We wrote an ibu artisan in Kyrgyzstan and asked her to put her splendiferous best into our long sweeping design for the runway. Honored, she said.
We dug through piles of vintage textiles to remake mirrored Indian dresses, turn Panamanian molas into sculpted bustiers, Dong dragon coats into evening jackets, Togo strip-weaving into long poufy skirts.
We studied turban tying from Nigeria, crafted jewelry out of outrageous beads/pompoms/tassels/silver. We fitted more 6’ models than we could use; made a short film to introduce the show.
We went straight to the most celebrated young designer in New York and asked to use her artisan-made, red-hot Brother Vellies shoes on the runway and hoped she would say yes, but instead she said YES! and let me come to your show, help you style backstage, and do a Trunk Show at ibu the next day. Honored, we said.
It takes a movement to get down the RealWay. ibu is not just in the business of fashion, but of fashioning change. and doing it by putting eyes on the brilliance already alive in the world. It starts with women in Calcutta and Tashkent and San Cristobal making magic with their hands and getting paid well for it - which is itself magic and medicine and means their girls go to school. It moves to the ibu studio in Charleston where we draft, cut, shape, and style it for the catwalk so all may see this revolution in the making.
The real way is about feeling the colors of the world running through us, music and rhythm lifting us to a common beat, sovereignty finding its place in the way of women everywhere.
We’ll be rocking the runway next Tuesday, the 15th. Find us on instagram that evening: #iburunway. To the Tents!
All the best -
Susan Hull Walker