Why We Love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian author of Americanah, Half of a Yellow Sun, and The Thing Around Your Neck, became a feminist It Girl in 2013 when her TED Talk “We Should All Be Feminists” was featured in Beyonce’s hit song “Flawless.” At 39, she’s already received a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, been named one of The New Yorker’s ‘20 Under 40’ and one of Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People,’ and received honorary degrees from John Hopkins University and Haverford College. As if all these accolades weren’t enough, she also made Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List in 2016.

Adichie’s role as a public intellectual makes her rise as a fashion icon all the more exciting. Her ability to discuss politics and art alongside make-up and fashion is refreshing, and reminds us of the countless women we know that working to do the same. More than that, Adichie’s presence has been liberatory for those still questioning whether or not feminism means abandoning your more traditional, feminine passions. She’s proof that women can present themselves any way they want and still affect profound change in this world. This does not mean, however, that Adichie does not offer her own critiques of the fashion and beauty industries. Her novel Americanah is a testament to how these seemingly simple facets of our life can impact us in dramatic and sometimes unseen ways.  

Through all her success, Adichie’s has remained extremely accessible. She often communicates through her Facebook and her Instagram offers followers a peek into her Nigerian wardrobe. In May 2017 Adichie even announced she was starting a Wear Nigeria campaign. As a part of the campaign, she is committed to wearing Nigerian designers almost exclusively to combat the declining value of Nigerian currency. In doing so, she’s also highlighted local designers and supported the individuals who make them. Adichie similarly broke new ground in 2016 when she became the face of the make-up brand Boots No.7 and sat front row at the Dior to watch as models wearing “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirts walked the runway.

If all of this weren’t enough, our admiration for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was cemented when she openly published a letter she wrote to a friend about how to raise a feminist daughter. In it, she writes, “It’s so important to teach a child, particularly a girl, that your job is not to be likeable, your job is to be your fullest self.” No matter your gender identity, this lesson is essential, and at the heart of everything we do. With each design and seam we get closer to realizing our dream; helping you attain yours.

Photo: The Guardian