It was the voice of a woman saying exactly what she wanted to say, and exactly how she wanted to say it, and I admired that enormously. And of course it helped that the clothes themselves were so beautiful; the dresses were ethereal and the jackets had a strong sort of grace—and that WSABF T-shirt wasn't bad!



What was it like to see your words on the runway that day in Paris? Overall, how was your Paris fashion week experience?

I was chuffed, but mostly I was applauding Maria Grazia because ours is a world in which 'feminist' is still, sadly, a contested word and idea and she made a courageous and honest stand.

Dior showed me the loveliest hospitality, and so, personally, I had a very good time over all.

Fashion Week has a particular sub-culture that is interesting if at times baffling. As a fiction writer I like to watch the world, and I collect material in an almost anthropological way.

I thought most of the models were painfully skinny and I found that curious and troubling.


Do you think that we're close to a tipping point, where society can handle women that influence politics and culture and still care about fashion?

I hope so. I sometimes wonder whether being 'open' about fashion is something women still have to 'earn.' That you are still expected to prove your ability first otherwise your appearance will still be used as a proxy for your ability or intelligence. Which is a shame.

One of the tragedies of our lives as women is how much we internalize about what a woman should and should not be/do. Sometimes the harsh appearance-based assumptions about women come from other women.


For serious writers that also seriously love fashion and often feel that they have to choose, what advice would you give them?

You don't have to choose. And you don't have to try to intellectualize it to make it more acceptable. So no your love of fashion doesn't have to be a metaphor for the consciousness of multiple metaphysical selves or something. Your love of fashion can just be your love of fashion. And keep doing the serious writing and reading, keep pushing, keep growing.


You've been outspoken about your love of fashion and beauty—and that it runs in the family. Is there a moment that you remember, or an outfit that you wore as a child that made you think, "I really enjoy fashion?"

Not really. I don't think I necessarily thought in those terms. Maybe it was also growing up in Nigeria, where dressing-up is generally expected. My mother raised us to think of our appearance as an act of courtesy to others.


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